Happy Towel Day! A Homage To Towel Design

dumpaday com throwing-in-the-towel-funny-pictures

Ha ha Don’t be discouraged! You know where your towel is! (Right?) Then it’s going to be okay! Image Source: http://www.dumpaday.com/funny-pictures/funny-pictures-51-pics-7/attachment/throwing-in-the-towel-funny-pictures/

Allegedly, the towel as we (approximately) know it originated in Turkey. This is according to Wikipedia, which is one of the best websites ever. I think that most people everywhere used absorbent things, and particularly lengths of cloth. However, going with the Turks-originated-the-modern-ish-version-of-the-towel reminds me that just a few years ago (2012?) Turkish Hammam towels were all the rage on design websites and magazines, despite being not particularly spectacular and despite being stupidly expensive ($50 for what looks exactly like a scarf).

apartmenttherapy com turkish towels

I’m talking about these things (these are probably the best looking ones I’ve seen) Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/summer-want-turkish-bath-towels-171127

There are terrycloth towels (the ones with the scores and scores of little loops) and microfiber towels (like chamois) and waffle-weave towels.

But this isn’t so much about the history or fabrication of the towel so much as why it is important:

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has a few things to say on the subject of towels.
    A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have.
    Partly it has great practical value — you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble‐sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand‐to‐hand‐combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindbogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
  • More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: nonhitchhiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, washcloth, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet-weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might have accidentally “lost.”. What the strag will think is that any man that can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
  • Hence a phrase that has passed into hitchhiking slang, as in “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)

(Thanks to Douglas Adams and http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy)

May 25 is Towel Day, the day to celebrate the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and, of course, to celebrate towels, usually by carrying one with you wherever you go.


etsy remimartin dont panic towel

This one has “Don’t Panic” written on it in large, friendly letters. You can get “Don’t Panic” towels in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and large, friendly fonts 😉 Picture source: https://www.etsy.com/listing/130716234/embroidered-towel-dont-panic-design?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_low-home_and_living-kitchen_and_dining-linens&utm_custom1=4f29897d-d1c5-2309-db27-000004cb4870&kpid=130716234&gclid=CL_S5OrZ28UCFYNDaQodhqQA8A

thinkgeek com black 42 hhgttg utility towel

This one has the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything on it, plus a nifty little clip AND it’s black to hide the dirt! Source: http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/8e20/

starstore com Towel Day hitchhikers-survival-kit-L

This nifty Hitchhiker Survival set comes with a towel just like in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy movie, a Babelfish (fake, unfortunately), and a sub-etha signaling device. Source: http://www.starstore.com/acatalog/Starstore_Catalogue_HITCHHIKERS_GUIDE_TO_GALAXY_FIGURES___COLLECTABLES_4666.html


I love these *so* much. They’re just all kinds of wonderful.

Leoma Lovegrove Mermaid towel for BeallsFlorida

I would like to have this one Mermaid towel by Leoma Lovegrove Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/355995545517796266/

Leoma Lovegrove Mermaid crown rescue towel BeallsFlorida

I would like to have this terrific Mermaid towel by Leoma Lovegrove too! Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/206743439118334611/

Leoma Lovegrove Seahorse Soiree towel for BeallsFlorida

I do think the Seahorse Soiree towel is also beautiful. Leoma Lovegrove for BeallsFlorida. Source: http://www.beallsflorida.com/online/leoma-lovegrove-seahorse-soiree-beach-towel?cm_vc=onsitesearch

Leoma Lovegrove Fish towel for BeallsFlorida

So pleasingly colorful! Fish towel by Leoma Lovegrove for BeallsFlorida. Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/433401164113715127/

Leoma Lovegrove Happy Place towel for BeallsFlorida

This one is called “Happy Place” I think? I just love the smile on this person’s face. “Beach Towel Proud”. I think I would smile like that if I had this towel too. I think it is just perfect. Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/330873903846241859/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/124638422@N03/14395545686/in/pool-2679488@N21/

These were carried by BeallsFlorida for about $19 for Summer 2015. I think they’re fantastic, like I said. She made many more, this was just a sampling (more beach houses, boats, a palm tree…).

Beautifully colored, patterned, textured/embossed, and made to last, what else is there to say other than “Where can I get some?”?

thegirlbythesea com vintage-towels-682x456

Love these! Too perfect! Source: http://thegirlbythesea.com/tag/vintage-towels/

retroplanet com Florida souvenir towel

And of course, vintage souvenir towels, like this one from http://www.retroplanet.com/PROD/38331?gclid=CIrH8L_g28UCFQEHaQod6YUApQ

vintage_science_fiction_lost_city_of_atlantis_kitchen_towel zazzle com

You can buy some really cool vintage prints on towels or have your own images printed onto towels at Zazzle.com Image Source: http://www.zazzle.com/vintage_science_fiction_lost_city_of_atlantis_kitchen_towel-197893258701980863

And of course, what would a homage to towels be without a mention of

jaddie com towel_dog

I’m partial to towel dogs. I’m supposed to go on a cruise in June. I want a towel dog to take with me. Source: http://www.jaddie.com/personal/alaska_03/5_ship.html

terrysfabrics co uk the-ultimate-towel-folding-guide

Some good instructions for making your own towel origami animals. Source: http://www.terrysfabrics.co.uk/infographic/the-ultimate-towel-folding-guide/


Those comforting cloths that people have been absconding for over 50 years.:

ebay holiday inn vintage towel

Why are the vintage Holiday Inn towels so appealing? They just are darn it. (Yes, I’ve got one too…my uncle snatched one and when my auntie and cousins visited my grandma it was left behind…I asked for it and got it 😀 ). I do so love my Holiday Inn towel…It celebrated Towel Day 2015 with me this year 🙂 Picture Source: www.ebay.com https://www.pinterest.com/Papadells/holiday-inn/

rexwordpuzzle blogspot com towel amnesty day holiday inn bookmark advertisement

Many years ago when I was younger we were staying at a Holiday Inn and there was a stack of these bookmarks near the reception desk. I took one. It was advertising Towel Amnesty Day, a day in August of 2003 where you would be pardoned for “borrowing” or lifting towels from Holiday Inn in exchange for the story of the towels–when, where, and what you did with it. Some of these stories would be compiled in a book that Holiday Inn would be selling, aptly titled “About The Towels, We Forgive You: Absorbing Tales of “Borrowed” Towels”. I just knew that would be a interesting, great book to read and I really wanted it. But I was 13 years old and had no way of really getting it. Picture Source: http://rexwordpuzzle.blogspot.com/2006/10/wednesday-oct-25-2006-adam-g-perl.html

thoughtsofthatmom com About the Towels We Forgive You Book, Holiday Inn

But years later, when I was able to buy things on my own, long after the book had gone out of print, I bought it (it is still, as of this writing, available for purchase on Amazon, eBay, and similar websites if you can’t find it at a garage sale, thrift shop, library, or friend). And you know what? I *loved* it! It was a great read. I just loved reading about everyday people and their journeys. It’s a little treasure. Picture Source: http://www.thoughtsofthatmom.com/2009_06_01_archive.html



So many people have so much fun celebrating Towel Day, and it is fun to look through the many pictures online of people dressing up and being just the hoopiest froods they can be. However, I’ll just leave you with a few of my absolute favorites. Don’t forget to check out TowelDay.org and http://towelday.org/archives/:

flickr Karl Gunnarson Towel Day 2008 robe

This picture is just perfect to me, Towel Day-wise. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/karlg/2549861980/in/photostream/

katybooks com Towel-Day-007

How much fun would it have been to be part of this hoopy crowd… Source: http://www.katybooks.com/event/towel-day-0

And of course…

kindle towel day

Search your feelings. You know it to be true. Source: https://xkcd.com/548/


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