Turkish Hammams – History and the Charm

Turkish bath towels were created for the Turkish Hammams initially. Let’s take a look at how this non-fluffy towel has become a part of the hammam to be used by the sultans of the empire.

Cleaning one’s self is an essential need much like food and water. In the old Turkish society when there was not water distribution and heating systems in each individual house, the communities had one building dedicated to the bathing of the people. This high domed, skylighted buildings were maintained by the towns and charged a small amount to the patrons. The collected money would be donated to local charities.

The Turkish towel or peshtemal was a way of providing privacy to the individuals when they were bathing in a large room. Since they do not have loops, they do not grow the moldy smell and they are much more hygienic as bacteria does not accumulate on them easily. Towels with natural fibers dry much more quickly, further decreasing the chance of bacteria growth.

In time, hammams became a center for the people to get together, relax and even entertain. In modern Turkey, hammams have evolved into popular spas with added services like a full body massage. They are even used as bachelorette party venues.