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A Towel is a piece absorbent cloth or paper used for drying or wiping a surface. They are usually made from paper or fabric and the larger ones can be wrapped around one's body around the waist or torso just below the armpits to be worn like a sarong as well as to be used as a headwrap. In households, several types of towels are used, such as hand towels, bath towels, and kitchen towels. Paper towels are provided in commercial or office bathrooms via a dispenser for users to dry their hands.

History[]

The invention of the towel is commonly associated with the city of Bursa, Turkey, in the 17th century. These Turkish towels began as a flat, woven piece of cotton or linen called a peshtamal, often handembroidered. Peshtamel were used in Turkish bathy as they stayed light when wet and were very absorbent.

As the Ottoman Empire grew, so did the use of the towel. Weavers were asked to embroider more elaborate designs, aided by their knowledge of carpetweaving. By the 18th century, towels began to feature loops sticking up from the pile of the material. These looped towels became known as havly; over time, this word has changed to havlu, the Turkish word for towel, and means "with loops".

Towels did not become affordable until the 19th century, with the cotton trade and industrialization. With mechanization, cotton terry-towelling became available by the yard as well as being stocked in shops as pre-made towels. Today, towels come in a variety of sizes, materials and designs.

Gallery[]

Trivia[]

  • While sarongs are purpose-built for doing so, it is not uncommon for women to wrap a towel around their waist in a skirt-like fashion while wearing a Swimsuit.
  • In nudist resorts, it's mandatory for practitioners to carry a towel for them to sit on any dry surfaces as it's considered hygienic.



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