The history of the peshtemal, or Turkish towel (also sometimes known as a Hamam towel or Fouta), is closely tied to the history of Hamams. The first Turkish Hamams, or public baths, were built in the 14th century, drawing on inspiration from Roman baths. Hamams include hot steam rooms and cold water for bathing. The baths provided relaxation, socialization, and rid the body of toxins for a number of health benefits. The peshtemal, a thin towel that is soft, thin, and quick to dry, was the main material used in the Haman. It could be wrapped around the body as clothing while in the baths. Its ability to dry very quickly also made it perfect to dry the body after bathing. Just as the Hamam had a central role in Turkish culture, so too did the peshtemal.
The peshtemal became even more culturally significant in the 17th century. In the Ottoman palace, the royal women and courtiers wanted peshtemals that were increasingly beautiful and ornate. They hired weavers to design beautifully decorated peshtemals. These peshtemals were hand-woven from cotton on a loom, just as Love Peshtemal’s towels are still made today. Over the 17th century and afterwards, peshtemals were made in a wide range of styles and designs. They grew beyond their origins as a towel for the Turkish baths became an item of both fashion and utility.
Today, peshtemals are available in many different beautiful designs, as you can see in Love Peshtemal’s shop. Turkish people use them for many different capacities. If you visit a Turkish home, you may see them being used as ordinary bath towels, beach towels, table coverings, blankets, and decorations. Peshtemals have gained a central part in Turkish design and culture. Purchasing a peshtemal not only gives you a great Turkish towel that can be used in many different ways; it makes you a part of Turkish culture and history.