WHAT IS A TURKISH TOWEL?
Turkish towels are a product unique to Turkey that are used today in a wide range of settings including at the beach, during yoga and gym classes, or as a travel companion. These towels have various different names, the most common being a peshtemal. A peshtemal is the traditional name given to the woven towel that was originally used to cover the body in a Turkish hammam or bath – another traditional Turkish custom. Peshtemals have a history of nearly 600 years and originated in Anatolia, Turkey. These towels are also known as a pestemal, fringet towel, tassel towel or a hammam towel. A silk peshtemal is called a fota, but peshtemal is usually woven by cotton, linen or bamboo yarn.
There are similar towels in different regions of the world that are called by different names. In Asia they are called a sarong, a kikoy or kanga in East Africa, shukas towel in Africa, and fouta is the term generally used in the Mediterranean region.
Due to the current prevalence of Turkish towels around the world, people often just refer to a peshtemal as a beach towel or travel towel.
HOW IS A TURKISH TOWEL PRODUCED?
Turkish towels are made using premium natural Turkish cotton that is farmed in Turkey’s eastern Black Sea and Aegean regions. The unique extra-long Turkish cotton fibers means that there are less joins which makes Turkish towels more durable and softer that regular cotton towels.
The cotton then undergoes the drying process to prepare the cotton to be woven into towels. Once the cotton is dry, it is then ready to tackle the weaving process that is carefully done by traditional Turkish weavers.
Throughout history Turkish towels have been produced using a traditional weaving process with handlooms. Nowadays due to the progress in technology, Turkish towels are also manufactured using machine looms, which assist efficiency and consistency factors of the production process.
WHERE TO USE A TURKISH TOWEL
Traditionally Turkish towels were used at the Turkish baths (hammams) in Anatolia. More recently, Turkish towels have been recognized as an amazingly versatile product suitable for a number or purposes. People often use Turkish towels at the beach, for gym and yoga classes, and to take traveling. They are also being used as blankets and for bed ware.
Turkish towels are currently becoming a trend and are being displayed in many beach cities in Australia and around the world. As the beautiful beaches in Turkey become more popular, people are discovering the practicality of the Turkish towel and bringing the towels home with them.
Turkish towels are preferred when traveling because they are more lightweight, compact and faster drying than ordinary cotton towels. They come in many different colours and styles that make them a trendy and fashionable accessory.
Turkish towels are similar to Egyptian towels but are better suited for the beach and travel purposes due to the lightweight and compact properties. They have the perfect balance between absorbency and softness which makes it the best cotton for use in towels.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF TURKISH TOWELS & BLENDS (COTTON, LINEN, BAMBOO)
Turkish cotton is grown and farmed in the Aegean, Southeastern Anatolian and East Mediterranean regions. Cotton yarns are then produced through the processing of the fibers, which are taken from the seed of the cotton cocoon.
Linen is a natural fiber and is obtained from cellulose fibers that grow inside the stalks of the flax plant – one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history. The highest quality flax plant is grown in Turkey’s western Black Sea and Marmara regions.
Bamboo plants grow in the East of Turkey and are known to have high moisture absorbency characteristics. Due to the dual layers of bamboo fabric, it absorbs moisture quickly and then lets it evaporate rapidly through its second channel which makes it a very effective material used in towels.