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Helping Mills Anticipate Trends and Clean Up in the Bath Linens Category

With people confined to their homes amid the global pandemic, many turned their attention to improving their living spaces for enhanced comfort and hygiene. The market for bath linens has been particularly hot.

What do consumers want in terms of towels, mats and bathrobes? And how can suppliers satisfy them to capture a share of a global market that will grow 6.2% a year to be worth US$18 billion by 2027, according to Market Watch?

Huntsman Textile Effects serves many of the world’s top home textiles brands and the mills they work with to produce bath linens. Recent discussions with our partners have highlighted several emerging trends that we believe are here to stay:

  • Consumers are increasingly choosing to make a statement with bath towels in striking colors and designs. Even so, white will continue to remain popular and the mainstay of any bathroom linen collection.
  • Quality bathroom textiles are an everyday luxury. Premium towels can be made of a pure cotton terry fabric & blends, but they must be absorbent and soft to the touch. They must also continue to look good despite frequent laundering.
  • Eco-friendly towels are now featuring in the bathroom collections of mainstream home textile brands. High quality organic cotton is popular for its soft handle, and sustainability.
  • Towels with antimicrobial and odor-resisting properties are already sought after as people worldwide pay more attention to health and hygiene.

Solutions that help you take advantage of these trends

To meet evolving consumer needs while standing out in the market, brands and mills need to deliver bath linens that not only look good and perform well but that are also long-lasting, cost-effective and eco-friendly. This means taking advantage of innovative dyes and textile effects technologies.

A lineup of multi-colored towels
  • For towels with intense long-lasting colors that neither cosmetics nor chlorine will mark, we recommend a combination of AVITERA® SE and NOVACRON® EC reactive dyes.The revolutionary AVITERA® SE dyes deliver high fastness to home laundering, with high chlorine resistance and high light-fastness, for towels that keep their vibrant colors throughout their lifetime. These dyes also offer unrivalled environmental savings. With high-speed, low-temperature wash off, water and energy savings of up to 50% are possible, along with higher productivity due to faster processing. Combining the AVITERA® SE and NOVACRON® EC dyes enhances the towel’s perspiration-fastness and chlorine resistance and delivers resistance to spotting due to chemicals in cosmetics, like Benzoyl Peroxide. Both these Huntsman Textile Effects dyes contribute to operational excellence, with outstanding compatibility, excellent reproducibility and easy washing-off.
  • For towels that stay white in production, storage and home laundering, we recommend High IQ® Lasting White. Powered by the unique UVITEX® range of fluorescent whitening technologies and backed by decades of application know-how and superior technical support, Lasting White delivers very high and brilliant whites on woven and knitted cellulosic fibers. The technology offers unequalled acid stability and acid fastness and excellent protection against phenolic yellowing during storage or shipment. Lasting White is also eco-friendly due to its high exhaustion rates and aniline-free chemistry.
  • For towels that keep their bright colors when bleached for hygiene purposes, we recommend NOVASOL® vat dyes. Covering the full shade spectrum, these dyes retain their intensity wash after wash, even in the presence of harsh chemicals such as high amount of chlorine (1gpl of available chlorine). addition to high chlorine-fastness, they provide good all-round wet fastness, outstanding lightfastness and even excellent dead cotton coverage.
A baby peeking out from under a towel
  • For towels that are super soft and absorbent, we recommend our ULTRATEX® range of hydrophilic silicone softeners. These recipes are customized to ensure a very soft finish and full handle, balanced against optimal hydrophilicity. The ULTRATEX® softeners are highly effective at low doses and shear-stable, with good mechanical stability. They are suitable for continuous application, with formulations for exhaust processes also available.
  • For towels with a pleasing bulk and luxurious feel, we recommend our SAPAMINE® KL family of softening agents. They deliver bulk and bounce, along with good absorbency thanks to their hydrophilic properties. The SAPAMINE® softeners are also shear-stable and low-foaming for more efficient and effective application.
  • For ecological towels, we recommend AVITERA® SE dyes and the INVAZYME® SOFT pretreatment. INVAZYME® SOFT is a biological catalyst that rapidly scours natural cellulosic fibers and blends at a low temperature and pH. It not only preserves the natural hand feel and bulkiness of the fabric and significantly reduces weight loss during processing, but also leads to lower waste water pollution.Combining the timesaving INVAZYME® SOFT process with the high-speed, low-temperature wash-off of AVITERA® SE also delivers substantial water and energy savings.
  • For towels that stay fresher for longer, we recommend Sciessent’s Agion® technology. The industry-leading solution controls microbial odor, delivering long-lasting protection by releasing its active antimicrobial agents only when needed. Agion® will not adversely affect shade, fastness or hydrophilicity and it can be built-in or applied via the exhaust method to any textile in combination with other functional finishes, dyes, inks and pre-treatments, including softeners.

The bath linens sector is set for growth as the consumer market continues to expand and hospitality businesses and health and fitness clubs recover and thrive in a post-pandemic world. With the support of a partner with relevant expertise and experience, like Huntsman Textile Effects, mills and brands can prepare to capture this future potential.

Anish Paliwal, Global Marketing Manager – CEL & DA, Huntsman Textile Effects