5 Best Fabrics For Towels (Most Absorbent Fabric For Towels)

When you are creating towels at your sewing machine, it is best to work with the top of the line fabrics. That way you know you are turning out quality results and impressing family and friends with your talent. The key is identifying those top of the line fabrics.

The best fabrics to use for towels would be those made from natural fibers. Those natural fibers absorb more liquid mess than synthetic fibers do. The latter may last longer but they are not as good as cotton, linen, canvas, and other top natural fabrics.

To learn more about the best fabrics to use when making towels just continue to read our article. It has the facts, the information, and the guiding instructions to help you get the best towels ever.

What is Towel Fabric Called?

As long as the name has the term terry in it, you have the right fabric to make towels. There is terry cloth, terry cotton, terrycloth, and toweling. This are the names of the special fabric that is created for towels.

That fabric is made with loops allowing it to absorb lots of water or other liquids when a mess occurs. Those loops also work when you need to be dry quickly after a shower.

This special material can be woven or knitted and two special looms are used in the fabric ‘s creation. So you are ending up with the perfect fabric when you want to make towels for your home.

Are All Towels Terry Cloth?


A lot would depend on the type of towel you are making. Larger bath towels may be made from terry cloth but other smaller towels are made from cotton or linen. But even if you are making a bath towel you are not restricted to terry cloth only.

You can use bamboo cloth, rayon material, microfiber, polyester, and other fabrics to create the perfect towel for your family’s needs. There are also variations of cotton-like Turkish and Egyptian that work well for good towels. Organic cotton is another choice if those two cotton types are too expensive to purchase.

What Fabric are Towels Made Out Of?

Terry cloth seems to be the main fabric most towel makers turn to when they want to make towels for the consumer. But as we have just said, terry cloth is not the only fabric available.

While you can make towels out of polyester and other synthetic fibers, fabrics made from natural fibers are the best to use. They have more absorbing power and help clean up any mess very quickly.

The second choice may be a microfiber fabric as that material can be helpful in stopping triggering asthma and allergies. Made from synthetic materials it is still a good fabric that works hard in keeping you dry and your house clean.

Types of Fabric for Towels

The types of fabrics you can use to make good towels are many. Microfiber, cotton (its many varieties), linens, bamboo, rayon, and the list goes on, are all good fabrics you can turn to in order to achieve your objective.

But what is important in making a good towel, is the GSM ingredient. GSM stands for grams per square meter and the more grams per square meter the softer and the more absorbent. The more grams also make the towel feel heavier.

The scale goes from 300 to 900 with 400 to 620 being perfect for beach and bath towels. Luxury towels are between 620 and 900 GSM.

Linen Fabric for Towels


This is a good choice, especially for smaller towels like tea towels. The fabric is very absorbent as well as being very strong. Then this material is easy to take care of and clean. That takes one headache from you when you have to keep the towels clean.

Then linen comes in a variety of colors and designs so you can make your kitchen and other rooms where you hang your towels look better. The good news is that you can find good linen material at relatively inexpensive prices.

It is a fabric that can be found just about anywhere.

Cotton Fabric for Towels

Cotton is a go-to fabric for anything you want to make. Terry cloth is a form of cotton material and it is made to handle drying duties as well as clean up chores. That is the best thing about cotton. It comes in many different varieties so you can buy the towel material you want.

Also, you can get cotton in different thicknesses, colors, and designs so you can pamper your body without making your towels look like an eyesore. Cotton is also durable and easy to get clean so you are not adding to your cleaning duties when you make towels out of this fabric.

Bamboo Fabric for Towels

This is a rising fabric when it comes to popularity and flexibility. It is a great material to use when you are creating your unique towel set as the different bamboo shades give your towels a designer’s touch.

In addition, bamboo is very durable and soft. It is a fabric you would want next to your skin. Besides being fluffier and silkier than cotton, the material gets softer the more you use it.

On top of all that bamboo fabric tends to resists germs and fungus making it a healthier material to use for your towels.

Microfiber Fabric for Towels


This type of fabric for towels is relatively new when it comes to using it to make towels. It is made from polyester and polyamide, 80 20 respectively, as well as other fibers.

Generally, these towels are not as soft as the other options you can make and may be perfect for guest towels. The characteristics that make microfiber a good fabric to use for towels are they dry fast, clean easily, they are strong and very durable.

Another good aspect is that microfiber material is good at absorbing grease and oil. The drawback is that this fabric may create electric static shocks.

Is Microfiber the Same as Terry Cloth?

Even though they perform the same duty and may feel as soft as each other, the two materials are not the same. Terry cloth is made from natural fibers while microfiber fabric is made from synthetic fibers.

That difference may have the microfiber fabric last longer than the terry cloth material. Also, microfiber is known to expand as it absorbs making it ideal to use when you have lots of moisture to get rid of.

Terry cloth is no slouch either and can handle its own when in direct competition with microfiber made towels. Both clean up well as well.

What is the Difference Between Cotton and Terry Cloth?

There is little difference between cotton and terry cloth. The biggest and about the only difference is that terry cloth is made by using special looms and specially-designed loops to absorb more moisture.

Terry cloth is made almost 100% of the time form cotton. Sometimes it is made with polyester but cotton is the natural fiber that manufacturers like to use. The softness of cotton is a special element that makes terry cloth so popular and versatile.

Terry cloth is used for more than just towels for that very reason. Bathrobes are another product that specializes in using this fabric.

Most Absorbent Fabric for Towels


This is a good question as many different fabrics have high absorption rates. Cotton is one of the better ones and it s used in towels for that very reason. Then bamboo is good at absorbing liquids and competes with cotton as to which one is better.

Linen and microfiber materials are also great at absorbing liquids but the real factor in absorbing power comes from GSM. It is not so much the material used to make the towel but how great the GSM is. A towel with 300 to 400 GSM is not that great at absorbing anything.

To get good absorption rates you have got to use a material that is 400 GSM or higher.

Is a Flour Sack Towel the Same as a Tea Towel?

Yes, they are. In fact, the two terms are interchangeable and their use may depend on which region of the country you live in. But that is not the only name that is interchangeable with a tea towel.

Dishcloth is also another name for that towel category. The only difference that would change the use of these terms is the fabric the towels were made from. Tea towels are made from cotton and linen and dish towels are made from terry cloth or other fabrics.

The term flour sacks came into use during the Depression when ladies began to cut up and decorate cotton flour sacks to use as tea towels.

What Fabric are Tea Towels Made Of?

It is said that tea towels are made exclusively from linen and cotton. These are lightweight, easy to use, and clean materials that are designed to handle manual dish drying.

They are not made for heavy cleaning duties. The good aspect of these materials is that they come in different colors and designs to make sure you have the right look in your kitchen.

The name teapot came into use when these little towels were used in the 1700 hundreds in England to insulate teapots for different tea ceremonies. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines tea towels as a cloth made to dry dishes.

Fabric for Flour Sack Towels


The go-to fabric in this case is cotton. The fibers are woven in a diagonal pattern to boost the absorbing rate. Also, they are woven tighter together to make them a stronger more durable as well as heavy material.

The name flour sack towels came from the flour sacks that were made from cotton and often used during the depression when regular tea towels could not be found or afforded.

One drawback is that these towels may not come in a large variety of colors or designs. They are usually basic towels with basic solid colors. But their lint-free nature makes up for that drawback as does their ability to wash easily and dry quickly.

What Fabric is Best for Kitchen Towels?

Natural fibers are generally the best fabrics you can use to make a good kitchen towel. Linen and cotton are the main materials used as they are strong, lightweight, and easy to keep clean.

Bamboo is another good natural fabric to turn to when you want a more exotic look and feel in your kitchen. You can also go to microfiber as this material is very absorbent and used in commercial businesses over the previously mentioned options.

You can try other synthetic fabrics but generally, they are not known to absorb very well and do not feel as soft as the natural fabrics do. Terry cloth is another fine option to consider.

Absorbent Fabric for Dish Towels

There is a good selection of fabrics that will absorb very well when it comes to drying your dishes. Flour sack towels are made from 100% cotton so those are one of the better options you can use.

Linen is next as it is one of the most often used fabrics when making dish towels. It is not as good as terry cloth which is made from cotton. Then you have bamboo which brings its germ resistance to your kitchen and helps wipe away the germs and bacteria from your plates, etc.

Keep in mind that dish towels are basically the same as tea towels and flour sack towels. The fabrics are as interchangeable as the names are.

What Fabric is Best for Bath Towels?


Terry cloth stands out as one of the better materials to use. But you have a wide variety of cotton fabrics that will provide you with the GSM levels you need to really absorb the moisture and still feel nice and soft next to your skin.

Microfiber is the rare synthetic fabric that works really well when you want softness, durability, and absorption all rolled into one towel. Then you cannot forget bamboo another fine natural fiber that really absorbs moisture.

The fabric that is best for you is the one that meets your expectations for drying and surpasses them. You will find that quality in the top of the line materials like Egyptian cotton and other fine fabrics created to help keep you and your family nice and dry.

Fabric for Beach Towels

Like bath towels, it is not so much the fabric as it is the GSM rating of the beach towel. You have a fine selection of materials you can use to make a great beach towel from cotton, linen, bamboo, microfiber, and terry cloth.

The towel with a GSM rating of 400 and below is not going to be a good beach towel to use. In fact, it may feel like sandpaper rubbing against your body. What you want in a beach towel would be a fabric that has a 400 to 600 GSM rating no matter the fabric.

If you want to feel snobbish, then use a 600 to 900 GSM rated beach towel. Those are supposed to be pure luxury.

Fabric for Reusable Paper Towels

These are usually called unpaper towels and they can be made very easily and very quickly. Plus, there is a sew and the no-sew method you can try to see which reusable paper towel works best for you.

The fabrics needed come from old cotton dishtowels and flannel clothing. But you are free to use a variety of old fabrics that have a great absorption rate as well as being tough and durable.

Using fabric scraps is one way to lower your fabric waste from other sewing projects. Reusable paper towels are a great way to be environmentally friendly.

Best Fabric for Sports Towels


These are sometimes called cooling towels and that name just might be a marketing gimmick to get people to buy those towels. Sports towels can be made from a variety of fabrics and it will depend on your personal preference as to which one is the best.

You have terry cloth, microfiber, cotton, linen, and bamboo just to name a few good fabrics. Microfiber is always a top choice as it is soft and very sweat absorbent. A bamboo microfiber blend is also a very good fabric to use.

Some Final Words

Finding the right and best fabric for your towel collections is not that difficult. Besides the go-to fabric, terry cloth, you have some great fabric options to work with. It will be up to your personal preferences which one you use.

The fabric that you will use will depend on your budget, the health situation in your home as well as the purpose of those towels. Then the key will be found in the GSM factor, not the material alone.

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