Buy quality towels. Cheap, poorly finished towels will not wash or wear well, increasing the possibility of the towel shrinking or leaking colour dye.
Choose a 100 per cent cotton towel. There are different cottons available, with different qualities. Combed cotton removes small fibres to reduce shredding. Supima cotton is a long-lasting, silk-like yarn, while Egyptian cotton has extra-long threads, which allows for more moisture-absorbing loops per inch.
Grams per square metre (GSM) indicates the weight of the towel. For the beach or sports bag, look for low GSM (300-400), as this is usually a lighter, thinner towel. If choosing a bathroom or guest towel, opt for high GSM (450-600), which is thicker and heavier - consequently, its capacity for absorbency will also be greater.
Wash the towel before its first use, not only for hygiene purposes but also because the towel absorbency will be optimised.
Finally, you should always follow the instructions on the label. However, if it's a quality cotton towel, wash at 60°C, with a little mild detergent, but avoid using fabric softener. This coats the yarns of the towel and decreases its absorbency.
Robert Lancaster-Gaye, managing director of Best Bed Linen
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