Most of us think that choosing a beach towel is easy. I mean, how hard can it be? It’s just a regular towel, right? So, what else is there to think about besides picking a colour that complements your bathing suit? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. There are many requirements a beach towel should meet, and if you choose the wrong one you can easily ruin a perfectly fun day at the beach.
So, what makes a good beach towel? Well, just as most fine wine comes from France, the perfect beach towels come mostly from Turkey. But what exactly sets Turkish beach towels apart from your regular bath towels? Well, the following properties certainly do.
When it comes to absorbency, a beach towel should be somewhere in the middle – just enough absorbent to dry you off properly without becoming soaking wet. After all, if the towel remains wet after you dry off with, it will attract sand and can make it uncomfortable to lay on. With that being said, Turkish towels are made from Turkish cotton that dries quicker than regular cotton, which is a big plus if you go in and out of the water frequently.
For most of us, comfort is a deciding factor whether we purchase a bath towel or a beach towel. And Turkish towels are a guarantee for comfort. While cheap towels made of synthetic materials can often feel like a bag of needles when you lay down on them, Turkish towels are famous for the softness. Also called Peshtemal or Mammam, these towels are made from 100% 500 GSM cotton, a premium material with extra long fibres. The longer fibres mean that there are fewer joins, resulting in a super smooth and fluffy fabric.
With the many things that you need for a comfortable day at the beach (sunscreen, water, food, mosquito repellent, umbrella, etc), the last thing you want is a heavy towel to weigh you down. Luckily, Turkish towels are known for being very light due to their unique weave. In fact, they weigh around a third of what a regular towel does. So, when making your way to the beach, you’ll be thankful for your towel being as lightweight as it is practical.
As they are exposed to the harsh UV rays and abrasive sand, beach towels need to be more durable than standard bath towels. And durability was what bath-goers during the Byzantine Empire also wanted from their towels. In fact, the Turkish towels we know and love today originated way back in the Byzantine empire, where their purpose was to resist the extremely hot temperatures in Roman bathouses. And today, Turkish towels are still one of the most durable towels, known to retain their fresh colours even after years of use and exposure to the sun.