The humble cotton woven towel is oft ignored by many as it doesn’t represent the fluffy images of fluffy fluffed up towels that we imagine bath towels to be! Tufted towels are shown as the ultimate luxury plush item in a bathroom. Egyptian Pima cotton, organic extra fine super combed varieties… they look and feel absolutely amazing no doubt. So till about 15 years ago, I did have fluffy tufted towels. Growing up we had both tufted and woven towels. Woven towels came from Manipur and the tufted ones were bought from the local market where brands like Bombay Dyeing, Raymond and Mafatlal were considered the best in towels. I’m sure there were plenty of local brands too but I don’t recollect their names sadly.
All was fine in my fluffy world till I started reusing woven towels as they were less bulky to stuff in a suitcase where so many other things were vying for attention and a solo traveler looking for employment could only handle that much luggage. Once I was got a job, I did go and buy myself the nicest fluffy towel I could afford. All was still well in my fluffy world, that is, till I actually used it. Little pieces of fluff stuck to me like making me resemble a shedding Polar bear! Its the humidity I thought. Yes it definitely was…after all such an expensive towel wouldn’t shed itself on me. The humidity of a city like Pune is worth exploring only for a month or two during the monsoons after which its as rare as the abominable snowman himself! And then came the washing. I hand washed it for first few times as living single and on a limited budget meant no washing machine which was all good. On one of my weekends over at a relatives’ place, she said just put it along with the other towels in the washing machine and I happily obliged as that meant no arm wrestling match with a towel that had become too heavy to handle with all the soaked in water. What happened next wasn’t too amusing for when the wash was through, the towels came out all looking snug but the towels had shed themselves on each other. The washing machine’s filter looked like some furry animal was residing in it. I began questioning the existence of fluffy towels since then. Also when they were dried out crisp after more than a day of hanging out, there would be tiny pieces of lint and fluff in the air when I’d fold it.
After a couple of tufted towels more, I gave up and started using woven towels again. I’m glad I did for its been a boon for me. Woven cotton towels are so much easier to use and maintain in any weather. They are far less bulky, absorbent and easy to dry too making it a perfect companion for all holidays. Its been more than 15 years now that I’ve not gone back to tufted towels as I believe they aren’t for me. I couldn’t handle the fluff!