Towel Trivia: Hair Drying Towel Fun Facts That Will Surprise and Delight You - Turbie Twist

Towel Trivia: Hair Drying Towel Fun Facts That Will Surprise and Delight You

The towel is such a common object, one wouldn't think it has a rich history. Check out these hair drying towel fun facts you probably didn't know.

towel trivia


Have you ever stopped to think about how mundane yet useful towels are? It’s such a commonplace item that it’s easy to forget how big of an impact it has on our lives. It’s absorbent, it’s soft, and there’s a type for almost every room in the house.

You also use towels on the beach, the office, and even when you go on a hiking trip miles away from home. It’s so useful that we thought you ought to know some hair drying towel fun facts.

We’re betting you’d never expect how big its industry is. A study on the global revenue on bath towels expects that the industry will be worth $15,900 million by 2025. Yep, that’s how much the industry for that fluffy piece of cotton is worth in the future.

That’s only one interesting fact about towels. If you want to know more about towel history and other fun facts, keep reading.

1. Towels Originated in 17th Century Turkey

Here’s a quick question: when were towels invented? If you didn’t know, the history of towels spans back to the 17th century. It’s safe to say the ancient Turks did.

Back then, people referred to a towel as a “petsamel." If you compared the pestamel to the modern towel, you’d see they’re both absorbent. However, the pestamel remained light even when it was wet. 

Also, the embroidery was very different. Hand-embroidered towels from the Ottoman Empire were flat and narrow. Ottoman weavers with extensive knowledge of carpet-weaving also placed elaborate designs on towels.

By the 18th century, the pestamel featured loops that stuck out from the material. People referred to these looped towels as “havly”. This later became the Turkish word for towel “havlu”, which means ‘with loops.'

2. Towels Were First Used for Ceremonial Baths

Long before we began to use microfiber towels to dry our hair, ancient Turks used them as ceremonial items. In ancient Turkey, people only used towels to dry a bride after her pre-nuptial bath. There were ancient Turkish bath sheets made for every part of her body.

However, the use of the towel began to spread to other rituals as well. For many ancient cultures, purification of the body and spirit is traditional. For the Turkish culture, this is the “Hammam” or the Turkish Bath.

It has similarities with the Scandinavian sauna yet it works more like the Greek and Roman baths. The traditional Turkish Bath uses constant heat and high humidity. Thus, the traditional towel needed to be absorbent yet light when it was wet.

3. Towels and the Rich

Given how hard it was to make towels by hand, they had to sell for a big price, too. At the time, only very few people could afford them. 

It wasn’t so much that they were exclusive to the rich. At the time, it wasn’t practical for the poor to buy them.

This all changed in the industrialization of the 1800s. Machines were making linens and towels at a much faster pace. Even the average person in the US could now afford a local product.

4. May 25th is National Towel Day

Here’s one of the most interesting hair drying towel fun facts: there is a real holiday dedicated to towels. It's the National Towel Day, celebrated every May 25th of every year. The inauguration of the occasion was in 2001.

Fans of the author Douglas Adams might observe or know of Towel Day. Towel Day stands as a tribute to Adams, which fans celebrate two weeks after his death on May 11. Douglas Adams is best known for his work The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

5. There Are Over 20 Types of Towels

You already know of the typical bath towel, beach towel, and the dedicated hair towel. You may even have a dog towel or fishing towel of your own already. We’ll skip talking about them and let you know of the more interesting types of towels you might not have heard of yet.

If you’ve been to Japan, you might notice people use a towel to clean their hands before they eat. They call this the “oshibori” or a wet towel. You’ll often see these in an izakaya.

If you don’t know much about golf, this is your chance to learn about the golf towel. You can tell from its name that you use it to dry hands, balls, and clubs. You’ll often find this towel attached to a golf bag.

6. Hotels Keep Track of Their Towels

You might know of someone who had joked about keeping the hotel towels. Who wouldn’t dream of having towels with such great quality as those hotels provide? You can get comfortable in them but be careful if you decide to put one in your luggage.

Some hotels embed RFID tags into their linens. This radio frequency identification (RFID) tech is washable. The first hotels to use it were those in New York City, Miami, and Honolulu.

Linen Technology Tracking created RFID tags to deter theft. A hotel in Honolulu said it reduced the number of towel thefts from 4,000 to 750 towels per month. The thing is that this number only applied to guests who used the pool.

It also helped hotels keep track of their linens in real-time. This way, they knew if they needed to order more. They placed RFID not only on towels but also on linens and plush bathrobes.

Yes, we know, hotel linens are the softest on the market. We won’t blame you if the thought crossed your mind. This is only a fair warning the next time you feel the temptation.

7. What’s In a Dirty Towel?

You’ve got 19 million skin cells and 650 sweat glands in your body. The top 20 layers of your skin are dead skin cells. Most of these get scrubbed off in the shower but many will wind up in your bath towel.

No matter how often you bathe, you should wash your towel after three uses. Between each use, your towels should be dry. If it remains damp in your bathroom, wash it after one use.

Dirty towels can hold and spread viruses, fungi, and bacteria. It’s worse if you have skin conditions or sensitive skin. Protect your skin by washing your towels often.

Learn More Hair Drying Towel Fun Facts!

Isn’t it amazing how hair drying towel fun facts can quickly change one’s perspective about something so mundane and common in your home? You might never look at a towel the same way again! 

But why end here? If you enjoyed this content, check out what we’ve got to say about cotton hair towels