Turkish baths, called hammams, can be traced back to the 7th century, and were influenced by Roman and Byzantine bathing traditions, which included towels for drying off. By the 17th century, Ottoman weavers began to apply their deft rug-weaving talent towards embellishing these functional textiles.
Long-staple siro-combed organic Turkish cotton is extremely soft, as well as GOTS and Oeko-Tex certified. It’s woven into a towel of a weighty 700 grams per square meter.
Designed to be mixed and matched, this collection features subtle stripes and a nod to art deco, with a palette of sun-baked terra cotta, sand, and sky.
The Weaving House
Our Istanbul office didn’t rest until they found the perfect partner. Our supplier even built their own facility to invest in high-quality yarn production.
Today, when you want a good-quality towel, you still head to Turkey, where the craft has continued to adapt to modern technologies, and producers continue to refine and innovate their techniques and materials.
When we began researching towel weaving, we were immersed in new terminology. Below, a cheat sheet.
GSM: grams per square meter, or g/m2
GSM is calculated by weighing a one meter by one meter square of the fabric in question, and it’s an agreed-upon standard in textile production. A higher GSM makes a towel thicker and more absorbent, but also takes longer to dry. We chose 700 GSM, which feels really good and spa-like, but isn’t so heavy that it’s perpetually damp. While there’s no “right number”, there are ranges that feel best: 500 to 800 generally is considered luxe.
Developed in the 1970s by textile scientist Dieter Plate and colleagues, Sirospun technology produces twisted double-strand yarn in a single step. Weaving long-staple fabric, like our towels, requires “twofold yarns”, or double-strand yarns, which are made by twisting together two “singles” yarns.
Why is this necessary? A singles yarn used alone risks snapping when on the loom, because of its unbound surface fibers. Twisting together two singles yarns binds each strand’s surface fibers into the structure of the twist, making it stronger. Sirospun technology combined the previously separate stages of first spinning and then doubling the yarns, producing sturdy, weaving-ready yarn in half the time.
What does this mean for you? Not only do they last longer, and cost less, but fabrics woven of siro-spun, or siro-combed, yarns have a smoother handle than those produced with traditional two-fold yarns.
GOTS: global organic textile standard
GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standard, was established in 2006 as a globally-accepted set of transparent, clearly-defined criteria for what classifies a textile as organic. It was dreamt up at a 2002 conference and ultimately founded by 4 organizations: Japan’s Organic Cotton Association, Germany’s Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft, the UK’s Soil Association, and the USA’s Organic Trade Association.
It remains the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, and is implemented via independent certification of a company’s entire supply chain, including ecological and social criteria. So if you’re GOTS-certified, you’re meeting a set of high standards when it comes to production, the environment, and your employees.
Cream is a classic and cool off-white, with pale taupe contrast details and stitching.
Sky is a balanced French blue with cream contrast details and stitching.
Rose is a soft, rosewater pink with coral contrast details and stitching.