Making Towelies seemed like a good idea in February 2017… I had never designed anything in my life, but it’s a Hooded Towel, simple enough surely? I also hadn’t sewn since school but again, minor detail. So of course I didn't have anything to make a pattern out of (who even knew pattern paper was a thing?) and bicycle, Christmas wrapping paper seemed like a good idea at the time. A few hours (okay maybe like 5ish) later I had a Hooded Towel made out of bamboo & Organic cotton.
Next up was dying the sample with natural dyes... Youtube had all of the methods so I picked one and jumped in... #toptip if dying at home kids, make sure to wear gloves, long gloves! I may or may not have come out of this looking like a smurf, with surf hand prints found about the place for days afterwards....(Gary just found some on his good work pants....not ideal)
And just like that I had a Hooded Towel. My friends thought these were kind of cool, so I made several more. When I was no longer able to keep up + received a MASSIVE wholesale order I realised I might actually have to get these made for me. Who would have thought? After playing around with many fabrics, I realised I love Turkish Cotton and I always have. I have towels that I have had for 10+ years and they are still going strong. They are the best travel towel as they are super compact, they dry ridiculously fast and are really lightweight. I looked into having them made in NZ as this would have been rad. Unfortunately this was not too be 😢. After months of trying, manufacturers not even replying to our emails, providing us a quote and some not even turning up to meetings, I decided to fly to Turkey. I wanted to see the working conditions, the living conditions, look into their eyes and make sure they were happy!
I realised that I probably couldn't take my wrapping paper pattern over, it probably wasn't going to cut it! Thankfully Gary is an engineer, he designs things for a living (technically an agricultural engineer but that's a minor detail). So he took my pattern and digitised it.
After a couple of design changes and fabric change we have gotten these little Hooded Towels to a pretty epic point. They are not only made out of a natural fibre, are super absorbent, quick drying, come in epic colours and pack down super small.. they are made in Turkey in a family run and owned business which makes my little heart sing.