Kienbaum (1978) described various production techniques, construction, and patterning range of terry towels. According to him, a variety of methods can be employed to manufacture terry towels, of which weaving, knitting, sew knitting and needle pile methods are important. Each of these methods gives fabric a different range of functional properties for use and care on the one hand and aesthetic appearance on the other.

Out of the above-mentioned techniques of terry towel manufacturing, weaving and knitting are used in major way. During the 20th century, a lot of developments in technology of terry towel looms have taken place with the main focus on to enhance productivity, operating speeds, quality, etc. for which work of some prominent loom manufacturers such as Vamatex, Saurer, Dornier, Nuore Pignone, etc., is worth mentioning. Various mechanisms of pile formation are microprocessor controlled, therefore, a high level of accuracy in accomplishment of operations is altogether achieved in the looms of present generation. Despite, the microprocessors are used in a big way in today�s terry looms for controlling almost all the weaving operations, the basic principle of loop formation is still remain same as being invented at early stage.


Generally terry towels are used as bathing towels where its main function is to absorb water during the course of wiping of the wet body. It is therefore fibres that have greater ability to absorb water as well as have softer feel are preferably used in manufacturing of terry towels. The two fibres that have quality matching with the requirements of towels are cotton and linen. Linen has a rather harsher feel but it may not be a disadvantage in certain cases. The price of linen is also a barrier. Viscose staple yarn are also used as it possess adequate moisture absorption capacity but its ability to resist frequent laundering is poor as compared to cotton. It is therefore the bulk of towels are manufactured from cotton.


Among various parameters of yarn, linear density, twist per inch and packing density play a significant role in achieving desired quality of terry towels. Higher packing density of yarn resists absorbing more quantity of water due to availability of lesser space to retain water. Swani et al (1984) conducted a study on functional properties of terry towels produced by using the ring and the OE yarn in pile warp. Swani et al (1984) observed that there was no difference in water absorption rate in towels made out of OE yarn and ring yarn but the maximum absorption of water for OE towels was better than that of ring towels. Mukhopadhyay et al (1996, 1998) prepared a bi-component yarn by blending water-soluble PVA staple fibre with cotton fibre and used this yarn in pile warp for producing terry towels. After completion of mechanical processing of weaving, towels being prepared by using bi-component yarn were treated in boiling water to dissolve the water-soluble PVA component of yarn. As a result of dissolving of PVA fibres, the remnant yarn was more bulky, which lead to lower packing density of fibre in yarn.

Mukhopadhyay et al (1996, 1998) observed that the towels made out of bi-component yarn were better in terms of various functional properties as compared to the towels of ordinary ring spun yarn. Ishtiaque (1986a, 1986b) conducted study on effect of spinning process variables on distribution of fibres in cross section of ring spun yarn as well as rotor spun yarn. Ishtiaque (1986a, 1986b) in his study observed that the packing density of fibres in ring yarn increases with the increase of twist. Various researchers observed that the towels manufactured with the low twist yarn in pile warp have better functional properties in terms of softness and water absorbency (Mukhopadhyay et al 1996, 1998).