Terry Cloth: Characteristics and Uses

Terry cloth is a woven fabric consisting of a warp pile weave and a smooth body surface. The pile provides more friction than the smooth body surface, making the fabric an excellent cloth for scrubbing surfaces and removing stains from clothing.

There’s a wide variety of fabrics that are used in the production of terry cloth, but typically it is made from cotton, cotton/polyester, or polyester/polyester blends. 

Terry cloth is a sought-after fabric because of its ability to be many customized and adapted to suit any clothing choice. All of which enhances the fabric’s overall uniqueness. 

What is Terry Cloth?

Terry Cloth Fabric
Terry Cloth

Terry cloth is mostly used in the production of towels and bathrobes. Because the fabric’s thread loops are continuously stitched together, terry cloth is especially fluffy, absorbent, and delicate.

It has an increased surface area, which probably explains why it has a high absorption capacity.

The appearance and texture of terry cloth are greatly influenced by the density and the height of the fabric pile. You could say that the density of the pile increases as its softness increases. This fact adds to the richness of this fabric. 

Terry cloth is pretty thin and has a light and airy feel. That’s why it’s a popular choice for baby bibs, bath towels, and other household items.

Terry cloth can be made of silk, linen, or even synthetic fibers, although cotton is the most commonly used material.

How is Terry cloth made?

Terrycloth is woven with different kinds of fabrics such as silk, linen, polyester, and a number of other man-made fibers, as well as blends of these and other materials. They are produced using looms with two longitudinal warp beams. 

To create terry cloth materials, the foundation fabric is first produced by the ground warp, and the pile warp produces the uncut loop piles that rest on top of the foundation fabric.

One weft thread and two warp threads are used in the weaving process to create the pattern on the fabric. The initial warp thread uses a flat weaving technique and a lot of strain to build the fabric’s framework.

The loop warp thread is woven on top of the backing with little stress, giving the terry cloth a curly, fluffy appearance.

These woven fabrics are split in half by a machine with a cutting blade that constantly moves after the dyeing is complete. 

You may hem the clipped edges to stop the threads from coming off. 

Later, the woven fabric is colored after it has finished weaving on the loom. Many towels are placed on top of one another and strung together in a row during the weaving process.

A brief history of Terry cloth

Terry cloth originated in the 1840s from the french word “tirer,” and is used to describe the hand-pulled piling loops that were used in traditional Turkish toweling.

According to studies conducted by the Manchester Textile Institute, the original terry cloth was most likely the result of poor weaving in Turkey, most likely in Bursa City, which was then a traditional textile center.

Samuel Holt became the first person to weave cotton terry cloth successfully. He did this in 1848 and in 1850, the industrial variant was produced by Henry Christy in England. 

Terry cloth became pretty popular and eventually became the favorite of many celebrities. Celebrities like Rihanna, Paris Hilton, and Jennifer Lopez are some examples of individuals that don these terry cloth designer clothing and accessories.

Eventually, its appeal is expected to increase over the years. 

Types of Terry Cloth

Terry cloth comes in different types and forms which may be produced depending on the type of material and its intended usage. Some of these fabrics include. 

  • Velour terry cloth

You’ll probably not see this in your local grocery store as this type of terry cloth is not very popular compared to other types like french terry cloth.

Although the fabric’s texture is quite comparable to that of the french terry cloth. 

Velour terry cloth is both flat and smooth on one side and a lot more velvety on the other side. It also has got numerous little loops. You can find the fabric in blankets, and upholstery. 

  • Terry Towel

Terry towel is probably the most popular sort of terry cloth available on the market.

The fabric is frequently used to create towels and other items that resemble towels because of how well it absorbs and holds water. So you’ll probably find them in bathtubs, gyms, spas, and the likes. 

This absorbent feature is due to the fact its loops are longer than those of other types.

  • French Terry Cloth

French terry cloth is mostly utilized in a variety of utility wear such as sweatpants, sweatshirts, and a number of other accessories. This is also due to its absorbent and soft texture. 

French terry cloth quite differs from terry towel in that it only has the longer fabric loops on one side of the fabric while the other side is pretty smooth and flat.

What’s the average cost of Terry cloth by the yard?

When it comes to purchasing terry cloth, there are a lot of different aspects to think about, such as your budget and the kind of project you are working on.

That’s if you want to ensure that your terry cloth purchase gives you the maximum value for the money you spend.

That’s why when shopping for terry cloth, you should give equal consideration to its quality, how much it costs, and how long it will last. 

Many types of terry cloth typically come as plain, solid-colored fabrics of weight somewhere between medium and heavy, and in a much broader variety of colors. 

The quality of the cotton that is used in the manufacturing of terry cloth also plays a significant role in determining the price of terry cloth. It’s probably why the fabric may not be too expensive unlike when the fabric is a mix of two materials. 

Measuring terry cloth by the yard, it costs around $15 to $25 for about 45 inches of terry cloth. 

Terry Cloth Usage And Applications

Terry cloth is an absorbent fabric made of cotton that features loops all over the surface of the fabric. You can say that towels are one of its more common applications, but they may be used for a wide variety of other functions as well.

  • Baby towels and clothing

Because of its cozy and supple nature, terry cloth is an excellent choice for the manufacture of baby accessories and garments, such as bibs, socks, and blankets. That’s why it’s recommended for mothers to keep their babies cool and feeling dry. 

  • Beach towels 

Beach towels are a very popular application of terry cloth. These towels are often the terry towel type and can also be used in spas and bathrooms.

Towels like this are often woven from two-ply colored yarns, which result in intricate patterns and vibrant colors in the finished product.

  • It’s also used in making mops

Even the many different kinds of mops that can be purchased with replaceable heads can have covers made out of terry cloth. 

Velcro can also be used to make a mop cover that can be fastened to the mop handle.

  • Wash towels

People frequently use terry towels to exfoliate their skin because the towels are very soft and absorbent. And it’s not just faces, wash towels are used to dry both the hand too. 

That’s why they’re a very essential part of beauty treatment procedures. 

  • It’s used for kitchen accessories

As a result of terry cloth’s tendency to be quite durable, the fabric is very suitable for use in the kitchen for applications such as hand towels, potholders, and hand mittens. 

  • It’s used in footwear

Terry cloth can now be incorporated into different types of footwear and can be fashioned into a variety of footwear styles including paddings for different sorts of footwear.

The fact that they are not only comfortable but also exceptionally long-lasting makes them an ideal material for the construction of flip-flops, sandals, and other types. 

Terry Cloth Care and Maintenance Tips

Terry cloth like every piece of clothing requires proper care to stay unique and retain its soft and durable features. You may follow some of these tips outlined below. 

  • It’s very important to adhere to your terry towel manufacturer’s care instructions to prevent any wrongful method of care for the fabric. 
  • Before usage of terry cloth, you should make sure your hands are clean to avoid any stains on the fabric.
  • Always wash your terry cloth towels before using them, just like you would any sheets or even clothing.
  • You can tumble-dry your terry cloth in high-temperature dryer settings. The fabric can go to such extremes without experiencing any problems. 

You may also air-dry the cloth since it’s produced with cotton. 

  • To wash terry cloth, I’ll strongly advise that you shouldn’t use fabric softeners. If they are used on your terry clothing, they may develop a sticky coating that may be challenging to remove.
  • You may add vinegar to improve the fabric’s scent, remove any residue during wash, and increase its absorbency.
  • Some manufacturers may allow the use of bleach on terry cloth. You can apply it on white towel sets. However, you shouldn’t overuse it. 

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