How To Calculate GSM Of Towels

I can see the advertised “GSM” of the towel, now what?

For years I’ve been struggling with the idea or “speak” of GSM as the measure of a wholesale towel’s quality. Our industry is made up of two distinct schools of advertising the thickness of a towel, GSM and Weight per dozen. I thought it would be best to explain clearly the difference and tie the two components together, so there is a clear understanding of how they relate and more importantly, what that means to you, the consumer.

GSM stands for “grams per square meter” which is a measurement of how “thick “ the terry is on your towel. To put it in perspective, a 350 GSM towel is a product you’d find in a prison, hospital or basic gym (our Arctic collection).  A 500 GSM bath towel is a standard thickness found at a mid-level hotel property or a big box store mid-price point bath towel (our Admiral or Pearl towels). A product that is “plush” typically would have a GSM of 650 or higher (think Spa, Four Seasons, our Magellan towel etc…)

How can you tell what the towels GSM actually is? If you have the towel in hand and can measure and weigh it, here’s how it’s done. There are a couple of steps involved (listed in the tables below) because this is a metric term and you’ll need to convert the measurements from inches and LBS…. or, you can use our GSM calculator:

Find The GSM Of A Textile When Weight And Size Are Known.

Here’s the long form version of the GSM calculation:
Conversely, if you have a target GSM, know the size and would like to know the weight per dozen:

Now, does this mean you’re getting a towel you’d like to wrap around your body or fits your specific need? Not necessarily. Towel yarn, softness, construction and quality vary greatly which is another topic to dive into later. However, if you can’t touch and feel the towel, you have a starting point to determine what you might expect to find if you see a towel advertised in GSM, and with a simple digital scale, determine if you received the product as advertised.

Author: Hal Kanefsky
Title: President, Monarch Brands
Contact: [email protected]


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