Turkish Towels: A Little Luxury

For years, Dave and I have used microfiber towels on the boat and when camping. They’re great, large enough to cover me yet store in a small space and dry quickly. I’ve been perfectly happy with them, and I even wrote about them here.

Then at the Annapolis Boat Show, I saw the Marmara Imports Turkish towels. I can only describe them as sinfully luxurious. No two ways about it, they cost considerably more than the microfiber towels. But they feel soooo good.

Dave bought me one as a special present (they are cheaper than the last roses he got me) and I smile again every time I step out of the shower and use it. I also bought him one.

They make several styles and come in two basic weaves. All are 100% cotton flat-weave so they take up almost no space and dry quickly – and they get softer and softer with use! They are hand loomed in Turkey and gorgeous, too. No special washing required, either, and the bright colors have not faded or run.

It’s impossible to convey in a blog post the feel of these towels; I just don’t have words. The one that Dave got for me is the slightly thicker and heavier weave (currently selling for $60) and I can only say that it reminds me of the softness of cashmere.

Dave chose the slightly thinner and even faster drying weave for himself ($50). It is not quite as soft as mine, but has softened considerably with use to the point where it’s darn close.

We not only use them as towels but also as lightweight throws over our legs when it’s slightly chilly in the evening but we just don’t want to put on long pants.

Marmara Imports sells at some of the boat shows and their products are in some brick-and-mortar stores. There are two online sources (that I know of) – Sea Dog Boating Solutions and Marmara Imports itself; both are supporters of The Boat Galley and their prices are the same. I highly recommend both as having excellent customer service.

I know that these aren’t going to be for everyone; they’re definitely a luxury item. But if you’re living aboard a boat (or for my readers who are RVers), there aren’t too many “little luxury” items in our daily lives. This is one possibility and can be a really nice gift – super useful, doesn’t take up much space and will be greatly appreciated.

See and order towels at:

  • Sea Dog Boating Solutions
  • Marmara Imports – note: you don’t click on the towel images to get to the “buy” page . . . instead, above all the little images of the towels, you’ll see “CHOOSE” in blue and then the basic design options for the style). Click on one of these to get to the “buy” page.

DISCLOSURE: While I’m friends with the owners of both Marmara Imports and Sea Dog Boating Solutions and both support The Boat Galley, I don’t get anything for recommending these towels. I just love them and want to let others know of another more luxurious option for wonderful boat towels.

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43 Comments
  • Jan Bogart
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    I love my Ralph Loren bath sheets that I bought for $6.

  • Amy Burlette
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    How did you know I just bought a couple more Turkish towels?

  • Laurie Nolan Morton
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    I LOVE mine but I also love my microfiber towel as well! The Turkish towels are more versatile, I use mine for a sarong or wrap as well 🙂

  • Martin Henry
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    We have them too. They dry, fold and store so much easier than regular towels.

  • Connie Watkins Weaver
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    Maybe they’ll be at Strictly Sail Miami next week. Would love to get one (or two)…

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

      Marmara Imports — will you be at Strictly Sail Miami? If so, what booth?

  • Pacific NW Boater
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    We have them and they are great!

  • Kate Ellis
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    They are brilliant, I should have bought some when I was in Turkey but I had already bought too many things! Next time…. also, I really appreciate your disclosure statement.

  • LaDonna Thomas
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    I bought some this year too, but from two different places. Marie Gallant island and on St Martin- the French side. I started using them for our guests beach towels on Beagle Knot and we’ve had nothing but compliments on them.

  • Stacy Hall
    Posted at 05 February 2016 Reply

    Love those!

  • Beth Stauffer
    Posted at 06 February 2016 Reply

    I’ve seen other boaters recommend these. I think I need them

  • n3qtrtme
    Posted at 06 February 2016 Reply

    I bought some of these on Amazon as a gift for my mother who loves to go to the beach. They are much easier to pack than terrycloth towels. I liked hers so much that I bought about 6 for Conchy Tonkin’ when we first got her. We use them ALL the time and I even broke one out for use as a tablecloth the other night. Worked beautifully!

  • Carol Stolberg
    Posted at 08 February 2016 Reply

    Thank you, Carolyn and Dave. We love our products too. Even though they cost a bit more than the micro fibers, our products (not all Turkish Towels) are hand loomed, organic cotton, and we are a fair trade business. Weavers are paid a salary, no child labor, excellent working conditions, eco-friendly, and more.

    Carol and Susan

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 08 February 2016 Reply

      I really do love mine — so glad we got to meet in Annapolis!

      • Carol Stolberg
        Posted at 08 February 2016 Reply

        Will you be in Annapolis in April? Hope to see you then.

        • Carolyn Shearlock
          Posted at 08 February 2016 Reply

          No, I don’t think so. We’re hoping to be cruising the Bahamas then.

  • LeeZe
    Posted at 09 February 2016 Reply

    We are currently wintering over in Izmir, Turkey and the luxurious towels here cost far less than there. So, if you ever need a reason to come over to this side of the world, this is as good as any!

  • Dony Bland
    Posted at 12 February 2016 Reply

    Hey barefoot girl !
    I see Aegean and south beach , which is the one you recommend please?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 12 February 2016 Reply

      The Aegean are the super-soft and luxurious ones like what I have. South Beach is what Dave has — still soft and nice, but a little thinner and dries faster. Aegean is my choice, but I don’t want it to sound like South Beach isn’t good . . .

    • Carol Stolberg
      Posted at 12 February 2016 Reply

      Hi Dony,

      We recommend the South Beach if you are primarily sailing in hot or humid weather because they are so quick to dry but the Aegean line is cozy and soft.

      Hope this helps.
      Marmara Imports

  • Heather Purves
    Posted at 06 March 2016 Reply

    Hi Carolyn,
    I and intrigued by the towels and hoping to purchase one for my husband and myself. I have checked both sites and am somewhat confused. I am seeing different prices, for what appear to me to be the same products. The Sea Dog towels are $60 as you stated in your article, while I see the Marmara’s at $25. Please help me understand this if you can.
    Thank you.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 06 March 2016 Reply

      Marmara carries some smaller sizes than Sea Dog. The $25 ones at Marmara are the smaller size (19×39) hand/face/hair towels. Click on the 39x 70 bath towels (same size as Sea Dog carries) and they’re $60.

      • Heather Purves
        Posted at 06 March 2016 Reply

        Thank you so much, Carolyn.

  • Janine Hall
    Posted at 22 April 2016 Reply

    Got ours from foutala.com here in the UK. They are £20 and come in beautiful colours. My husband and I have 2 each and, although our boat is not yet on the water, we use the towels when travelling as sarongs, beach towels, bath towels, cover-ups and scarves, all the things you said. By the time the boat is ready, they will be supersoft!
    Good call Carolyn. And really enjoy the blog, by the way, so many useful tips!

  • Ann
    Posted at 05 May 2016 Reply

    I remembered this blog post when I was browsing Etsy and found this company from Turkey who sold Turkish towels. I went ahead and ordered a large one and a regular striped one and I got it in three days (faster than ground shipping in the US!) and these things are amazing!! I washed and dried them already and I can quickly tell these are going to be favorites. Their price was SO inexpensive that I can easily switch us all over to Turkish towels for very little output!! Thanks for the recommendation!

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/Cottonia

  • Jim Fleming
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    If you put rose water in the washing machine instead of softener they smell like Turkish Delight …..

  • Angel Mercer Ganey
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    My Marmara towels arrived this week. Thanks for the tip about the sale. I got two big turquoise ones for the price of one!

  • Beth Hipp Tyler
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    So glad you posted. I bought two cheaper Turkish towels, recommended by another boater blog. They work well, but SO thin. Not really warming when drying off in cool weather. WHICH towel name is which that you bought? Yours verses Daves. Can’t decide which to get based on online, but can by your description.

  • Candise Ferguson Krakowiak
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    I found some at a fantastic price through Just Monograms, they are bright & colorful plus you get a Monogram in the thread color of your choice for $26 total, including the towel! These are my first experience with Turkish towels so there may be something I am unaware of but I absolutely love them & they fit every description of Turkish towels I have come across, including fast drying & do not smell.

  • Eric Hendricks
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    we used golf towels as they were quick drying, easy to hang and took up no space. amazing how dry even a big guy can get with a little towel.

  • Ssca Mod
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    Oh… something else to put on the list. EW is not a “roses” guy, so that argument won’t cut it.

  • Dan N Jaye
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    Going onto our shopping list also

  • Pamela Douglas Webster
    Posted at 12 May 2017 Reply

    I recently lost my quick-drying, microfiber towel. It was around my neck and went overboard at a marina with a swift current and high winds.

    I think it was the universe’s way of telling me to treat myself to a new Turkish towel. 🙂

  • Selin Ozgul
    Posted at 13 May 2017 Reply

    Well ,so proud of being Turkish sailor ,all sailors will use Turkish towels ..just a suggestion.If you can find Turkish Bath style towels they are great too.

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