You've likely seen Turkish towels at the beach or in a spa, but do you know what they're used for? It turns out that these beautiful, colorful towels have a longer history than most people realize. To learn more about their origins and uses, keep reading!
What is a Turkish towel?
A Turkish towel is a large, thick cotton towel with a pile texture. It’s called “towel” because you can use it as one, to dry off after swimming or bathing. But in Turkey, and some other countries, they are used as bed sheets or blankets instead of traditional bedding like sheets and blankets (which makes them an interesting alternative for people who prefer more natural materials).
Turkish towels come in a variety of sizes — small enough for the beach but big enough for your home — so there’s something for everyone.
They were originally used as a sarong.
The history of the Turkish towel is actually quite interesting, and goes back to ancient times. In those days, people would wrap their bodies in towels before going to the hammam (a traditional Turkish bath). These towels were used to soak up water from the hammam floor after they had been cleaned with soap and water. They would then dry off with this same towel before wrapping it around themselves again for modesty reasons while bathing or lounging on the beach after a day at sea.
It wasn't until later that people started using these towels just like we do today: draped over our shoulders when hitting up brunch after hitting up yoga class (yup, another thing we have in common).
They were first made by the Seljuks.
The Seljuk Turks, a nomadic tribe that lived in the 10th century and whose skill in weaving was renowned throughout the empire, used their skills to make clothing for themselves. As their crafts spread across the empire and into other cultures, they came up with a way to make towels out of cotton that would dry more quickly than linen towels.
This particular type of towel came into existence in Turkey during this time period by accident. When someone accidentally left their loom out in the sun too long (which happens frequently), they discovered that it dried quickly without needing any special treatment or preparation on their part! This discovery led them not only towards creating these Turkish towels but also all other types of cloths made from cotton—and thus changed how we think about how we clothe ourselves today.
They were used for hammam beach days.
Hammam beach days were all about the hammam towels. In fact, there's a reason why you should know what the Turkish towel was originally used for: it's because hammam is another word for bath, and you can use it in conversations as much as you like.
The hammam beach days were a time when people would go to the beach, take off their clothes and lay out on towels (the ones made out of hammam material) so that they could catch some rays and have fun with friends. The tradition started in Turkey around 1700 CE but has spread across Europe ever since then!
They were used as scarves.
The Turkish towel is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment. It was originally used as a scarf, and has since evolved into being used as a towel and blanket, even continuing to keep you warm on cold days. The idea behind it is that it can be wrapped around your neck, covering up only one side of your face so that you can see where you’re going but also stay warm. This means that the whole thing will still be in place when you get there!
A Turkish towel is perfect for the beach or picnic because it’s lightweight but quite large; this means you can use it to cover up yourself and lay on the sand without getting hot at all!
Turkish towels are actually really versatile and can be used in many ways!
Turkish towels are so versatile that they can be used for so many different things. They were originally used to wrap around people's bodies, but now they can be used as a beach towel, sarong, scarf, blanket, tablecloth and picnic blanket! You're probably wondering how you can use a Turkish towel in your home. Here are some ideas:
- Throw pillow (for your bed or couch)
- Table runner (to protect the surface of your table)
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what the Turkish towel was used for. There are so many great things about these towels! They are super useful, easy to carry around and also very comfortable. You can use them as a scarf or even just as an extra layer of clothing during those cold winter months. Everyone needs an extra blanket nowadays!