What’s an irregular towel, and how do I know if it’s right for my business?

What’s an irregular towel, and how do I know if it’s right for my business?.jpg

If you’ve spent some time researching towels for your business, odds are that you’ve come across several options for irregular or imperfect towels. We offer an entire line of irregular towels in addition to our first-quality towels, as we’ve found that many of our clients are able to take advantage of these value-priced items.

Tight weft pick means an uneven distribution of thread. This would be rejected by a mill but is still a perfectly viable towel.

Tight weft pick means an uneven distribution of thread. This would be rejected by a mill but is still a perfectly viable towel.

First things first: what makes a towel irregular? Irregular simply means that there is a small flaw somewhere in the construction. We have found that one of the determining factors of towel brand hierarchy is the customer’s tolerance of imperfection. Many expensively branded towels feature similar cotton and weave as a discount towel, but they generate so many imperfects in the production that it drives the cost of the towel up.

Flaws vary and may include anything from a missing thread to tiny perforations or perhaps a color irregularity. Any of these flaws would be cause for a mill to classify the towel as irregular and set it aside, and that’s where we come in!

We partner with mills all over the world to purchase these budget-friendly towels so that we can offer them to our client at a savings of 20-40% compared to our first-quality towels.  These items are perfectly suited for high-loss environments, such as gyms, health clubs, and schools. Many institutional facilities choose irregular towels as well.

In high-loss environments the expectation is that the items will be discarded more often than not, due to hard use or due to customers simply forgetting to return the towels. Purchasing and stocking irregular towels is how you can continue to provide excellent service and keep your customer satisfaction high while remaining cost-effective. Odds are that your customers will not notice any differences in the weave or color as they use and discard them.

We may not be able to guarantee stock on the exact same irregular towel over time, as we’re purchasing based on opportunity. If slight differences will not affect your business, then our Eclipse towels are the best option for you. If you’re looking to provide consistent quality month after month, I would recommend that you go with a first-quality towel.

Keep in mind that whether the towel is imperfect or first-quality, the specifications on size and weight still count. A first quality 16”x27” 3lb hand towel is still going to be thinner than an imperfect 16”x27” 4lb hand towel. (For more on what cotton construction in a towel means and how to know which towel will be plusher, you can visit a previous blog post by clicking on the following: Why Is Towel Construction Important?. ) The weights and thickness of the towel are still dependent on the same considerations regardless of any flaws.

As you prepare to purchase towels for your business, you’ll have to ask yourself what your clients’ expectations are and how best to meet those expectations. If the expectation is simply that the towel needs to be there and ready to use, or that the towels will be beat up, our line of irregular Eclipse towels is perfect for you. If your customer is discerning, try our premier collection of Magellan towels. If your laundry keeps tight controls over towel lifecycle, and therefore demands the same spec of towel consistently, try Admiral towels.

We supply some of the world’s biggest brands with towel programs, and we are ready to help develop a program that works for you! Contact me to chat about your needs.

Lynette Salas.jpg

Author: Lynette Salas
Title: Account Executive
E: lynettes@monarchbrands.com
P: 215 482 6100 x304


Why is my white barmop grey?

why is my bar mop grey.jpg

Why are my bar mops grey?

I hear this question in the marketplace and wanted to share the background of the “dingy barmop”. In order to answer this question I think its best to provide a bit of background regarding yarns, their origins and some industry terms. Obviously 100% pure cotton yarns start from cotton balls in a cotton field. The prices of cotton trade on several commodity index floors in various markets globally.

Historically over the last 5 years cotton has traded at between $0.55 per LB and $0.95 per LB. The current price of cotton is approximately $0.80. Once the cotton is procured, it needs to be processed into yarn, woven, bleached, cut into a towel piece, sewn, labeled, baled and shipped from Asia to the US and then distributed.

Total raw costs for all steps (without profit) would be slightly less than $1.00 a LB. So, if using 100% yarn, you should be paying somewhere around the equivalent of $1.80- $2.20 on a per pound basis (e.g. a 28 oz bar mop would be priced at $3.15 per doz to $3.85 per doz) Keep these numbers in mind as we proceed…

Now, as these yarns get woven into a product, there are wastes that are generated in the process. Some yarn waste is generated from the ginning (separating cotton from the seeds and other plant matter) spinning (making the yarn) and weaving (making the textile). Each type of waste has specific value to the waste collector and those values range from $0.00 to $0.35 per LB.

When waste or scrap is collected from the weaving process, typically the yarns being woven are a blend of cotton and polyester. The yarns being used were higher quality yarns typically intended for garments (check your labels on your clothes and most are poly/cotton blended). The yarn is still in its natural state (which is a greige color or looks like a cotton ball shade). During the weaving process little pieces of yarn scrap or leftover lengths of yarn get collected and sold to this aftermarket.

Cotton Waste Recycling

Cotton Waste Recycling

The next step for these waste yarn scrap is to be reprocessed into usable yarn cones again. Now remember that these yarns were bought for waste prices that are dramatically cheaper than the raw cost of cotton. The issue is that they are not consistently cotton and there are various degrees of polyester that are mixed together in these collected waste yarns (think of the equivalent of stew made out of cotton yarn scraps). The waste processor now needs to put this waste yarn through a pulling process to rip the scrap pieces apart back into fibers and then re-spin the yarn into a functional product again.

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When this happens the fibers are weakened or shortened to short staple fibers and typically some pure cotton and polyester is added into the “stew” to strengthen the yarn. The final product that is produced is a lower quality yarn that has some degree of polyester and various blends of cotton qualities mixed together.

Bleaching Temperature

The process of using recycled yarn scraps to make these towels is a cost saving process to the mill. Typically this is done to me a price point for a product that gets 4-5 turns in a commercial laundry. The mill making the product is focused on using these yarns to afford a competitive price and can do this starting with yarns that are selling for less than the actual price of cotton as a raw commodity.  When using some form of recycled blended yarns in this fashion you’ll find price points that range from $1.60 to $1.85 on a per LB basis. Back to our example, a 28 oz towel would cost $2.80 to $3.25 (approx.)

Here’s the issue. When you bleach cotton from natural form to white it requires a water temperature of about 95 degrees Celsius. Polyester bleaching needs a much higher temperature of about 120-130 degrees. When the mill is looking for price savings, they cannot afford to spend the additional time, energy and equipment cost bleaching recycled yarn on higher temperatures. The towels are bleached AS IF they were 100% cotton but the bleach doesn’t react correctly with the polyester that is blended into the waste yarns. The result is a grey effect. The yarns used on the product just cant react to the bleach correctly and the towel will never look bright white.

 So, a commercial laundry, or consumer, needs to make a decision when choosing a bar towel. Do you want the towel to be bright white and pay a higher price or accept a lower shade of whiteness for a cost savings. It comes down to impressions for a customer, what market you’re servicing and the lifespan of the towel in your setting. At the end of the day, those cheap bar mops wont get any brighter when you bleach them but as always, you pay for what you get.

Hal Kanefsky.jpg

Author: Hal Kanefsky
Title: President, Monarch Brands
Contact: halk@monarchbrands.com


Why is towel construction important? Which towel is right for me?

Cotton Towel Construction.jpg

Why is towel construction important, and which towel is right for me? If this is your first time purchasing wholesale towels for your business, you will notice most places use phrases such ring spun cotton, open end cotton, single, or double. While choosing from these many options is vital to helping you match with the towel that will work best for you, we understand that many people may not be familiar with this specific terminology at the outset. So we’re here to outline a few towel particulars in the hopes that this makes your buying process easier!

First and foremost, notice the size of the towel in relation to the weight. The listed weight always pertains to the weight per dozen towels. For example, if someone references 15 lbs., they’re referring to 15 lbs. per dozen towels. If you’re looking at two towels that are each 15 lbs. per dozen but one towel is 24”x48” and one is 27” x 52”, you will notice that the smaller size has a plusher feel than the larger size. Pay attention to the weight and size of a towel. An example: Even though Magellan is bigger than Admiral, it is also heavier, so you must figure out the GSM of the towel to calculate the plushness. (see: monarchbrands.com/gsm-calculator)

Ring Spun Yarn vs. Open End Yarn
The construction of the yarn is also significant. Most towels are made with either ring spun yarn or open end yarn. Ring spun refers to yarn that’s spun on spindles and twisted uniformly to the core during production. That uniform twist makes ring spun towels softer and optically whiter like our Magellan Collection, and the yarn will have a higher tensile strength than open end yarn. Open end yarn is used to create most institutional towels; while it leads to a harsher feel and lower strength than ring spun yarn, it is a cost-effective option (e.g. our Basic Arctic Collection).

Single vs. Double
Yarn of a higher quality is comprised of long-staple fibers which are spun for additional strength. You may see towels described as 10 single verses 20 double, for example. A 20 double consists of two strands of yarn that are spun together for a higher tensile strength while a 10 single means that the yarn will be thicker and less durable.

Cotton vs. Blend
Another factor to consider is whether you will need 100% cotton or a cotton/poly blend. While 100% cotton towels are more absorbent and softer than blended towels, they’re not as durable. Blended towels such as our Admiral Collection will last for approximately 30 washes more than your traditional 100% cotton towel. However, when shopping for color towels, you’ll need them to be 100% cotton because polyester does not retain dyes evenly.

These are the basics of cotton construction that will affect both the durability and the feel of your towels. Hopefully you’ll be able to use this knowledge to decode the jargon and discover the perfect towel for your needs!

Lynette Salas.jpg

Author: Lynette Salas
Title: Account Executive
E: lynettes@monarchbrands.com
P: 215 482 6100 x304


How to calculate GSM before your next wholesale towel purchase.


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:

Here’s the long form version of the GSM calculation:

1 Measure Sizes in Inches 30x60”
2 Multiply both to find Sq.Inch 1800 Sq.Inch
3 Multiply Sq.Inch by 0.00064516 to Find the Sq. M (1 Sq. Inch = 0.00064516 Sq. M) 1800*0.00064516 = 1.16 Sqm.
4 Weigh your towel (one towel) and multiply it by 12 to get the weight per doz 1 towel weighs 1.04 LB, your weight per dozen is 12.5
5 Convert Lbs/Dz to KGs/Dz by dividing given Lbs/Dz by 2.2046 (1 KG = 2.2046 Lbs) Given 12.5 Lbs/Dz = 12.5/2.2046 = 5.66 KG/Dz
6 Multiply derived KGs/Dz by 1000 to Find Gr/Dz 5.66*1000 = 5660 Gr
7 Divide derived Gr/Dz by 12 to get Gr/Pc 5660/12 = 471.66 Gr/Pc
8 Divide derived Gr/Pc by derived Sqm in Step – 3 to find GSM of the product 471.66/1.16 = 406.6 GSM

Conversely, if you have a target GSM, know the size and would like to know the weight per dozen:

1 Measure Sizes in Inches 30x60”
2 Multiply both to find Sq.Inch 1800 Sq.Inch
3 Multiply Sq.Inch by 0.00064516 to Find the Sq. M (1 Sq. Inch = 0.00064516 Sq. M) 1800*0.00064516 = 1.16 Sq.M
4 Multiply derived Sq.M with required GSM to find weight/pc in Gr. Required GSM is 400 so total weight per piece is 400*1.16 = 464 Gr/Pc
5 Multiply derived Gr/Pc by 12 to Find Gr/Dz 464*12 = 5568 Gr
6 Divide derived Gr/Dz by 1000 to find KG/Dz 5568/1000 = 5.568 KGS/Dz
7 Multiply derived KGS/Dz by 2.2046 to get Lbs/Dz (1 KG = 2.2046 Lb 5.568*2.2046 = 12.27 Lbs/Dz

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.

Hal Kanefsky.jpg

Author: Hal Kanefsky
Title: President, Monarch Brands
Contact: halk@monarchbrands.com


American-Made Hotel Towel Liquidation Sale

wholesale resort towels

Monarch Brands has purchased 111,500 white irregular bath towels ranging from 15lbs to 18lbs per dozen. These towels were made in the USA for a global resort chain. They contain slight irregulars so are deeply discounted.

  • Soft, bright white, made for higher end hotels
  • Stripe Check & Chevron Dobby Borders 
  • Carton Packed (36 pcs/case) 
  • 27 x 54 Bath Towel
  • 16 x 27 Hand Towel
Note: As these towels contain slight imperfections the label has been cut out. We will provide a UPC sticker if required. 

Please Call (800) 333-7257 or contact us for samples and pricing.


Put a little more color in your life.

You'd be surprised how many of our customers just know us for our white products. We stock a large selection of colored towels and products. Here a few of the products you'll find in our full catalog.

When certain minimums are met we have the ability to manufacture towels in any color!