Towel Care

10 Things to ensure your towels stay perfect for years to come.

Overview

Thick, luxuriant towels are the key to bathroom bliss and Glodina, as South Africa's market leader in quality toweling products, intends ensuring that yours remain easy to launder and lovely to hold. There is far more to buying beautiful towels than simply putting them in a shopping basket. Just 10 things can make sure that you not only buy the perfect towel for your bathing needs, but also keep it that way for years to come.

1. Weight

Towels come in various weights and you should choose those suited to your particular needs. If you are looking for sheer luxury, go for the heavier products that have more cotton per square metre. Lighter towels are easier to wash and quicker to dry and are particularly suitable for children and use on the beach or around the pool.

2. Finish

Don't compromise here. Look closely at the borders and hems. Choose towels that have been hemmed using strong straight stitching that matches the colour of the towel. Also, double stitched side hems make towels more durable and guarantee best performance. Don't be put off by intricate designs and embroidered patterns. You can treat embroidered towels as you would any other towel as the thread used can withstand all that the towel can.

3. Snagging

If you do get a snag, simply snip the snagged loop off with a pair of sharp scissors. However, prevention is best so, when handling towels, make sure that nails or rings cannot hook the pile loops, ensure that washing machines and tumble driers do not have any sharp attachments, ensure that drying lines are in good condition and that your towels cannot blow on to sharp objects while drying.

4. Shrinking

Although pure cotton does shrink slightly, Glodina uses the best technology and latest research to ensure that shrinking and distortion are kept to a minimum. Glodina allows for approximately 8 percent shrinkage after the first wash. A terminal shrinkage allowance of 11 percent is permissible after five washes.

5. Washing

Be as fussy about washing your towels as you are about selecting them. Stick to the basics - use a quality washing powder and make sure that the quantities used are correct and carefully measured. Remember that the majority of washing powders contain optical brightening agents which do a great job of keeping whites looking white but leave colours looking dull. So, try to use a washing powder that doesn't contain these or wash coloured towels separately. To avoid wear and tear during washing, avoid increased loading, longer cycles, stronger agitation, stronger detergents, higher temperatures and bleaches. Wash towels at 60 degrees C as, at this temperature, most bacteria are eliminated. 60 degrees is the optimum washing temperature and higher temperatures will damage the cotton thus reducing the life-span of the towel. Also, the use of chemicals other than standard commercial washing powders may also damage the towel and should be avoided.

6. Absorbency

Few people realize that fabric softeners are not recommended for towels as they can reduce the absorbency or even make towels water repellant! Softeners leave a fine coating on fibres that reduces absorbency and increases the risk of pulled threads. Softeners are best used only when towels have become a little harsh. If you feel you have to use a fabric softener, use it sparingly and stick to the manufacturer's minimum dosing instructions. Please note new towels should always be washed before use to remove the excess fabric softener remaining from the dying process.

7. Colour

Unfortunately, no technology exists to ensure that fabrics are 100 percent colourfast. Although Glodina uses the best possible dyes, a small amount of un-fixed dye remains in the fabric. This excess dye should be eliminated during the initial washes without the original colour fading. Deeper and brighter coloured articles should be washed separately in warm water and thoroughly rinsed to remove remaining detergent. White towels may be brightened by using a little chlorine bleach. Coloured towels must never be bleached as this changes dyestuffs and leads to discolouration.

8. Drying

Tumble drying is best. Tumble dry towels at a reduced temperature not exceeding 60 degrees C that delivers a soft, fluffy towel. However, don't do this for too long as cross borders can pull in. Steer clear of over loading, longer cycles than necessary, rapid drying, higher temperatures and over drying. If you do prefer to line dry towels, don't leave them in the sun too long as this might fade colours and make the towel harsh (air drying in the shade is preferable ). Make sure that a towel's weight is evenly distributed over the clothing line to reduce the possibility of it becoming distorted.

9. Stains

enerally, stain removal products sold in most supermarkets should do the trick. Remember to act as soon as the stain occurs and try to remove as much of the stain as possible before it is absorbed, dries or sets either by gently scraping with a blunt knife or absorbing with paper, talcum powder etc. Work inwards from the edges of the stain towards the centre. Do not use salt, rub or spread the stain into the fabric. Wash as soon afterwards as possible to remove excess solvent. Most importantly of all, remember that prevention is far better than cure so don't use your best towels when you've just finished painting or gardening or when you are dyeing your hair!

10. Storage

Store your soft luxuriant towels in a well-aired linen cupboard or, better still, show them off in your bathroom, rolled up or folded on a shelf or rack. Keep cupboards smelling fresh and pest free. Make sure your towels are dry when you put them away (mildew grows in damp cotton causing holes and deterioration) and, when in use, make sure you hang up wet towels or even put them on the line or tumble dry them before returning them to the rails. Rotate your stocks for longer wear and store your newly laundered articles at the bottom of the pile. Add a scented soap or potpourri bag to your linen cupboard to keep them fragrantly fresh.