Hammam towels were a bit of a surprise to me. Sorbet, a London-based company that works with craftspeople in Turkey, sent me a parcel of their latest designs. Inside were three soft, woven cotton textiles, in deep, eye-catching colours. But none of them featured the deep pile I think of when I hear the word ‘towel’.
Sorbet sent me the items in this piece. I may earn commission from some of the brands, or receive samples for editorial purposes, but I never allow this to influence my opinions, which are formed from real-world testing. This revenue helps to fund my writing on this website.
What are hammam towels?
Otherwise known as a peshtemal or fouta towels, these Turkish beach towels are crafted in flat-woven cotton. The hammam towel’s traditional design means that, even though it’s not thick like the fluffy towels we use here in the UK, it’s super-absorbent. For centuries hammam towels have been used in Turkish baths, and they soak up a surprising amount of water, we found.
Hammam towels by Sorbet
Sorbet’s 100% cotton Turkish beach towels come in 28 different colours. Sorbet developed the different shades in partnership with craftspeople in Turkey, who make the towels. They’re a fiesta of mouthwatering, vibrant stripes. The original Sorbet range features vivid colours like raspberry, blue skies, satsuma and passion fruit, and you can choose from a large beach towel (180cm x 100cm approx) or a smaller hammam hand towel (90cm x 50cm approx).
Sorbet have released a new Ice Cream Collection of colours. Influenced by sweet treats, the designs have names like Tutti Frutti, and Rocky Road. My favourite was the pink-and-grey Strawberries and Cream, but I was also tempted by Bubblegum Swirl, in feisty shades of nautical blue and aquamarine.
As it was so lightweight, our towel was easy to wash and dry. But the hammam towel’s biggest strength was its versatility. It’ll be great as a bright, cheery beach towel. No doubt we’ll be using the slim towel as a picnic blanket, or a tablecloth for some impromptu summer barbeques.
The large beach towel rolls up small. I’m planning on packing it in my hand luggage, to use as a travel towel when I fly to Riga for a couple of nights next month. We don’t have any festivals planned yet for this summer, but I know our Turkish towel will be top of the festival checklist.
Sorbet hammam wraps and throws
Sorbet recently expanded its range. As well as traditional hammam towels, they sell bamboo mix towels, a super-soft 50/50 mix of bamboo and cotton fibres; colourful beach clutches that are big enough to hold a hammam towel; wraps and throws.
Sorbet sent us a wrap and a throw. The 100% Turkish cotton wrap is perfect for cool summer evenings. It’s just the right size for draping around my shoulders (though I might have to stop my daughter from stealing it!). Ours was in kelp, but there are four other colours: pink coral, basalt, sea blue and stone. The wraps are stone-washed, so each colour is unique.
Sorbet’s 100% cotton herringbone weave throw had a really luxurious, silky feel and at 240 cm x 200 cm it was large enough to cover our bed – or drape across a sofa. The throw’s cotton felt thicker and heavier than the towel or the wrap. Sorbet sent us a Ginger throw, which turned out to be a gorgeous warm sand colour. Depending on your home’s colour scheme, other colours included Earl Grey, Pistachio and Pink Grapefruit.
The quality of the throw was excellent. Like the towels and the wraps, it would make a lovely present.
Sorbet’s products impressed me. They were all a little unusual, with striking colours. The hammam towels were reasonably priced, too, starting at just £10. It’s a real bonus to have an absorbent towel that’s light enough to easily pop inside a small bag, and still leave enough space for other bits and pieces. And one which converts into an emergency picnic blanket when you need it!
Do you have particular towels that you like to travel with?
You can find out more about Sorbet’s hammam towels on their website.
Read more of our recommendations for top travel accessories here.
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