What is a Dobby Border?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A dobby border makes any plain towel fancy, and you’ll find them on towels, hand towels, some dishtowels and washcloths. On a towel, it does not actually border the towel. Instead, it is usually set in the towel about 1 or 2 inches (2.54-5.08cm) from the bottom and top of the towel. You’ll even find the occasional towel with only one dobby border, and some people prefer towels without it.

Dobby borders are found on towels.
Dobby borders are found on towels.

A separate weave, sometimes in geometrical patterns, which creates an inset flat portion of the towel makes the dobby border. Most often, the border is the same color as the towel, but you might find towels with this area in a different color. Alternately, the border may feature stripes, geometric designs, or patterns that give the towel a little extra decoration.

The dobby border can be differentiated from other fancy borders because of its weave. You’ll find borders in satin or ribbon that people may prefer for their softness. These are not technically dobby borders, though they may be sewn onto this space to achieve the inset look.

Frequently, you find several stripes of flat weave on a towel, representing the dobby border. This is a common variation of the single stripe. Since the design is popular, it can sometimes be challenging to find towels without it, which may prove problematic.

When the towel itself is not made of fine cotton, the dobby border can feel too rough or scratchy, especially for people with sensitive skin. This can minimize the amount of towel you can use to dry off, and the space is additionally not very absorbent. With a little searching, you can find towels without the border, or alternately, you might want to choose towels made of really soft and high-grade cotton to avoid an itchy one. Before purchasing a towel, check for scratchiness by rubbing the area on the inside of your wrist.

For better-made towels, the dobby border provides interest and a little bit of design that adds flair to your bathroom decorations. A bathroom can look terrific when decked out with towels with borders that coordinate with your bathroom colors. You can also add extra decoration to your kitchen linens by choosing kitchen towels featuring a this design.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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