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How to choose the right Turkish towel?


Image via @Allisajacobs

What is a Turkish towel?

Turkish towels, also known as pestemal, hammam or fouta towels, are flat woven towels traditionally used in Turkish baths. They’re soft, absorbent, dry very quickly and are ultra compact, making them a great alternative to terry cloth towels. With many different choices and price points, it can be hard to choose the right towel. In this blog post, we’re sharing the 4 most important tips you need before buying a Turkish towel.


Choose 100% ring spun cotton as they are the softest and most durable. The colors may not be shiny but don't make this confuse you - polyester or mercerized cotton will have a sheen but they won't be as soft and absorbent as unmercerized cotton yarns. 


Towel weight is an important sign of good quality. The higher the weight the better the quality. We don’t recommend Turkish towels that weigh less than 11 oz. Get 11 oz or higher for ultra softness and absorbency.


Did you know that you’ll lose around 4 inches of your towel after the first wash? Shrinkage is caused by the tension applied to the threads during construction. Once they’re washed, the tension is released causing it to shrink to its natural size. Choose towels that are pre-washed to get the most out of your towel.

Which Turkish towel is right for you?

Turkish towels are very versatile and can be used in many different ways. You can easily use the same towel for the bath and the beach, a cover up, or for travel - as they're lightweight and easily fit in a carry-on bag. However, Turkish towels come in different weave patterns, which may limit the use of your Turkish towel slightly. We recommend our Sahara, SahelDiamond, and Herringbone towels for the bathroom as they're made to feel soft and luxurious. For the beach and bath, we recommend our Basic, ResortReef, Saltwater, Waffle, Kilim, and Maghreb towels. These towels have a balanced weave which makes them extremely durable and sand-resistant. 

Turkish Towels for the Bath

Turkish Towels Blog Image by haus.of.kerrImage via @haus.of.kerr

Sahara Towel

Sahara towel is the softest towel we have ever made. It is ultra soft and gentle to touch thanks to its loose luxury weave. At 14.5 oz, this towel is a great choice for the bathroom. Its natural texture and elegant look would make it your favorite towel. It is finished with hand-tied and un-dyed natural cotton tassels. 

Sahel Towel

Our Sahel towel has a sophisticated look of the diamond weave and is finished with hand tied un-dyed natural cotton tassels. It feels soft and gentle to touch. It's a great choice for the bathroom. It weighs 14.5 oz as well.

Diamond Towel

This towel features a looser traditional diamond weave, and feels soft and gentle to touch. Our Diamond towel is finished with hand tied and un-dyed natural cotton tassels. At 14.5 oz the towel is also a great choice for the bathroom. It also comes in hand towel size and a blanket size.

Herringbone Towel

With its minimalist look of the chevron weave, our Herringbone towel is also another great choice for the bathroom. It features a looser herringbone weave, which makes it ultra soft and gentle to touch. It is finished with hand tied and un-dyed natural cotton tassels like the other towels from this collection. The towel weighs 14.50 oz. It also comes in a hand size and a blanket size.

Although we recommend the towels above for the bath, they can also be used for the beach, as well as a throw blanket. 

Navy Diamond Turkish towel used as a throw blog image

Image via @saltsistermoms

Turkish Towels for the Beach and Bath 

Basic Towel

Woven in the tradition of fine Turkish towels, Basic towel is hands down our best seller. It features a traditional stripe design, and it is finished with white hand-tied tassels. The towel comes pre-washed and pre-shrunk. It has a balanced weave, which makes it durable, yet it's still soft to touch. The towel is ultra absorbent and quick drying. It is also "sand resistant", making it perfect for those summer trips to the beach. The towel weighs 13.2 oz like the other towels in this section. Basic towel also comes in a hand size and a blanket size.

Saltwater Towel

We designed the Saltwater towel with elegant stripes and white hand-tied tassels. The towel has a balanced weave and feels exactly like our Basic towel, and has all the features of the Basic towel. It comes pre-washed and pre-shrunk. The towel weighs 13.2 oz.

Reef Towel

Another minimalistic design we carry is our Reef towel. It has black, white, and gray stripes. The towel is finished with white tassels, and it is pre-washed and pre-shrunk. It weighs 13.2 oz and comes in a hand towel size as well. 


Reef Turkish hand towel hanging in the bathroom

 Image via @cottageandsea

Resort Towel

Our Resort towel features a traditional design with thin stripes. It is finished with white hand-tied tassels. The towel comes pre-washed and pre-shrunk to ensure maximum softness and to maintain its original size. It weighs 13.2 oz.

Maghreb Towel

Inspired by North African textiles, our Maghreb towel is a multipurpose towel you can take everywhere. It features a unique design with a reverse side. The towel is soft and absorbent; it can be used as a towel, a blanket or as a light shawl. The towel comes pre-washed and pre-shrunk, and weighs 14.5 oz.

Kilim Towel

Kilim towel is designed with Anatolian motifs and feels exactly like our Maghreb towel. It is a double weave towel featuring a geometric design with a reverse side. The towel is soft and absorbent. It comes pre-washed and pre-shrunk, and weighs 14.5 oz.

kilim turkish towel hanging on a ladder blog image

Image via @xomyhome

Why you should choose The Longest Thread?

We are a small business and take pride in our quality products. We only use 100% premium unmercerized ring-spun Turkish cotton, and  certified dyes. We test all of our products and use them daily to ensure that our towels and blankets are meeting our quality standards.

Comments (2)

  • The Longest Thread on October 28, 2020

    Hey Amanda, mercerization is a textile finishing treatment (sodium hydroxide and caustic soda) for cotton, which improves dye uptake and tear strength for thinner yarns like 20/1. It’s not harmful and gets washed away after a couple of washes but it reduces the softness and absorbency of cotton. Instead of mercerized cotton, we prefer using stronger yarns (20/2) made of unmercerized cotton in order to achieve maximum softness and absorbency.

  • Amanda on October 28, 2020

    This was so helpful! Just a quick question: what is the difference between mercerized and unmercerized cotton? Thanks!

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