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Puckered Towels

Posted by happylady1957 (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 28, 12 at 15:22

Hello All,

I do hope someone has an answer to this recent problem.

Several of my bath towels (different brands, varying ages) have become all puckered at the hem. A couple of them are so bad, they look like rags!. I have done nothing differently, but this may have started when I got my new washing machine, although I'm not certain.

Any ideas? I don't want to go buy new towels until I know how to prevent this.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Puckered Towels

Did you also get a new dryer? Are you washing or drying at higher temps than before?


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RE: Puckered Towels

I did not get a new dryer, only the new washer. Also, I believe I am washing and drying at my usual temps. Quite a mystery!


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RE: Puckered Towels

Does your new washer have an internal water heater?
It is giving you a hotter temp water than a washer without the heater. The warmer water causes those parts of the towel to shrink irreparably.

The bands & bindings part of the towel is often/usually woven differently from the terrycloth part with a cheaper thread. All my towels have the same problem, some even from being washed in WARM water, which is 100 degrees F in my washer with an internal water heater.

Washing in COLD or NO HEAT and drying on a very low temp would be the only way to prevent this.


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RE: Puckered Towels

Cavimum,

I checked and indeed my new Speed Queen washer does have an internal water heater. I don't think I can bring myself to wash towels in cold water, though. Should I assume that a decent towel, such as LLBean, would be good?

Thanks for the help


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RE: Puckered Towels

Hmm, how much puckering are we talking about? I wash my towels on Sanitary (temp. up to 158F) and have some very minimal shrinking of the bands (not puckering) that does not affect the look or the performance of the towels. I've been washing them at these temps for over a year now and they are soft, fluffy and extremely fresh. The towels in my house are Vera Wang (from Kohls) and Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger (from Marshalls/TJ Maxx).

In my experience, towels washed on Cold will become smelly over time as cold water is not effective in removing body oils, dead skin cells, etc.


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RE: Puckered Towels

Front-loading Speed Queen washers equipped with an internal heater use it only when the temperature is set to Boosted Hot, AFAIK. Top-loading Speed Queen washers don't have an internal heater.


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RE: Puckered Towels

I use my washer's (Maytag Bravos) internal water heater when I wash towels, but they haven't puckered at all. The water gets extremely hot -- I believe 158F -- and my towels are not expensive. Most of them come from JC Penney or Walmart or BJ's warehouse store.


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RE: Puckered Towels

Izeve, In the case of one particular towel, really puckered, as in unusable! I have several more that just look somewhat odd. I am grateful that I was getting ready to buy new towels anyway, but I don't want this to happen again.

I was thinking that perhaps I would purchase new ones from Macy's/LL Bean, and wash them immediately, so that I could return, if necessary


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RE: Puckered Towels

When did speed queen put a internal heater in their front loaders for the USA market? Ive had this happen before, just dry them on a lower heat setting. My towels lavle tell me to wash them in cold water, but i dont so that probably why mine puckered. Oh well, at least they are clean


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RE: Puckered Towels

When you are selecting new towels, pay attention to the bands - the more decorative they are the more prone to shrinking or puckering. Also, make sure that they do not contain any artificial fibers (I have seen towels with shiny patterns on bands - I would imagine they would shrink easily). Also, check the washing instructions before you buy your towels. If it tells you to wash on cold, do not buy it!


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RE: Puckered Towels

I don't see it now but I'm sure I read that LandsEnd Supima towels are not supposed to have dobby details (those contrasting bands) that shrink. Lots of rave reviews. I've been tempted several times to order them ... I just might have to give them a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: LandsEnd Supima Towels


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RE: Puckered Towels

". . . LandsEnd Supima towels are not supposed to have dobby details (those contrasting bands) that shrink."

Ha! If I get around to it, I'll post a picture tomorrow. Washed only on WARM cycle in my W4842 and dried on "Delicates+Gentle". The band has some slight shrinkage already.

The newest batch has a wider decorative band, too, than the ones I ruined by washing on HOT.


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RE: Puckered Towels

Ah no ... seriously?? I had almost convinced myself to give them a go. So many good reviews. I like the thought of 650 gsm too.

I'm having a hard time finding towels I'm happy with. I've discovered I don't like them too thick (ie. Restoration Hardware) but not too thin. I like them made of good cotton like Egyptian or Turkish or Supima ... ack ... back to the drawing board?

How do you like them otherwise? Any other recos for nice quality not too thick (not too thin ... lol) towels?


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RE: Puckered Towels

@livebetter - Hope this works, or I'll put a link. These are two photos of a fairly new LE Supima face/hand towel, washed exclusively on WARM and dried exclusively on Delicates/Gentle, less than a month old. You can see the puckering of the terrycloth body of the towel near the bands.

Looks like it's letting me insert both photos. Have a look and decide for yourself.

Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: Puckered Towels

@Cavimum, I do see it. It's not too bad but ... do you like the towels otherwise?

A trick someone told me once, when you remove them from the washer, shake each towel out then give them a tug across the banding. I usually tug the banding and the long sides as they too can shrink.

I find this has helped keep most of mine in OK shape.

It helps to tug when they are wet and new (before they've shrunk beyond help).


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RE: Puckered Towels

I too do that tugging across the bands and it helps a lot.


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RE: Puckered Towels

@livebetter- I never heard the trick about stretching the band but will definitely start doing it. Thanks. I suppose it sort of 'blocks' the area before going in to the dryer.

We like the towels; super soft and my DH loves them. He hated the first set after I ruined them with HOT wash; even I could not stand to touch them, and we do not use fabric softener, so they were retired. Care label says WARM water and must be obeyed.

This new set are already losing some of that initial softness in spite of my efforts. They don't bake dry, either, so it's not that.

One thing about the LandsEnd Supima towels, as opposed to the ones I have that are 25 - 30 years old and soft in spite of years of HOT washes, is the loop could be called the "shag rug" of towels. Very long loop, not a high 'twist' to it. My ancient towels are the shorter loop variety, not as thick. I don't like super thick towels and here in the humid South, they can 'sour' on a towel rack after use. I prefer thinner towels but haven't found any yet. If I live long enough, they'll come back into style.... or else I'll wear out the LE ones until they're bald and, consequently, thinner. ;-)

Tip --- they go on sale often, so wait for a sale.


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RE: Puckered Towels

These look like good towels. Egyptian cotton made in Turkey and no dobby to shrink.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garnet Hill Signature Towels


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RE: Puckered Towels

re: Garnet Hill towels - the reviews look very positive, too. If the LE towels get manky, I might try those.


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RE: Puckered Towels

I have started swapping out my old cotton towels for bamboo. They are a little thinner, way more absorbant and naturally antimicrobial. They don't get icky when my son tosses a damp towel in his closet and I don't recover it for a few days.

They are to be washed in cold water and dried on low. They also have a really nice smell to them. I don't wash anything on cold but haven't washed them in hot either. They did shrink a tad with the first wash but are not mishapen if that makes sense.


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RE: Puckered Towels

My two Restoration Hardware Turkish bath towels still look pretty good, in spite of being washed and dried at temperatures hotter than recommended.


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