With the right care, our Handwoven Organic Cotton Towels will serve you well for many years to come.
Teaching Your Towels to be Absorbent
Ecru organic cotton is unlike bleached or coloured cotton. Organic cotton in ecru is more raw than other forms of cotton and its colour comes from the natural colour of unbleached cotton. This natural, unporcessed cotton is not perfectly absorbent to begin with but the more it is used, the more absorbent it will become. You can speed up the ‘breaking-in’ process of unbleached organic cotton by soaking it, essentially teaching it to become absorbent more quickly.
*Your organic cotton towels may release a considerable amount of fluff in the beginning. You can speed up the process of ‘de-fluffing’ by running your towels through the dryer. While the dryer screen may be covered in fluff the first few times, this will subside with every run. The fluff will disappear even without a dryer though it may take a little longer.*
Breaking in unbleached organic cotton towels:
Before you use your organic cotton towels for the first time we would highly recommend soaking them as they will not absorb water the way they are meant to without this breaking in process.
- You will need to soak your organic cotton towels at least once, though we highly recommend soaking them 3 or 4 times to achieve their full absorbency.
- The first time, soak your towels in cold water for 24 hours before washing them in the washing machine following our washing instructions below.
- Make sure that the towel is completely saturated with water when soaking it. You may have to use your hands to squish the towel and really work the water into the fibres; by doing this the cotton will learn how to become absorbent more quickly.
- You can now begin to use your towels but remember that they will still not have reached their full absorbency potential.
- After the first use, and once you are ready to wash your towels, repeat the soaking process remembering to work the water into the towels again. Soak the towels in cold water for 24hours before washing them in the washing machine.
- Repeat this process a total of 3 to 4 times in order to reach your organic cotton towel’s full absorbency potential.
- Teaching your cotton how to be absorbent is not an exact science, it's a slow process that involves water, time and patience.
- You can use your towel in between soaks but note that it will become more and more absorbent with every soak. This traditional and slow process of taking the time to break hand-loomed organic cotton towels in is very different to what we are used to from processed cotton, factory-made towels. But it is worth it! It will result in a natural, luxurious towel that is extremely absorbent and incredibly soft. Your handwoven organic cotton towels will outlast factory-produced towels by years.
Everyday Care for Handwoven Organic Cotton Towels:
- You can wash your towels in the washing machine at 30-40 C
- Please do not use fabric softener and never use bleach as this will damage the fibres
- To get your towels super fluffy and soft you can dry them in the dryer on a cool-medium dry though we always recommend air drying for environmental reasons. Please do not over-dry cotton as this too can damage the fibres.
Dealing with Snags and Long Loops (for tasseled bath towels only, not applicable to waffle towels):
Should any loops hang long or get caught creating a snag, simply cut the longer loop off with sharp scissors to the length of the other loops. This will not damage the towel and will not have a detrimental impact on its longevity.
A Note on Softness:
We recommend that you do not use fabric softener on organic cotton towels. Fabric softener can build up over time creating a filmy layer over the natural organic cotton, actually making it stiffer and less soft.
While towels will be stiffer when they first come out of the wash they will quickly soften up after the first one or two uses becoming wonderfully, naturally soft.
To prevent the tassels on the organic cotton bath towels from drying stiff, give your towels (especially the tassels) a vigorous shake before hanging them up to dry to ensure the threads of the tassels are nicely separated.
There is no doubt that towels that are dried using a dryer are as soft and fluffy as they can be and far softer than when they are line-dried. However, for environmental reasons we recommend line-drying wherever possible and only using the dryer every now and again for special occasions such as when long-awaited guests and visitors come over to stay.
A Note on Longevity:
Many of our everyday hygiene products can cause textiles to wear and fray much faster than normal.
Things like deodorants and facial or body creams can sometimes contain chemicals that are not good for your textiles.
Please also note that chlorine from swimming pools will not only slowly bleach your towels but also make them wear much faster.
We recommend, where possible, to avoid the use of products with harsh chemicals alongside your organic cotton towels. Where this cannot be avoided, we recommend washing out the products from your towel as soon as possible.
Dealing with Spills and Stains:
Using harsh chemicals can damage natural fibres. A natural alternative is vinegar and baking soda. One teaspoon of each can be placed directly onto a stain and rubbed in gently before the towel is placed into the washing machine for washing.
Although spills and stains won't destroy your towels, they can make them look unsightly. Dealing with spills and stains quickly using the vinegar-baking soda method suggested above ensures that most stains will come out easily. However, please note that leaving the spill to set will dye the fibres making it very difficult to remove the stain later on.
A Note on Tassels:
The hand-knotted tassels are an integral part of traditional handwoven textiles and the tassels on our Handwoven Organic Cotton Towels are intentionally left on to honour and preserve this traditional finishing technique. With time and use tassels may come undone. When this happens simply tie them back together into a knot and pull the knot as tight as possible. To avoid tassels caching or snagging do not wash the towels with buttons, zippers, Velcro or strappy items.
If you are not used to tassels on your towel we would encourage you to give them a try! We recommend buying one of our small towels and living with it for a while. Our experience is that even if you are unsure about them at first, their beauty and uniqueness will grow on you after a while and you will start to look at your tassel-less towels as if they had something missing. They are the true sign of tradition handed down through generations and of artisanal handicraft.