What Are Decorative Towels? (9 Facts Explained)

decorative towels

Agreed, towels are traditionally used for cleaning duties. But what if towels form a massive part of your interior décor? Yes, decorative towels are now being used to design homes and enhance the aesthetic feel of patios. But what really are these decorative towels?

Decorative towels are towels specially adapted for beautification purposes. This could involve regular towels being aesthetically enhanced with special designs like accents and appliques, embroidered, or just creatively folded into unique shapes – all aimed at complementing the style of the space where they are used. When using decorative towels, the towel color, and texture, and shape must blend into the surroundings to create a subtle and inviting view that sits well on the eyes.

There is so much to learn about decorative towels. How do they work? What design style do you go for? How can you prepare them? Also, where best in your home are they deployed. Let us enjoyably learn the answers to these and many more.

How do decorative towels work?

The truth is decorative towels are no genius creations. They are mostly everyday towels creatively customized to beautify your space. 

Their effect can be dramatic – in terms of the esthetic transformation, they can bring to your home – once you get the simple details like color, patterns, contrast, and texture right. 

Depending on your house decor and your unique design tastes, you may choose towel colors that easily rhyme into your existing home design or decorative towels that stand out. 

For the latter, such towels are used to concentrate attention on particular sections of your home or simply highlight special features. 

The hallmark of interior décor with decorative towels is balance and simplicity. You want towel designs and arrangement that can be readily appreciated at a glance and doesn’t completely swallow up the view. 

Let us examine which towels work best as decorative towels.

How to choose decorative towels

Not just every towel will work as a decorative towel. To achieve maximal allure from your decorative towels, you want to correctly get critical details like size, weight, and cotton type.

What size works best?

This largely depends on the volume of space around the decorative towel and the traffic that space would be seeing. For example, if you would use decorative towels for an area as sizable as a sitting room, hand towels are a complete no-no. 

In that instance, you should be looking at bigger towels like bath towels anywhere around (or above) 27” x 52”. You can also use bath sheets with dimensions around 35” x 60”.

Which weight works best?

In practice, the elegance of a towel is better emphasized when thick and fluffy. This allows it to transmit a fuller hue to the eyeball while presenting enough depth to be noticeable in the color scheme of your interior design.

Again the location where you would be using it matters. Let us imagine you were using your decorative towel in the bathroom. You can escape with lighter towels. 

But if you are decorating areas with significant pedestrian activity in your home, like the patio and living room, you need medium-weight to heavy towels. So let us say towels within the GSM range of 400-600 (and above) would do best for decorative towels. 

Which cotton type works best?

While this is not as consequential as the size and weight, it is worth getting the cotton type right to achieve a spectacular decorative towel design.

If our primary objective were absorbency, we would have gone for just any 100% cotton towel. But being that we are more aesthetically inclined here, Turkish cotton could best suit our decorative towels.

Turkish cotton towels are globally reputed for the wealth of grace they bring, almost automatically adding a feel of luxury to your space. Their premium long-fiber and smoother threads will give you the best styling effect you can get.

How to make a decorative towel?

Before we dive straight into making a decorative towel, let us prepare the towel for beautification use. Since the towel is fundamentally serving a decorative function, you need a clean and neat-looking towel. 

A towel that is already shrinking or has lost a tangible portion of its hue should not be used. Start by washing the towel you choose. Combine mild detergent and warm water, and make sure never to add any fabric softener.

Great, assuming you laundered your towel and dried them appropriately, let us get into the ornamental work proper.

You can beautify your towels with accents and appliques

If you want to take decorative towels a step higher artistically, you can consider enhancing them with appliques and accents. 

This would require a bit of tailoring from you as you would have to sew on the decorative hems. The work gets a bit easier if you have dobby weaves towels. These are towels furnished with indented borders.

All you need is to sew scraps of contrasting fabrics on the towel. Double strips of fabric, say each coming at an inch, would do.

This fabric needs to be firmly stitched to your towel, so it doesn’t readily pucker when you later wash it. 

Sew it completely across the width of your towel. You can also sew it straight into the center. Take note that this design may look a bit odd if the fabric is not straightly attached.

You can embroider your towels

This should be more relatable to the average homeowner. Embroidering your decorative towel allows you to bring more creativity into the design. 

Towel embroidery – when done well – gives you a better platform to accommodate multiple aspects of your interior décor into your towels, allowing them to more easily blend into your existing space.

Cross-stitches can be particularly impressive on decorative towels. They are your best option if you are not acquainted with the techniques of machine embroidery.

To make the decorative process as simplified as possible, your chosen towel should have an inset that can be embroidered. 

If you have picked your patterns, you can simply reproduce them on this inset.

Once again, we will emphasize firmness in attachment, so the design is sustainable even after repeated washing. You need the embroidery to hold for long, securely tying the knots.

Where can you use decorative towels?

Of course, towels are not the most conventional decorative apparel. Yes, they are a bit selective of where you use them, but if you can get aspects like color, contrast, balance, rhythm, and arrangement perfectly, you can use decorative towels in designing just any space.

Predominantly, decorative towels are deployed in bathrooms. For this application, decorative towels work best with neutral colors. This better allows you to elevate the feel of the bathroom with sharp-colored towels.

This creates a subtle-to-tranquil feel for anyone who uses the bathroom, placing the towels in the center of interest. Patterned towels in bathrooms can be really transformative when you go with neutral shades. Some homeowners like the sophistication of black and white shades. This is not bad either.

The arrangement of your towels matters. The towels must be neatly folded since clutter would deteriorate the hospitality of your bathrooms. You need the patterns articulate, rolled up, and nicely styled.

Aside from your bathroom, decorative towels can be decoratively deployed in your patio, saunas, and study rooms.