Specialty Fibers, Weaves and Finishes Rev Up Towels

Michele SanFilippo, October 31, 2005

New York — Innovation and new fibers were key at the recent market for towel producers, with many rolling out intros that cater to wellness or function with specialty fibers, finishes and weaving techniques.

This market, Welspun USA introduced five fiber combinations in towels with unique properties. Silvershine blends a touch of silver with fine combed cotton to retain a soft hand while providing the anti-bacterial properties of silver. Haiku Plus combines HygroCotton, bamboo and silver for anti-bacterial properties. HygroCotton SoyaCot, as well as plain cotton SoyaCot with soy fiber for absorbency and hand, are supposed to have anti-oxidant attributes. The new Rejuvenate towel offers a blend of seaweed and cotton, while the HygroSpa towel with HygroCotton, which has thermal properties, features a variable pile height cuff in seven colors. Lastly, towels blending milk fiber and cotton to be named Cotton Latte are also on the way.

Welspun also introduced 27-by-54-inch jacquards in various constructions. Otaku features velvelette with soft, raised pile set against a striped ground. Garden Shear incorporates mélange yarns. There are also two types of reversible designs: an organic version with palm leaves in Flip and a graphic geometric in the ombre-striped Handkerchief Plaid. In Split Seersucker, there's a color-blocked terry body. Color coordinating with jacquards are two 30-by-58 solid color introductions: the HygroCotton towel with a variable pile height cuff and a towel with slub-textured yarns and narrow borders.

Springs unveiled three towels in eco-friendly constructions: Sofine, Papolis and SeaCell. Sofine uses nanotechnology, extra long staple cotton and an adapted ring-spun system. The Papolis towel in cotton and rayon leaves a light layer of moisturizer on the skin as it is infused with squaline. SeaCell is constructed of cotton and seaweed-infused Lyocell.

Meanwhile, Bardwil Linens took inspiration from Lenox tabletop and collectibles with its Lenox-branded Mansfield Crest towel, offering a combo of 10 percent porcelain fiber, 20 percent bamboo and 70 percent low-twist cotton. The towel has a jacquard design. The result is a soft towel with the feel of cashmere. It comes in white mantle and pearl essence with ebony embroidery for $19.99.

In Bardwil's Lenox Wavelengths collection, the company introduced embellished towels with a twist: removable hems that can be Velcro-ed on and off for laundering. Dressmaker details of fabric, ribbon and buttons are used to embellish the hems while bodies feature 100 percent Emperor's Cotton yarns. Suggested retail for the 30-by-54 towel is $39.99.

The Lenox Classic Edition jacquard was also added to the Lenox Platinum collection to retail for $19.99 on a 30-by-54 bath towel. The body of the contemporary Classic Edition features 100 percent natural elements yarns with a 70/30 blend of zero-twist cotton and bamboo. The design provides a linen/cotton cuff with sheared cotton. The reverse has a positive/negative effect. It comes in pearl essence and pebblestone.

Loftex USA rolled out its Lana collection of wool, bamboo and cotton towels in a 10/40/50 mix designed to be breathable, quick drying and absorbent. Twill decorative bands in a criss-cross lattice design finish the towel, which comes in seven colors and retails for $24.99. Also new is a Bleachable solid-color towel in eight pastels and mid tones for $14.99.

Santens America rolled out its Cotton Bamboo program to the American market with a solid color towel in a 35/65 blend that features a bamboo-inspired dobby for $14.99 bath in seven colors. Newness in jacquards included expansion of the Go West program of Southwestern-inspired looks with Navaho Stripe in plums and teal; Gypsy, a solid towel with blanket stitching in the jacquard border in plum or teal; and Western Ombre in teals/browns and plums. There's also a collection of towels mimicking the look of denim with mingled yarns and jeans stitching on the hem. Denim towels are $9.99 in indigo, stonewash, black and natural.

Dohler USA introduced a new weaving technique to its line of spa and hotel towels called the 2-in-1 fabric. The new construction is designed to withstand heavy and continuous washings. This novelty technique is made of 100 percent cotton and combines two fabrics — waffle and loop terry — which are woven together.

WestPoint Home also introduced a new innovation in towel weaving with a six-pick construction for $7.99. While Venus Home added a triple-ply bath towel collection to its line with its Ambiance 30-by-56 bath towels in 16 solid colors for $14.99.

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