Terry Cloth Fabric
Terry Cloth Fabric
Terry cloth fabric, also known as toweling fabric, terrycloth, terry or terry toweling, is a type of fabric usually made from cotton. This fabric is best known for its absorbency and softness. Terry cloth fabric is able to absorb significant amounts of water and for this reason is commonly used to make bathrobes and towels. It is also used to make the reusable type of baby diapers, also known as nappies. Other items made from this fabric include sporting gear (sweatbands, jackets), soft toys such as teddy bears, gloves, slippers, bed linen, blankets and cloth rags.
Terry cloth fabric gets its absorbent and soft quality from how it is woven. The terry cloth is woven on a specialized floor loom called a dobby loom. The weaving results in uncut loops which create a soft pile on one or both sides of the fabric. The length of the uncut loops determines the absorbency of the fabric with longer uncut loops resulting in higher absorbency.
The terry cloth fabric can also be knitted by hand. This is no longer a very popular method for creating this type of fabric as it is very time consuming.
It is important to take good care of any items made of terry cloth fabric. The fabric becomes ragged and torn if proper care is not taken. If one of the uncut loops gets caught in something, it can become torn along with several other loops. Because of this, it is quite common for the fabric to become worn and threadbare in certain places. To prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to rotate the fabric for more even wears.
When washing items made of terry cloth fabric, you should always follow the care instructions on the garment label. Generally, items should be machine washed in warm water with a liquid detergent. Colored items should not be bleached or soaked as the dye may bleed. You should spin dry or line dry. You should not use a fabric softener as this makes the terry cloth less absorbent and increases linting of the cloth.
Do not mix terry cloth fabric with other items of clothing that have zippers or hooks as these may pull some of the uncut loops. Should any the loops get pulled, you should simply cut them off with a pair of scissors. Pulling the threads will cause more damage.
Even though terry cloth fabric is mainly made of cotton (because cotton is absorbent and soft), polyester is now being combined with the cotton. Other fibers that are also used to make terry cloth fabric are linen and bamboo. Microfiber, a synthetic fabric, is now sometimes used as an alternative to terry cloth.