The Turkish towel or pestemal (pronounced: Pesh -te-mahl), is a woven towel with centuries of history
Turkish towel is woven in a traditional wooden loom cotton or using linen cloth with warp threads screwed to ends. The history of the Turkish towels weaving goes back to the Middle Ages where folks used it as their main accessory whilst visiting the hammam, the Turkish steam bath.
You can find footprints of this fine piece of fabric spread across Turkish history. One wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the use of the Turkish towel at the court of Ottoman Sultan Süleyman in the 16th century was documented however the archaeologists also found scraps of Turkish towels in Catalhoyuk, a neolithic and chalcolithic proto-city going back to 7500 BC. Back in those days in Anatolia, men used the Turkish towel as a loincloth, and women wore it to cover their bodies with it.
A smaller version of the Turkish towel, the Peşkir (pronounced: Pesch-kir), was traditionally used as a towel or napkin to table or as a head towel.
Where is the Turkish towel made?
Historically, most of the Turkish towel weaving mills were located in Central Turkey, however the production is now mostly spread across particularly in the western parts of Turkey as well.
Where can I buy Turkish towels?
Turkish towels have been particularly popular in the recent years, with the emergence of online shopping. There are more than 10 online stores where you can find various Turkish towels or towels designed to look like Turkish towels.
A typical Turkish towel is usually a meter wide and about 1.80 meters long, making it ideal as a bath towel or a beach towel. Here is a list of typical characteristics of Turkish towels :
Turkish towels are very absorbent.
A Turkish towel dries quickly and is therefore easy to care and practical.
Pure cotton has antibacterial properties, in addition, Turkish towels dry so fast that bacteria has no chance.
- Easy to carry
Turkish towels are as light as a feather (depending on the design, they should weight between 100 and 400 grams), making them ideal for traveling
Turkish towels protect your wallet and the environment, since they take little space in your washing machine and your tumble dryer.
- Easy care
Since Turkish towels dry quickly, they are easier to maintain.
Original Turkish towels are mostly woven at family businesses and small factories where the warp threads are woven by women. As a result, many small businesses and individuals benefit from the purchase of a Turkish towel.
The Turkish towel is ideal as a shower, bath and a beach towel, but it can also be used as a decorational tablecloth and even as a scarf
A Turkish towel is a pure natural product and it usually consists of 100 percent cotton. There are also linen, silk or bamboo varieties.
Turkish towels are available today in countless variations, colors and patterns
Thanks to the emerging popularity of Turkish towels, many old weaving mills no only managed to operate, but have also managed to grow considerably. Millennia-old knowledge about the production of looms and weaving techniques are preserved and passed on to new generations.