When people are out looking for bath towels, hand towels, washcloths, kitchen towels, and even sheets for their bed they are inundated with thousands of options. Size, color, shape, fabric, and texture just to name a few. Everyone wants a good towel for an affordable price but there are other factors involved. A few of these factors for today’s modern, eco-friendly shopper are absorbency, softness, and sustainability. With the eco-impact thought process, sustainability is at the forefront of many minds in choosing the right fabrics for our families. Turkish Cotton and Organic Cotton towels are being hailed as the best eco-friendly option and here are a few differences in each so you can find the right eco-friendly towels for you and your family.
Turkish Cotton comes from a specific area in Turkey, the Aegean Region and is 100% Organic. All cotton grown in this region is considered “Turkish” and meets all requirements to be called Organic Turkish Cotton. Locals have been growing cotton here for centuries and the rich soil allows for growth each year. Turkish cotton is a long fiber which means fewer joins while making the thread. These fewer joins mean the fibers are stronger and softer than regular cotton. Actually, these threads become softer and more absorbent with each additional washing.
Turkish Cotton towels have been used since Roman times in public bathhouses due to its resilience and absorbency, not to mention the abundance of the material used to create them. These towels have been hand-woven by locals for centuries and have been used in more and more items than ever before.
The Turkish Cotton threads are tightly woven usually in a flat weave style which creates a lightweight, versatile, and elegant cloth which is then made into all types of options from your bathroom to your kitchen and from throws to beach towels. These towels are very thin due to the long fibers and tight weaving techniques however, as you wash and use them you will see a dramatic increase in absorbency and softness while they retain their original look. As a plus, they are thin so they air dry very quickly.
When dyed using local, organically sourced dyes, the towels can become an accoutrement for any room in the home and can add a bit of elegance and softness. Turkish Cotton can come in a variety of colors and can be woven into intricate colorful designs for any taste.
Certified Organic Cotton towels are made from organically grown cotton. This cotton can be grown anywhere in the world as long as it meets the basic standards of no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides in the growth process.
Once harvested the long fibers of Organic Cotton are woven into long threads creating the base textile for use in everyday items from towels and washcloths to robes and beach towels just like the Turkish Cotton.
The long fibers, like in the Turkish Cotton above make the towels soft and absorbent. The main difference is that the weaving process creates a thicker, plusher look than the Turkish towel. These fabrics start out as naturally absorbent but will get more absorbent they are washed, similar to the Turkish Cotton.
The look of an Organic Cotton towel would make it seem to be softer and feel better against your skin than other types of textiles but is really is on par with Pima, Egyptian, and Turkish Cotton, especially after a few washes.
Although Organic Cotton is considered a premium textile and comes with the associated costs, the pros will definitely outweigh the con of price. Organic Cotton is grown using less water, no synthetic pesticides, and no synthetic fertilizers. This creates an all-natural, long fiber to be used in all types of textiles including clothing and especially Organic Cotton sheets. You can find Organic Cotton grown in places from the US to Tanzania to Kyrgyzstan with over 40% grown in Turkey.
Having used both of these types of towels in my own home I will give you my overall opinion of each. This is a personal opinion so please choose for yourself which one is best for you.
Turkish Cotton is soft and feels great against the skin after a shower. They might not look it but as you wash and use them, they get even softer! Turkish Cotton towels air dry very fast and will not get a “musty” odor after use. The Turkish Cotton has a wider variety of colors and designs than Traditional Organic Cotton towels and make coordinating rather easy, especially during different seasons.
Traditional Organic Cotton towels are also very soft. (For those with VERY sensitive skin these might be the way to go until you wash your Turkish Towels a few times) These towels are generally thicker and will take a little longer to air dry. If they are left in a moist environment for too long you may get a “musty” smell after a couple days because they haven’t fully dried out. Having said that, they are super absorbent and come in a variety of colors (usually solids) to make coordinating rather easy.
So, Turkish Cotton or Organic Cotton? Which is better? Really it is up to you. I recommend trying some of each and see what works best for you.
The Lather & The Wick
Soap and Candle Company