Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Consumer

Some tips on buying and caring for towels

Towel haven't changed much over the years, with bath and hand towels and face cloths being the staples in most linen closets. But there have been advances in technology. "More and more towels today have some sort of special feature," says Matt Moses, vice president at Revman International, a home textiles company. "Some are made to be safe to use so they won't stain when taking off makeup or acne medicine. Some people prefer towels that dry faster not only when you dry your hair or body, but in the dryer itself." The Washington Post

What's new

Colorfastness: Brands such as Wal-Mart's Mainstays True Colors are designed not to bleed or fade.

More fibers: Modal, a natural fiber made of cellulose, can be mixed with cotton to produce soft towels. Bamboo is eco-friendly and has a velvety feel.

Stain resistance: Models including L.L. Bean's Ultra-Absorbent Cotton Towels are made to resist bleached-out stains caused by substances such as benzoyl peroxide.

Care tips

Wash before use: Launder new towels before using them to remove lint.

Skip additives: Don't use fabric softener or dryer sheets. They reduce absorbency.

Don't overheat: Use the low or medium setting on the dryer. High heat tends to weaken fibers over time.

Add vinegar: Occasionally add a cup of distilled white vinegar to a load of towels to improve absorbency and remove musty smells.

The lowdown

We asked Julian Tomchin, who has been a senior vice president for home products at both Macy's and Bloomingdale's, what his choices would be for anyone in the market for good-quality towels. Here are his picks.

Pottery Barn Classic towels: Plush, combed cotton towels are known for loft and absorbency. 12 colors. Bath towel dimensions: 28 by 55 inches. 820 grams per square meter. Made in Turkey. $24 at Pottery Barn.

Restoration Hardware Turkish towels: Known for strength, durability and absorbency. 29 colors. Bath towel dimensions: 30 by 56 inches. 802 grams per square meter. Made in Turkey. $28 at Restoration Hardware.

Natori solid towels: Long-staple cotton known for softness and absorbency. 12 colors. Bath towel dimensions: 30 by 58 inches. 775 grams per square meter. Made in China. $34.99 at www.natori.com.

Shop smart

1. Some manufacturers provide the gram weight per square meter of their towels. Generally, greater weight is said to increase absorption capacity.

2. Measure how much room you have to hang towels beneath towel bars in your bathroom. Some manufacturers have added inches to the length of their towels to make them more luxurious. Bath sheets are more popular than ever, but they need a lot of storage room and also take a long time to dry.

3. Consider adding a monogram. David Gill, senior editor at HFN, a home furnishings trade publication, says monograms add a touch of personalization, "which appeals to some people who don't just want a solid-color towel." Monograms can be done in bold colors on white towels to add interest.

By the numbers

$1.7 billion: Total annual towel sales in the United States

Top-selling towel colors

1. White

2. Blue

3. Gray

3: Number of bath towels owned per person in an average American household.

Source: Home Textiles Today 2010 survey; Warren Shoulberg/Home Textiles Today; Revman International

Comments
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
Go retro this week at Artpool’s Gatsby Gala and the Antiquarian Book Fair

Go retro this week at Artpool’s Gatsby Gala and the Antiquarian Book Fair

RIP-ROARING: ARTPOOL'S GATSBY GALAArtpool gallery has been showcasing local art and funky fashion in St. Pete for 10 years now, and to celebrate, they're having a 1920s-themed Gatsby Gala on Saturday. So break out the fringe and feathers and practice...
Published: 04/19/18
We critique the best and worst brands of sparkling water

We critique the best and worst brands of sparkling water

Sparkling water, much like when you shake it before opening, has exploded in the United States the past few years. The fervor for fizzy water has soft echoes of the meteoric rise of bottled water during the early 2000s, just with more pastels perfect...
Published: 04/18/18
Updated: 04/20/18
5 things to do under $5: Taste of Science talks, free ‘Field of Dreams’ screening

5 things to do under $5: Taste of Science talks, free ‘Field of Dreams’ screening

1 Field of Dreams: Kick off baseball season with Tampa Bay Rays mascots and a movie that makes every baseball fan cry. Raymond and DJ Kitty will be at Tampa Theatre for photos and you can join in a Take Me Out to the Ballpark sing-along on the Mighty...
Published: 04/18/18
How much water do I need? Plus, other H20 facts

How much water do I need? Plus, other H20 facts

Okay, really, how much water do we need? The Mayo Clinic says there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this because of differences in exercise, environment, overall health and factors like pregnancy or breast-feeding. The National Academies of Science...
Published: 04/18/18
Meet an artist while you shop Dunedin, a new makers market and USF’s plant festival

Meet an artist while you shop Dunedin, a new makers market and USF’s plant festival

Shop and Stroll: Dunedin's Second FridayTo call downtown Dunedin charming is an understatement. The shops and galleries offer such a wide range of unique items, it's great that they have a monthly event where they stay open later and have special hap...
Published: 04/12/18
5 things to do under $5: Showcase of community bands, Beer and Burger Throwdown, Eco Fest, Friday Concerts in the Park

5 things to do under $5: Showcase of community bands, Beer and Burger Throwdown, Eco Fest, Friday Concerts in the Park

1 Beer and Burger Throwdown: This dog-friendly festival in Safety Harbor on Saturday with free local craft brew samplings will have 40 burger options from local restaurants and food trucks. Includes live entertainment and music, a dog park, pet suppl...
Published: 04/12/18
Disco Dolls Studio debuts a fresh collection, Belle of the Ball gives prom dresses

Disco Dolls Studio debuts a fresh collection, Belle of the Ball gives prom dresses

FRESH COLLECTION: GARDEN OF HESPERIDESThe creative women of Tampa's Disco Dolls Studio have been busy designing a new clothing collection, which they'll launch Friday with their Garden of Hesperides interactive fashion installation. Brief Greek mytho...
Updated one month ago
5 things to do under $5: Unhappy Hour, Springfest, Sunlit Festival

5 things to do under $5: Unhappy Hour, Springfest, Sunlit Festival

1 Springfest Garden Art and Faerie Festival: Gulfport’s Clymer Park transforms adorably this weekend into a mystical "enchanted village," inhabited by roaming costumed faeries, sprites, gnomes, ogres and trolls, gypsies, wizards, minstrels and other ...
Updated one month ago
Universal offers buy one, get one free deal on Halloween Horror Nights

Universal offers buy one, get one free deal on Halloween Horror Nights

Universal has gotten an extra early jump on Halloween season, announcing the dates for 2018’s Halloween Horror Nights as well as a limited-time ticket deal of $77.99 that gets you into the scare zones on a second night for free. The theme park will o...
Updated one month ago