ISO: a light/mid-weight, absorbent, cotton bath towel ...
March 21, 2021 12:48 PM   Subscribe

I have a cotton bath towel that was produced in the Netherlands by a company that appears to no longer exist (Seahorse-Meyerink).

After many washes, the towel is slightly scratchy and, in contrast to other lightweight/smoother towels, absorbs well enough that only one drying pass is required.

The pile structure (photo; stripe width is 1") is regular and reasonably dense. Pile height now measures slightly less than 1/8" and the pile threads are fairly thin. This characteristic along with some type of woven pattern (bonus points!) has been fairly difficult to locate/evaluate online.

In contrast to other heavier towels, this towel dries quickly and takes up less space when folded.

The towel now weighs 391g and measures around 26.25" by 52.75", translating to 437 gsm.

Does anyone have recommendations of towels that might meet the pile structure/absorbency/pure cotton/weight/folded size characteristics or search terms to use?

(The market seems to tilt towards heavier/plushier towels for quality, leaving fewer options for the light/mid-weight segment that are not based on price.)
posted by UrbietOrbi to Shopping (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Does it have to be cotton?

In the light-weight segment microfiber had basically taken over and they seem to be more absorbent than cotton of the same weight. They are often marketed as beach towels or camping towels, not bath towels, which is maybe why you're not finding them.
posted by kschang at 1:13 PM on March 21, 2021

Does it have to have a pile? I’m a convert to “Turkish towels.” They soften more with time. Dry extremely quickly. And they pick up water well. Otherwise, beach towels tend to have a lower pile and are thinner.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:32 PM on March 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

When I was traveling once I realized that I could use a cheap washcloth (not plush, probably something like this) to quickly and easily dry after a shower. It works perfectly, though the small size takes a few more seconds to cover everything. Have you tried Turkish towels like this?
posted by pinochiette at 1:33 PM on March 21, 2021

Please don't get microfibre, they shed microplastics into the water supply every time you wash them - especially bad with towels that are washed hot and often.

Cotton Turkish towels or beach towels do sound like what you want.
posted by stillnocturnal at 1:58 PM on March 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Netherlands represent!
Based on your description, I feel that the cotton-viscose mix towels that Ikea currently sells (such as KORNAN, FOSKÅN and KINNEN) may very well tick all your boxes. Kornan is 320 g/m², the other two are 500.

If you do prefer pure cotton, VIKFJÄRD comes in at 475 g/m² and seems to be very close to your old Seahorse.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:59 PM on March 21, 2021

I love the towels from these people.

They're light, they dry fast, they're crazy absorbent, and you can wrap them around your body and not feel like you're hiding beneath a paper towel. You can smoosh them into a backpack for a place to sit on a biking trip, and even in August, they'll dry within hours.

Was it the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy where 'bring a towel' came from?

These are the towels.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:59 PM on March 21, 2021

Seconding IKEA towels...we had two kids swimming twice a day most summers so low pile with good absorption was key, and they were inexpensive.
posted by childofTethys at 5:47 PM on March 21, 2021

Best answer: Seahorse, by the way, still exists. It seems they have just shortened their name.
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:39 AM on March 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

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