As soon as summer starts getting nearer and nearer, most people start worrying about their bodies, vacation plans, reservations, money, and so on, and so on. As the planned holiday gets nearer, however, other worries start taking over – what to pack, how to make sure you don’t forget something, how much sunscreen to get, etc. What about the beach towel though?
Well, as it’s the middle of the summer already, your holiday plans are probably all set. So let’s focus on this little matter which might turn out to be more important than you think.
First of all – the size. With beach towels, one rule always applies – the bigger the better. No, don’t say you don’t want to carry a huge towel – you are most likely staying somewhere close to the beach so the long walk won’t be actually that long. Just imagine having a fun conversation with your friends and casually turning over from your front to your back. Because you chose a small towel, you find your sunscreen-covered back on the hot sand. Bigger is better, isn’t it?
The next important matter is the fabric of the towel, or its weight to be precise. That should be easy enough to feel in the store – a beach towel should not be a thin layer of fabric, but have a thick, blanket-like feel to it. Keep in mind that the thicker the towel is, the better it will be at absorbing moisture. Thinner towels usually get wet all over extremely quickly while doing virtually nothing to dry you off.
Next comes the design of the towel and this is where it gets quite tricky. The safest choice you can make is a woven towel, i.e. a towel that doesn’t have an intricate design or picture printed onto it, but rather has the coloured elements woven into it. These towels are generally referred to as Jacquard and are of great quality because their colours don’t fade and they are heavier. The trouble is that the designs are quite simplistic – most commonly stripes.
If you do want a fun or pretty print to stand out with, however, you need to get prepared to do some reading. There are two ways to make a printed towel – screenprinting or using fiber reactive dyes. Screenprinting is the same technique used to make T-shirts and all similar items. Screenprinted towels’ colours fade extremely quickly, not to mention you could get everything in the washing machine change its colour. One day you have a magnificent tiger prowling in the tall grass and the next you have a memory of a tiger plus a whole bunch of brown pieces of clothing.
What you want to do to avoid that is read the labels or ask the sales people for towels made with fiber reactive dyes. Through a chemical reaction with the fabric of the towel itself, these dyes get into the towel and stay there for a very, very long time.
As you (most likely) get only one chance for seaside fun per year, you want to make sure nothing ruins it. So spend a couple of hours considering the towels – they are just as important as everything else.