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How to sew bath towels

Updated February 21, 2017

Making your own bath towels can be fun, especially if you want a custom size and colour. It is simple to do and for the person that loves to sew, this project can be fast and time effective. Homemade bath towels make perfect gifts, for holidays, weddings, baby showers and housewarming presents. They are always needed and always used by those who receive them. You can also make your own hand towels and wash cloths using the exact same method, just cut at different sizes. So make an entire set and give them as a gift today.

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  1. Buy a heavy terry cloth or Egyptian cotton with combed loops. The heavier the cotton, the more absorbent. You want to purchase the fabric by the yard, and this depends on how many towels you want to make. The average bath towel is 30 by 48 inches, but you can alter the size to your own personal needs. Both fabrics can be found at most fabric stores or you can purchase the fabric online at such websites as fabric.com and jandofabrics.com (see link in Resources).

  2. Set up your sewing machine on a work table with plenty of extra space. Plug in the machine and thread with a cotton-wrapped polyester thread, according to machine directions.

  3. Lay fabric out on a clean solid surface. Smooth all wrinkles. Using your sewing measuring tape, measure along the outer edges first, the length that you desire your towels to be, plus an additional 1/2 inch both length and width wise. This allows you to fold and hem the edges with your sewing machine. Remember the average bath towel is approximately 30 by 48 inches, but you can custom cut to the size you want your towels to be.

  4. Once the fabric is cut into the size that you want, using straight sewing pins and your measuring tape, fold all edges 1/2 inch. Pin the edges every 2 inches to keep the folds in place.

  5. After you have completed the fold along the edges, sew the edges up using a tight zigzag thread pattern. (Most sewing machines have a zigzag setting.) Stay closest to the inner edge, not the outer part of it. Go over the edges a second time. Trim any hanging threads.

  6. Now that the towel is trimmed and sewn, place towels into the washing machine. Wash and dry two to three times to rid the fabric of fuzz and loose fabric.

  7. Tip

    You can wash and dry the fabric first before hemming the outer edges. Just cut an even edge afterward since the edges will fray in the washing machine.

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Things You'll Need

  • Heavyweight terry towel cloth (369gr) or heavy Egyptian cotton with combed cotton loops (Both fabrics are absorbent and soft.)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread to match fabric (preferably a cotton-wrapped polyester)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Measuring Tape
  • Straight Sewing Pins

About the Author

Kelly Nuttall

Kelly Nuttall is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2011 with her bachelor's degree in technical communications. She has been writing for various websites since March of 2009.

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