Luxury Linens for the BED, BATH and TABLE

December 7, 2022

Fine Bath Linens Terminology

A person spends an average of around 30 minutes – 1 hour a day in the bathroom, which adds up to almost an entire year in their lifetime! If you ask us, it only makes sense to invest in the highest-quality products to make your time in the bathroom as enjoyable  – and even as indulgent – as possible.  Luxurious bath linens provide the ultimate pampering touch, transforming your run-of-the-mill tasks into a ritual to which you look forward. 

Liz Barbatelli shares her expert bath linens terminology and recommendations for finding the right linens that will stand up to everyday use while preserving a luxurious, high-end look and feel. From lush, terry cloth towels to soft, tufted bath rugs, the right linens can turn any ordinary bathroom into a sanctuary of comfort and style.

Terry or Terry Cloth

Terry cloth is a high-quality, woven fabric that is often used for bath linens and clothing. Traditionally, terry cloth is looped using two warp beams with one weft to create continuous looped threads to increase absorbency and maintain a velvety, soft feel. 

A traditional looped terry cloth towel is looped on both sides.

The length (and looseness) of the loops determines how much liquid is absorbed by the cloth.  Some terry cloths are woven with extra long loops, making them extremely absorbent while staying soft to the touch. 

Terry Velour

Terry velour is a soft, medium-weight fabric with distinguishable loops on one side and smooth, satin terry on the other side made from thousands of tiny loops, giving it a pebbled feel. Terry velour has a very velvety feel on one side and looped terry on the other side.  Velour means velvet and was developed in Lyon, France many years ago.  It is primarily used in upholstery, blankets, and some clothing items. Terry velour is durable, soft, and highly absorbent, which makes it useful for virtually all your bath linen needs. 

French Terry 

French terry is a soft, medium-weight fabric made from thousands of tiny loops making a thin but absorbant fabric.  This breathable yet durable style of terrycloth is often used for sweatshirts and summer clothing. French terry is easy to care for, does not wrinkle easily, and dries very quickly making it a lower-maintenance fabric.

Low- and Zero-Twist Terry Towels

Zero-twist terry towels are made using a different, unique weaving method. Instead of twisting the cotton outward like a common twisted towel, the fabric is looped through the towel base. These linens are perfect for those with sensitive skin because this method creates a smooth texture rather than a hard, stubby bristle. Zero-twist towels require long-staple cotton, which allows for maximum absorbency and sheds less than a twisted towel. 

Cotton Waffle

A waffle weave is a squared, three-dimensional pattern, for a honeycomb look that is easily washable and extraordinarily durable. Waffle weaves can be less moisture-wicking, which may make them less absorbent depending on the loop. 

Towel Finishing

Salvage Edge

This is the most common form of finishing for terrycloth towels.  A salvage edge is a tightly woven edge on two long sides and hemmed to keep the towel from unraveling and fraying.  The short end traditional has a decorative dobby border design.

Today, you can find a variety of edge styles on bath linens. Some have braided or knotted designs, while others can be crocheted or fringed. The purposeful beauty in these unique details can truly enhance your bath spaces so that they are both functional and alluring.

Piped Edge

The way to finish a high-quality towel is by piping the edges on four sides. Usually the selvage edge is cut off the towel, then it is sewn with a safety stitch to keep the towel from fraying and then the colored cotton binding is applied.  This extends the quality of the product for a longer period of time and gives it a more finished look. 

This style of towel is made from towel yardage and are cut, sewn, and bound to create the desired size of the towel. Piping can be the same color fabric as the towel but is also often seen using a complimenting color. 

Embellished Towels


If you would like to add decoration to your towel, you can add a decorative embroidered border or a monogram.  

There are many styles of embroidery that can be added to your towel and it is best to find a linen store that specializes in this type of embellishment.  These embellishments are embroidered using a special embroidery machine that is either hand-operated by an artisan or, more often these days, are computerized patterns.  Another option is to add a monogram, family name, house name, yacht name or the tail number of your private aircraft to personalize your towels.   

It is an artful and special decorative addition to your towel that will elevate the style of your bath experience.  Get inspired to upgrade your home with embellished towels from E. Braun & Co. Beverly Hills


Applique is another way to add embellishment to your towels.  It is less common today but will add a special element.  Applique is similar to an embroidered motif except that fabric is appliqued onto the towel to create the design.  A typical appliqued design is in the form of a monogram, lines or scroll motif.  

Fine Bath Linens or Bath Towels

When choosing a high-quality, luxury towel, look for thick Egyptian cotton or Turkish cotton fabric with a terry cloth, velour, french terry, or waffle weave. 

Consider how plush and thick you want your bath linens and choose between a 500 GSM lightweight towel, a 600 GSM medium-weight towel, or for the heaviest weight, a 700-800 GSM heavyweight towel depending on your preference.

Most people select a matching set for each bathroom.  It comes down to personal preference when considering the size, texture, weight or thickness, and feel.  It’s up to you!

Consider how often you wash your towels to gauge how long they’ll last. The more frequently you wash bath linens, the quicker they may wear out. Since terry cloth is not a tightly woven fabric, frequent washing and drying may reduce its lifetime.  Care, meaning washing frequency and detergents used, plays a large part in longevity.

If you plan to wash your bath linens often (more than once per week), a simple solution is to invest in more towels to rotate and extend their use.

Be sure you’re buying the right size for your personal use. Towels are available in a range of sizes, from the small washcloth to the extra-large bath sheet to bath mats and rugs.


Washcloths are used to wash your face.  They are commonly 13 inches by 13 inches.  They are used remove the day’s make-up, oils, and dirt that accumulates on your face.  Some people use them as a small towel to accompany their other selection of towels in the bath or as guest towels in guest bathrooms.

Guest Towel

Guest towels are primarily provided for guests to dry their hands when they use the bathroom. It’s suggested to have multiples of these towels available so that your guests can have a clean towel each time they dry their hands. These towels are smaller than a hand towel, measuring around 11 inches by 18 inches or 14 inches by 21 inches. You can display them by rolling or folding them and placing in a decorative basket or place them flat on a tray adjacent to the sink. 

Hand Towel

Hand towels are intended for drying your face and hands and remain outside of the bath or shower. They can come in a variety of sizes depending on where the towel is manufactured but  the most standard American sizes being 18 inches by 32 inches. 

Bath Towel

Bath towels are used specifically for drying off after a bath or shower and to wrap a woman’s hair before she dries it. They can come in a variety of sizes depending on where the towel is manufactured but the most standard American sizes being 30 inches by 52 inches.

Bath Sheet

Bath sheets are large towels and are used after a bath or shower or accompanying you to the pool.  Not everyone likes to use this size because it is large.  Personally I like to use them but it is sheerly a personal preference.  They can come in a variety of sizes depending on where the towel is manufactured but the most standard American sizes being 36 inches by 75 inches or 39 inches x 60 inches.


The biggest difference between a bathmat and a bath rug is that bathmats are made to match the towel.  They are usually a thicker quilted version of the towel or a special weave that has a decorative dobby border framing the mat.  Commonly they measure 24 inches by 36 inches. 

Bathmats – though they can still be very stylish – are designed for safety and to prevent water from dripping all over the floor causing you to slip and fall and/or to prevent your rug from getting wet.  Get inspired to upgrade your home with quilted bath mats from E. Braun & Co. Beverly Hills

Tufted Bath Rug

Tufted bath rugs serve the same function as a bath mat and can elevate your bathing experiences bringing a luxurious element to your most private spaces. Tufted bath rugs are made in the traditional way a rug is made, with needlework consisting of short, tightly looped fabric inserted on the primary base. Tufted bath rugs are plush, with a magnificent softness and extra thickness that provides a delightful sensation every time you step out of the bath or shower. These can be placed in front of your bathroom sink, shower, or toilet. 

Bath rugs can be made from many different yarns, but cotton is the most widely used for its moisture-wicking and easy-cleaning qualities. Complete your look by finding rugs that match your style. 

Finding the Perfect Bath Linens

Knowing and understanding the terminology of the different bath linen styles to choose from will help you determine the style and weave you prefer in which to invest and what items you need to complete your collection. 

Liz Barbatelli offers the perfect finishing touch for her clients’ homes with accessories and fine linens for the bed, bath, and table. As a leading expert in the industry and President and Owner of E. Braun & Co., Liz’s design style and eye for the absolute finest product is unparalleled and sought out by elite clients around the globe. Browse the E. Braun & Co Beverly Hills website to connect with Liz and gain access to her curated collection of luxury bedding, bath, and table linens from some of the most prestigious brands in the world.



A love of linens is innate in my being. There's no greater comfort than beautiful Supima cotton bedding, 100% Giza cotton towels, and gathering family and friends around the dining room table dressed to perfection with linen napkins and festive settings.”


“A love of linens is innate in my being. There's no greater comfort than beautiful bedding, 100% cotton towels, gathering family around the dining room table, dressed to perfection with linen napkins and festive settings.”

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