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Folded terry towels

A towel is a cloth for drying hands , body or objects. Terry towels are mostly used for the body, mostly made of cotton because of their absorbency .

The towels often have a sewn-on loop, with which they can be hung on hooks that are usually attached to walls or furniture surfaces. Bar-like towel rails that allow hanging along the middle and, thanks to the flat hanging, allow faster drying are also common .

Bath towel

Bath towel

The large bath towel (beach towel, sauna towel) is preferred for the beach , sauna or swimming pool . The usual shape of a beach towel is rectangular. Bath towels are available from a size of 100 × 150 cm, but the standard dimensions are approx. 180 cm × 100 cm. However, there are now also providers who offer round beach towels.

A special form of bathing or wellness towel represents the Pestemal ( Turkish peştamal , German  Hamamtuch ). The traditional Turkish cloth is usually in the oriental steam bath Hammām used. It is very light and very absorbent. The pestemal is usually made of cotton, linen or viscose . At the beginning of the bath it is given to the guest with a bar of soap and a hammam bowl (tas). The cloth is used as a loincloth by men; for women it is used as a wrap to cover their bodies.

Terry towel

A terry towel is generally understood to be a highly absorbent towel, usually woven from cotton, on the surface of which there are more or less dense soft loops or knobs. The word frottieren is derived from the French frotter , which means something like rub . Terrycloth differs from terry toweling in the way it is manufactured and the type of thread.

Paper towel

In heavily frequented and publicly accessible sanitary rooms, disposable paper towels are often used for reasons of hygiene. They are often offered in a towel dispenser . They belong to the group of single-use products .

Depending on how the towel dispenser works, paper towels with different formats and types of folds are used:

  • Layer folding: Large paper towels are individually folded in window folds. The folded towels then lie one on top of the other in the towel dispenser so that they do not protrude from the dispenser.
  • Zig-zag folding: The paper towels are folded in a Z-shape and lie inside one another like a chain. When a towel is pulled out of the towel dispenser, the next towel is automatically pulled out and is therefore ready for the next one. However, the cloths are smaller than with the layer fold.
  • Interfold fold: Interfold fold is a mixture of layer and zigzag folds. Several paper towels are placed one inside the other. Large cloths are automatically made available as with the zigzag fold.
  • Roll: With an endless paper roll, paper blanks can be removed individually or longer paper sections can be selected individually using a cutting device.


In boxing , every coach always has a towel ready to end the fight early by throwing it into the boxing ring . The fighter himself is often no longer able to break off on his own. In order to protect the health of his protégé, the towel is thrown as a clearly visible sign of giving up , which is also used as a phrase for giving up in general.


The pit cloth was a traditional utensil used by miners.

Towels as a breeding ground for pathogens

Wet wipes are a breeding ground for germs of all kinds; E. coli bacteria easily get onto the towel in the toilet , where they can multiply quickly in the presence of heat and moisture; their number then doubles every 20 minutes. Also, fungal spores and parasites (eg .: lice ) can change as from person to person. For reasons of hygiene , it is therefore recommended to use towel dispensers with disposable paper towels at work and wherever there are large numbers of people . Towel rolls with an automatic roll-up mechanism or hand dryers are also an alternative to communal towels.


In his four-volume trilogy in five books, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the writer Douglas Adams created a literary monument for the towel. There the towel is an indispensable utensil for every traveler through the worlds . To commemorate the author commits its fan base every May 25 to Handtuchtag , Eng .: Towel Day .

Web links

Commons : Towels  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Towel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Bath towels, bath towel for use in the bathroom | In: Retrieved August 18, 2016 .
  2. Pestemal | Hammam towel - Find out more about Pestemals. In: Pestemal || Hammam towel. Retrieved August 18, 2016 .
  3. Product knowledge. (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on August 18, 2016 ; accessed on August 18, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Duden | to towel | Spelling, meaning, definition, synonyms, origin. In: Retrieved August 18, 2016 .
  5. Hygiene guide. In:, accessed on August 18, 2016 .