Free shipping on orders over $100. Free shipping on orders over $100.


The History of the Beach Towel

The History of the Beach Towel

Why do we love beach towels so much? We did a deep dive and found out the history of the beach towel is closely intertwined with the evolution of bathing culture and the development of textile technology. Here’s an overview of its historical journey:

Ancient Beginnings:

The concept of towels dates back to ancient civilizations. The Turks, particularly during the Ottoman Empire, used towels called "pestemals" in their baths. These thin, flat towels were highly absorbent and lightweight, making them ideal for use in bathhouses. We reinvented the "pestemals" here at Laguna Beach Textile Co. Our Turkish Towels are luxuriously oversized and feature a reverse side made of super-soft looped terrycloth for extra-absorbency.
A pair of gray Turkish towels hanging by a bathtub.

European Influence:

In the 18th and 19th centuries, sea bathing became popular among Europeans for its health benefits. As seaside resorts developed, so did the need for suitable drying and lounging textiles. Initially, bath towels from home were used, but over time, there was a demand for specialized beach towels.

20th Century Development:

The 20th century saw a boom in beach tourism, particularly in places like the French Riviera and American coastal towns. This increase in beachgoers led to the commercialization and mass production of beach towels. Towels became larger, thicker, and more colorful to cater to the needs of sunbathers and swimmers.
Today, our Original Cabana Towels are a fan-favorite. Oversized and double the thickness of your average beach towel and available in over 15 different colors and patterns. Get yours today and you'll fall in love with beach towels too!
A person laying on top of a striped beach towel.