Many of the customers of www.jerseytowelsupply.com ask the same questions about towels, so I figured this is a good place to put the information. Generally it doesn't matter whether you buy a beach towel, hand towel, bath towels or kitchen towels, they are all either 100% cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. The cotton-polyester blend is usually 86% cotton, 14% polyester. So why the difference. The blend is more durable and will stand up better to use and abuse and more washing. However, the 100% cotton towel is more absorbent and softer. Both towels will stand up better if just washed in warm water with a mild detergent. Harsh detergents and bleach will absolutely shorten the life of any towel. How many washing will it take to render a towel useless depends on the towel itself. For example, their are lightweight towels, medium weight towels and heavyweight towels, as well as domestic and imported towels. And again, generally speaking, the domestic towels will stand up better in the long term than the "equivalent" import.
Let's see if this clears things up a bit. The blend is 86 cotton and 14 poly. The base of the towel is the blend. The loops are 100% cotton. The longevity of any linen does depend on the quality but more important than that would be the maintenance of the product. The washing effects the product but the dryer is probably more damaging. Extreme temperatures take a toll on cotton. Compare a new pair of jeans to one that has been washed and dried 50 times. They shrink in and get softer. As a towel dries it loses lint (the cotton) and the towel starts getting thinner. The imports are getting much, much better and probably not to far in the near future will be the standard not the domestic. The domestic mills are either going bankrupt or starting to manufacture in other countries.
Those are the facts.