The History of Bamboo Towels

A history of bamboo towels would not only be incomplete but relatively meaningless without explaining it in context of the contemporary towel’s history.

Towels are one of those everyday items few even give much thought. We use paper towels to absorb spills all the time. We use beach towels to protect us from the heated sand in the summer. Wash cloths are utilized to cleanse the skin on our faces daily. And we employ bathroom towels to dry us off after a nice hot shower sometimes twice a day. Without a doubt we take towels for granted.

But where do these indispensables tools of everyday life come from – what is their origin?

Although somewhat apocryphal (may or may not be true), the Turks, somewhere between the 17th (1600 A.D) and 18th century (1700 A.D), are credited with the creation of the modern towel.

History has it that Arab and Turkish brides of the old Ottoman Empire (where modern-day Turkey is today) would use these special cleansing cloths on their wedding day. The day of a wedding carries many distinct and novel traditions in a variety of cultures and societies. 18th century Turkish females would prepare for their day of union, amongst other measures, via a ceremonial bath. Part of the tradition was to use what we’d call "towels" during the execution of this rite. Other important societal events and rites of passage were marked with similar baths throughout the lives of Turkish as well as Arab men and women wherein distinct cleaning cloths were employed.

The well-known "Turkish bath" played a large role in the development of the modern day towel. Turkish baths required specialized soaking cloths for different parts of the body. Specialization and modification came into play as result which may have otherwise gone overlooked for many years. Moisture-absorbing cloths were created specifically for just the head, or the shoulders or the hips in Turkish bathing facilities. They best suited the contours of the human body and thus made for a more relaxing experience.

These bathing events were integral components of social, economic, and political fabric of many Arabs and Turks for hundreds of years until more recently.

Also, "Turkish baths," it should be noted, are a misnomer of sorts because they were created by Arabian cultures. Western social entities first picked up on this unique bathing technique from the Turkish, who has originally got it from Arabians. This is why they called them "Turkish baths."

The towel was never the same after the invention of the ḥammām (Turkish bath in Arabic). It become more widely utilized than ever before and it forms began diversifying.

Today’s towel, i.e., the one used all over the world not just in old Ottoman lands, was crafted in modern-day Bursa, Turkey. The Turks had been producing exceptional carpets for centuries. They thus brought their expert carpet-weaving skills to the towel. Beauty, design, and durability were added to what once was a simply practical and utilitarian necessity as a result. It is important to note that during this formative period in the history of towels, every single towel was stitched by human hand.

Since this time period, towels have mostly gone from hands to machines for their manufacturing (though costly hand-woven towels can be purchased). The level of increased efficiency and lowering of product overhead, which resulted from their industrialization, has made towels a reasonably affordable good. Colors, patterns, thickness, softness, and compositions abound.

Although exactly when the first bamboo towel was created is not quite clear, the environmental consciousness movement had its inception in the 1960s and 1970s. Some credit in large part Rachael Carson’s landmark book, Silent Spring, published in 1962, as the mother of today’s environmentalism.

Ever since this book was published, an ever-increasing amount of citizens of Earth and in particular, the developed world, have begun questioning the potential impacts human actions may have on ecological systems. This includes the natural implications of the creation of almost any product one might purchase, including towels.

As the science of climate change has made readily apparent the exigent nature of global warming, the responsible global citizen has become a vociferous eco-consumer. Bamboo towels were developed in line with this thinking and at around the time when such perspectives became socially accepted.

The bamboo towel is really the manifestation of the belief that people feel purchasing green goods is an investment in the species.

Have more questions? Send us an email at

More Information on Bamboo Towel

How To Care For Bamboo Towels

The History of Bamboo Towels

The Eco-Friendliness of Bamboo Towels

Shop for Bamboo Towels in Connecticut

PO Box 27740
Las Vegas, NV 89126
Visit Website
Viva Terra
P.O. Box 9330
Pueblo,CO 81008
Visit Website

Comments are closed.