How to Fold Every Type of Towel
For some, towel folding is the best part of laundry. It's not just because the warm, soft, fluffy cloths can be delightful to handle fresh out of the dryer—there is a near-therapeutic quality to the repetitive motion that many (us included!) find relaxing. Ahead, we detail how to fold every type of towel, from regular bath and beach iterations to kitchen cloths, with the help of Jamie Gibberman, a professional organizer and the co-owner of Get Organized RVA in Richmond, Virginia. Her first piece of advice? Make sure you have a large, flat, clean work surface, so you can smooth the piece down in between each step. "The end goal is to hide the edges so that only the folds are facing front," she explains.
According to Gibberman, the most basic bath towel method involves folding it in half widthwise and then lengthwise before folding it into thirds. "This creates one clean folded edge that, when stacked, would face out," she says. Another process that delivers a similar uniform, tight look? Begin the same way—fold the towel in half widthwise and lengthwise—before tucking "both ends in toward the center, leaving a small gap in between," she explains. "Then, bring one end over toward the other side, sliding the folded end into the top flap of the stationary side." Once you're finished, the towel should resemble an envelope or clutch purse—and no edges should come loose. "This is a great technique to use if you need to pack towels," she says. "They stay intact when you take them out of your luggage."
If you want to replicate the rolled look you find at spa or in luxury hotels, do so by laying the towel flat and folding one corner down to create a triangle (the rest of the towel should remain unfolded and look like a rectangle attached to the triangle). "Fold in half length-wise—it should resemble a paper airplane," Gibberman says. "Flip the towel completely over and start to roll from the rectangle end toward the triangle end." Keep rolling tightly, making sure to line up the edges, until all you have left is the small point of the triangle. "Tuck that small point inside the edge of the roll," she notes.
Since beach towels are sometimes longer than the standard bath iteration, you'll want to take a slightly different approach. Gibberman says to fold the beach towel in half lengthwise first, then widthwise (this creates a smaller rectangle) before folding it into thirds. This, she says, will result in a more compact, manageable result.
Hand and Dish Towels
For storage purposes, hand towels are best folded in half lengthwise; fold both ends into the center and then everything in half to create a neat look, notes Gibberman. And while dish or tea towels are often similar in size, they are typically kept in a drawer in the kitchen—which is why she suggests file folding them. "Fold the dish towel lengthwise, then fold it in half to create a smaller rectangle," she says. "Fold it into thirds if this matches your drawer depth—or fold both ends in toward the center and fold everything in half if the drawer is shallow." Place the cloths into your drawer like files in a cabinet, with the folded edge facing up.