Towel Construction Vs Fabric: What’s the Difference?

Stack of towels

When purchasing towels for commercial or personal use, it is important to consider all of the options available and to weigh up the pros and cons of each option, in order to make the best decision.

This post will highlight two of the most crucial aspects to consider – the towel construction and the fabric used.

Towel construction

Towel construction refers to the way the towel fibres are woven or looped together. There are a variety of different techniques that manufacturers use, including:

  • Zero-twist – untwisted woven cotton
  • Combed – cotton that has been combed before being weaved, to remove unwanted short threads and debris
  • Ringspun – twisting long threads and short threads together
  • Terry Cloth – the loops are large and visible as opposed to small and hidden
  • Waffle Weave – fibres are woven in a waffle or honeycomb style (hence the name)

Different construction methods will yield different results in durability, softness and absorbency.

Towel fabric

Towels are usually made from one of the following materials:

  • Cotton – harvested from the plant, spun and then woven into thread. Egyptian and Turkish are popular choices, due to thickness and a soft feel.
  • Linen – harvested flax stems that undergo fibre separation, breaking, combing, spinning, reeling and drying.
  • Bamboo – made from cellulose from bamboo plants that is extracted, soaked and then spun into yarn.
  • Modal – made by harvesting the cellulose from beech trees and spinning it into yarn.
  • Synthetic materials – usually polyester or nylon that is broken down into microfibres and woven together.

So why is it important to consider these two aspects when buying towels?

As mentioned earlier, different construction methods, combined with different fabrics, will result in a variety of options, each with their own pros and cons to consider. These are explained further below.


Cotton towels are thick, and therefore highly absorbent. However, they can also retain moisture and take a long time to dry, thus leaving them at risk of getting mould and mildew if they aren’t thoroughly dried out. Towels constructed using the waffle weave method also have this issue. Microfibre towels are just as absorbent, but dry quicker.


Egyptian and Turkish cotton are high-quality but expensive fabrics. If cost is an issue, a cheaper option could be Pima, which offers the same luxurious feel at an affordable price.

Longevity & Sustainability

Cotton and Modal towels last longer and are more durable than other towels, which is ideal if multiple usage is likely – such as in hotels and spas. Linen, Bamboo and Modal towels are also more environmentally friendly, and the latter two also have antimicrobial properties, which helps to prevent mould.

Related Reading: How do Hotels Keep Towels So White & Soft?

Intended customer base

Customers looking to buy for businesses like spas and hotels are better off buying Ringspun Egyptian or Turkish cotton, as it is more luxurious. Those buying for leisure or sports purposes would be better off buying microfibre towels, as they’re extremely absorbent, quick dry, and easy to store.

Find the right towels for you at Homefords

At Homefords, we recognise the quality and versatility that cotton has to offer. That’s why we stock wholesale towels made from 100% cotton for businesses across the UK. Choose from 500gsm and 640gsm depending on your requirements or preference, then enjoy bulk discounts and fast delivery.

Find the right towel range for you now! Check out our guide to buying towels for all the information you need to make a great purchase.

Order your wholesale towels from Homefords

Wide Range: Wide variety of sizes, colours and weights to choose from.

Low Minimum Order: Low minimum order of just £100.

Free Delivery: Free delivery to mainland UK on all orders over £100.

Ultima Collection - 640g Soft and Full Towel Range in White

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