When shopping for a new towel, most people are first attracted to a certain color that they feel works well with their home décor or personal style. While that color is what commonly brings people over from one end of the store to the other, it is typically their assessment of the towel’s softness that determines if they ultimately make the purchase or not. This softness is what we in the towel industry refer to as the product’s “hand.” Most customers admit that they love a towel with a soft hand, and though this leaning seems perfectly logical to most, it may actually be a poor way of determining which towel to buy.
The true function of a towel is to absorb water/moisture from one’s body after a bath, shower or swim. This is achieved by the towel’s woven cotton loops trapping the water they come in contact with. As such, the longer and deeper the loops are, the more absorbent the towel is. It’s possible that a towel with a soft hand achieves this feeling through small or even shaved down loops, giving it a velvet-y feel, but at the cost of absorbency. Buyer beware: when buying a towel, make sure that the soft hand you love comes from the manufacturer using only the highest quality cotton and not from short or shaved down loops that sacrifice absorbency for softness. Of course, the only way to be truly sure your towel is richly absorbent and uses the highest quality cotton is to make sure you see the Loftex Loop on the label.