What is a Terrycloth Robe?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

The plush and absorbent material known as terrycloth has a wicking property which makes it ideal for bath towels. The individual strands of cotton thread quickly draw excess water away from the body after a shower or bath, then the towel can be hung out to air dry. The next logical progression would be to create an entire bathrobe from such an absorbent and soft material. The result is a wraparound type of bathrobe known as a terrycloth robe.

Folded terrycloth robes.
Folded terrycloth robes.

A terrycloth robe works as a transitional piece between toweling off after a bath and donning fresh clothes. The user wraps the robe around his or her body and then uses a sash or belt to secure it around his or her waist. Some robes are designed to be floor length, but most are no longer than knee length. There are also shorter robes which fit more like a casual jacket than a full robe. The idea is to wear the bathrobe for modesty, warmth and additional drying.

It would not be unusual for a spa guest to don a terrycloth robe early in the day, and remain in it the rest of the day while undergoing her treatments.
It would not be unusual for a spa guest to don a terrycloth robe early in the day, and remain in it the rest of the day while undergoing her treatments.

A number of health spas and hotels offer their guests a terrycloth robe as a courtesy. These robes are often hung in a conspicuous area near the shower or bath so users may access them quickly. It would not be unusual for a spa guest to don a terrycloth robe early in the day and remain in it while undergoing the rest of his or her treatments. The plush quality of the robe makes it a very appealing alternative to putting on formal clothing in an informal or private setting.

A terrycloth robe may be used after a bath.
A terrycloth robe may be used after a bath.

There are many different colors and styles available when shopping for a terrycloth robe. Some people may want to consider length and coverage when buying a new bathrobe. A robe should cinch together securely if a person has to make a brief public appearance while wearing it. The overall quality of the terrycloth material should also be considered, since less expensive material could lose its absorbency over time or become worn or threadbare too quickly. Plush terrycloth robes such as those found in spas and hotels can be very expensive in the general market, but are generally preferable to less expensive robes made from less absorbent synthetic materials or polyester/cotton blends.

Terrycloth robes may be provided to spa clients following a shower.
Terrycloth robes may be provided to spa clients following a shower.
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments

Logicfest
Let's not forget that the term "expensive" is a bit misleading. A good terrycloth robe will last for years, whereas a cheap one will not. I've had one for close to a decade that has remained in fantastic shape in spite of daily wearings and regular washings. What's more expensive? An $80 robe that last for years or a $20 one that starts fraying within months? Want one that will last even longer? Get one treated with a microbe shield to resist bacteria and fungi.
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