I don't buy towels very often; good ones last a long time. However, with the going out of business sale at Linens & Things, it seemed like time to get the next set. It takes many, many wash/dry cycles to get towels in their best shape. The towels I got a few years ago are at their peak now... they've retained their thickness, but lost that horrid slippery soft feel that new towels all have. Why must this be? What the hell substance are towels treated with to make them soft as blankets, but completely inabsorbent? And why do people like that?
I got two different brands, both 100% cotton, same price range and thickness. Each had that mushy-soft brand new feeling, but one set seems to be shaping up after a wash, while trying to use the other is still like drying your hands on a fleece blanket: ineffective and annoying. Back in the wash they go, until they're tolerable.
I am beginning to understand why people might pinch towels from good hotels. It's not because they don't have money for new towels of their own; it's because new towels take so long to get as awesome as good quality hotel towels that are basically boiled every night and dried without fabric softener.
Soft towels, pffft. If I want a blanket, I'll get a blanket, damnit. I want my towels to DRY ME.