Expect miraculous results when drying with a microfibre towel. These towels are impressively absorbent and can typically soak up more onto a smaller surface. But run your hands through a microfibre towel or cloth and while they feel soft, they do have a strange tape like quality where they stick to your fingers. That feeling is caused by fine synthetic fibres clinging on to moist surfaces.
Microfibre towels are relatively new and therefore exciting. Cotton towels have been around for a while. So why do we still use cotton? It’s simple, cotton feels great on the skin. A high-grade telly-weaved cotton towel is the most comfortable way to dry off. Long fibre strands like Egyptian and Brazilian cotton are a luxury hotel staple.
So why not the more absorbent, modern microfibre towel? That’s because, while both towels do a good job at drying, they take a very different approach. Here are some situations in which one works better than the other.
Microfibre towels are a lot thinner and lighter than cotton. This does have its advantages, but it also means you’ll be less comfortable drying off in a towel that won’t keep you warm. Where it does excel is when used for travelling. Its light weight and compact size make microfibre towels perfect for fitting into smaller baggage. Most microfibre products are sold as cloths, perfect for spills. You might own one to dry your glasses. A number of companies use microfibre lining inside protective sleeves and pouches.
Cotton towels are thick, and when you buy one with a superior weave you can expect a drying experience akin to the spa. While a microfibre bathrobe would stick to the skin, cotton nestles comfortably in a way that you can enjoy for hours. Where cotton falls short is in dish drying and spill cleaning functions. Cotton can leave behind residue, and if you are using cotton towels for in your hospitality business, using guest towels to dry spills can leave stains, even after a vigorous wash.
Different materials serve a different function, then. Microfibre towels are great for light travel, camping, spills and drying glassware, while cotton towels are perfect for after showers and hand drying. Spas use fine cottons for their dressing gowns and when you relax in one you’ll understand why.