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European Traditions in Linens and Housewares

Our discoveries along the byways of France and Beyond


French Bath Linens

We are pleased to offer a new line of  bath linens by Garnier Thiebaut. 

Garnier Thiebaut Towels

French produced bath linens in a wide range of colors by Garnier-Thiebaut offer a complete range of  luxurious 100% cotton towels and bath mats using the finest Turkish toweling, famous for its density and feel. 

 I have been asked what difference there is among different quality levels of toweling.  After all, it all absorbs moisture and that is all that counts, right?  Well, yes, it does but the question is how well and for how long?  What happens when a towel is used and washed and dried multiple times? 

What happens to the color?  And upon giving some thought to the economics of the whole thing, how much more frequently are the inexpensive towels replaced than the more expensive?  Is it really a saving to buy on the cheap?  So what is the story on bath toweling?

Start with the basics of fibers and weave.  There are two kinds of fibers currently being used for bath toweling; cotton and bamboo.  Cotton of course comes from the cotton plant but there are many kinds of cotton plants.  The best for fabric use have the longest fibers.  That is important for having thread that is not only strong but also smooth; the longer the fiber the fewer little tiny ends sticking out of the thread to make it feel rough and to minimize the amount of lint the fabric sheds in use.  It also helps to have those fibers sufficiently combed for the same reason; keep those annoying ends from sticking out.  Bamboo also can be processed for its fiber and because the fiber tends to be long the thread can be silkier in feel.

The spinning of the thread is also important because the spinning process can lead to more or less silk like feel and strength.  The higher quality threads are double spun.  That is, there is a first spinning of the fiber to make a slim thread and then a second spinning of two or more slim threads to produce a thicker, firmer, smoother thread.  This is what helps the finished product have a silky and somewhat shiny feel and appearance.

After the thread has been spun, the weaving process proceeds.  As a general rule the more threads in a square foot of material the better for most uses.  It produces stronger and smoother fabrics.  This holds true for terry cloth fabrics also; however, the quantity of thread is reflected in weight measure per square yard rather than thread count.  This is because of the loops which are woven into the terry cloth fabric. This gives an indication of the density of the loops in the fabric.   Density is important for two reasons.  First, the more dense the loops the less likely they are to snag on something and then get pulled from the fabric.  Second, the density of the loops adds to the absorbency of the fabric.  And finally, the density gives a more comfortable feel to the toweling when in use.   The length of the loops helps to add absorbency as well as comfort.  For the most part however, personal preference plays the most important role in making a choice of the length of the loops in toweling.  My personal preference is for a short to medium loop simply for the added stimulation it gives to my skin.  Toweling density is sometimes shown in grams per square meter.  Similar to thread count in bed linens, the higher the weight per square meter, the higher the quality and absorbency

The final consideration when buying toweling of course is the color and design.  Again, the higher the quality of the product the more likely the dyes used will hold in the fabric and not fade or run onto other fabrics in the wash.  The rest is personal choice. 

See our bath linens here

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