Before mass production of terrycloth towels by Henry Christy in 1850, quality towelling was made of pure linen. A different weaving technique to bed linen was used to create a textured finish resulting in fabric which absorbed water faster. They are called huckaback towels and are still found in the country houses of Ireland and England.
In this photograph, the towel underneath was woven just a number of years ago. It travels with me everywhere...gym, holidays, beach, weekend house party. Light to pack, dries very quickly, naturally anti-microbial and always smells fresh. And the textured weave is the perfect skin exfoliant when you are drying after a bath or shower. No beauty products and chemicals on your skin required.
The smaller huckaback towel came from my grandmothers linen press in Northern Ireland and most likely passed down to her which makes it over 100 years young. Still in use today - in fact, that silky smooth lustre of well-crafted linen just gets better with age and never falls victim to the fashion of trend du jour. Something to be said for buying better, buying less and owning things which last.