The Art of Folding a Towel



I have nothing enlightening, intriguing or interesting to say about towels.   Nothing.  I’ve gotttttttt nothin’.

I know this because I’ve sat here staring at my computer screen for about an hour trying to think of a story about a towel.  I do not have one.  I have the same basic memories of towels everyone else has.  They’re nice when they come out of the dryer, they’re great for drying yourself off with  and they make an excellent sling for carrying around a mountain goat in a pinch.

So, as I said, I have nothing new to add to the virtues of towels.

I do however, have for you a video on how to fold a towel.    Properly.




  1. Marti says:

    That was vital. Do you have something somewhere about the absolute, undeniable necessity of fabric softener? It makes the towels lay smoother, feel softer (doh!) and smell so much better than plain, ordinary “tossed in the wash” towels.

    (You know chipmunks are just fat, striped rats, right?)

  2. Karen says:

    Marti – I dunno. Fabric softener. Sounds like a bit of an advanced technique. I’ll have to give it some thought. ~ karen

  3. Renee says:

    Pretty sure my request for this method caused a divorce. Much like the chipmunk shutting up, my house is quieter now, too. And my towels are folded properly! I emailed the ex a link. 😉

  4. karenagain says:

    I can’t see the video, but I do know how to fold a towel perfectly and properly just like the one in the picture.

    Fabric softener interferes with the towels ability to absorb the H2O off of you and should not be used on towels.

  5. Karen says:

    Karenagain – Why can’t you see the video? Seems odd. If you open the Internet with a different browser, Firefox maybe … perhaps you’ll be able to view it. Strange. ~ karen

  6. kelly says:

    all children should be required to learn said towel folding technique. I know both of mine did. 🙂 Think of the happiness it will bring to their future spouses! 🙂

  7. Rebecca says:

    My husband taught me to fold towels like that (weird, I know). I feel like it is one of the most important things I have learned from him in the 14 years we’ve been together!

  8. karenagain says:

    For sure this is my problem and not yours. Last night I got a blue screen of death on my laptop at home. This morning my computer at work gave me the same BSofD. I feel normal. I don’t feel electric or anything. For the last two weeks I have been craving BLT’s on (heaven forbid for me) WHITE BREAD. So, yeah, I don’t know what’s going on exacty.

    My Mom got her flu shot a couple days ago and now she’s sick. Do you get a flu shot? I never have. I’m scared. I rarely get sick. I do not want the flu, but do not want to self-induce via prevention. Please everyone else in town get the shot so y’all don’t infect me.

  9. How do I teach my husband that this is the way to do it though?

  10. Gigi says:

    I learned the same technique from a dear friend. At first I just thought she was a bit compulsive about her linens. Seriously compulsive. Then she came and organized my linen closet. (I told you, dear friend.) I have now seen the light and am converted.

  11. Dieu says:

    can you do something on a fitted sheet? I do the hand clap from the corners thing that martha stewart showed once but it never works for me. I think I’m doing it all wrong.

  12. Kate S says:

    I promise to fold my towels properly henceforth, though the boyfriend tends to prefer them in their “natural state” and will never learn

    PS. I love that your site had an ad for today, they make really awesome shirts 🙂

  13. SK Farm Girl says:

    I am one of the people who insists towels be folded this way, as it is the CORRECT way! You overlooked a very important point, though Karen. When folding the towel, the turned-under side of the seams must be “kissing” one another – you know, facing one another. Just sayin’! It is a very important point for those of us who are afflicted with ODC!!! Oh, and when the towels are placed in the linen closet, the beautiful folds must face outward! Again, just sayin’!!!

  14. Valerie says:

    Dryer balls, the ones with the little teeth produce soft towels and clothing without the addition of chemical fabric softeners. I use three. They will last two years or so before they split and give up the ghost.

  15. itchbay says:

    Ha! When I was a senior in high school, I worked at the local Linens ‘n More (kinda like a smaller version of a Bed, Bath and Beyond). One of my more favorite tasks was re-folding the towels in the display. I know, it sounds boring as hell, but it beat trying to help rude customer.

    I like to think that during those seemingly endless hours of folding towel after towel, I got it down to a science. It was all about getting those decorative lines to match up when you stacked the towels.

    That was a perfect job for my barely-hidden OCD tendencies. 😉

  16. Ooooh controversial! I don’t believe in fabric softener on towels, it makes them lose absorbency, in my experience.

    Which is limited, since I’m too cheap to buy fabric softener.

  17. brie says:

    umm would it be wrong to send this video tutorial to my husband? 🙂

  18. KEG says:

    I use that technique too. Essential!
    Please plllleeeeease do a post on folding corner sheets! O.o

  19. michelle says:

    who knew? i’ve been doing it right all along!!

  20. Amanda says:

    I love a soft, well-folded towel. I agree that they absorb less water than if you don’t use fabric softener, but….meh. Soft is better for me.

    You know what I have the WORST time with? Folding sheets. I’m so inconsistent – if I even fold them at all. *blush* Any thoughts??

  21. Christina says:

    Hmm I like stitching on the outside but now see the error of my ways. I’d sure like to see your fitted sheets.

  22. carin says:

    This is great, hotel style. I realize now I’ve been folding mine motel style…

  23. Beautiful executed….I’m happy to tell you that I fold my towels the same way….Thank You…
    And as far as the chipmunk ….they are not part of a the rat family…they are part of the squirrel family….they are (the squirrel) who are kin to the rats….LOL… father said that chipmunk lives around a house when they feel safe….and they will stay there until dead….but when they have babies ….they run them off when they can care for themselves….territory thing… they will also run off other critters as well…snakes, mice, moles, ect….the chipmunk is telling you there is something he doesn’t like….you might want to check it out…could be a snake….never know…

  24. Gettinby says:

    Down here in Texas, women are very particular about towel folding. My mom used to yell at me all the time, until I caught the bug, and now fold them correctly. I even caught an episode of Divorce Court once, and the wife was leaving the husband because, yep, he didn’t fold the towels correctly.

  25. Talia says:

    My sister-in-law showed this technique years (and years) ago. Now my linen closet (yeah, like I have one of those. Damn old house!) okay, shelf in my laundry room, looks professional.

  26. pat says:

    do how do you keep your towels so white????? Foldng = great, but white – greater!

  27. HAAAaaaa!!!! I love ya Karen !! I knew we were soul sista’s…but not in that crazy nut case sort of way :). My Nana taught me how to fold towels the same way. I have taught my husband, and all four kids, and any other poor unsuspecting soul who comes to my house for a visit. AND A SWIM IN MY POOL. Quick ! Outside everyone! towel lessons for all. hahha..:)

  28. Sarah says:

    Loved the video! Thanks for the chuckle this morning!

  29. Cynna says:

    Re/ fabric softener on towels–not a good thing. It puts a “coating” on the towel therefore depleting its ability to absorb water. Which is what a towel is supposed to do.
    PS – We were taught to fold towels lengthwise!

  30. toni says:

    I am a rebel!…That’s right….I roll my towels…I am also seeking therapy today at 4pm…that will be one of the many things we will discuss….that and compulsive sheet ironing….Toni

  31. Love this! I really want to go refold all my towels now!!!!

  32. magali says:

    They sell some really cute hedge hog shaped ones on modcloth!

  33. magali says:

    my boyfriend had to accept to fold the towels this way because if I fold his t-shirts they *must* be folded like they are in stores.

  34. lynn says:

    Fabric softener also ‘coats’ the mesh of your lint screen thereby restricting the airflow. Test: thake said lintscreen and run it under hot water –
    if it’s clogged, it will hold water. Brush with a stiff brush – water test again and it should run right through. Fireman told me this because dryer fires are common and this is one reason why. Whew! Public service message….

    PS – I also tuck my towel tags Karen – surprised you don’t!! 🙂

  35. Karen says:

    Lynn – I tucked as I was spinning the towel around. At least I tried to. I do tag tuck. ~ karen

  36. Ruth says:

    Maybe the chipmunk doesn’t like chickens.

  37. latenac says:

    This is the way my husband folds towels which I’ve been trying to unteach him since our towels go from the linen closet to the towel rack and this method doesn’t render them easy to hang without refolding them.

  38. SK Farm Girl says:

    Oops, must have dyslexia also; should be OCD, not ODC!

  39. Lisa says:

    Hmm. I never fold my towels, I just hang them back on the hooks after I wash them. I guess I could go fold the dog towels in the basement, but that seems rather extreme.

    Also, I cannot fold a fitted sheet either, and Martha Stewart could not help me. Fold it the best you can and stuff the whole linen set inside one of the pillowcases so you can’t see it.

  40. Renee says:

    Good morning from Snowy Colorado!

    I don’t know how I came across your blog, but I am so happy I did. I LOVE it! The researchers who recently decided that men are funnier than women have not read your blog.

    Towels,…back in the day, my mom taught me to fold them properly. Of course, my husband and his family do it differently. I unlearned the proper way for the sake of family harmony.

    The chipmunk pause in your video reminded me of the movie ‘UP’. I wanted to shout, “Squirrel!”, like the cute dog, Doug, did in the movie. (You need to see the movie to really get a laugh out of that.)

    Thanks for the entertainment, and have a great day!

  41. Karen says:

    Well, thanks Renee! No snow around Toronto, Ontario yet but possibility of flurries tonight. I love that you started your comment with a weather report. I’m kind of weather obsessed. Thanks for the compliments and I’m glad you found my blog. ~ karen!

  42. kate says:

    ugh! fabric softener makes me itch!

  43. Caroline says:

    I was not aware there was any other way to fold a towel! 🙂

  44. kate says:

    well, the really proper way to fold a towel is that the FIRST fold should be length-wise – that way when it is removed from the closet to hang on the towel rod, you do not have to unfold it and fold it length-wise (to fit the rod) AGAIN. — also, the really proper way to put the towel in the closet it to put the hem sides up and facing the front of the closet do when you need to remove it you can just grab the edge and it neatly unfolds for you.

  45. Karen says:

    Kate – Mmmmm. No. LOL. ~ karen

  46. blake says:

    I second the emotion of “How to Fold a Fitted Sheet”
    please and thank you?

  47. Another Karen says:

    Vinegar, not fabric softener, in the final rinse. Works like a charm and the vinegary scent does not become part of the towel. They come out nice and fluffy from the dryer, smelling surprisingly fresh and clean. You’re welcome!

  48. Marie says:

    Also unable to see the video – see this instead:
    “An error occurred. Please try again later.”
    Will try again later so that I too can have such neat looking folded towels.

  49. Langela says:

    Try white vinegar in place of fabric softener. Leaves things just as soft only without the scent. There is NO vinegar smell either. I use the same amount as I would softener. Super cheap and a good alternative for those of us with allergies to fragrances.

  50. Langela says:

    I also would like a tutorial on fitted sheet folding. I saw a video on it at one point (I think it was teaching single men the technique) and it was awesome. Unfortunately, I didn’t go right away and try it so I have no idea how to do it like they showed. And I’ve long forgotten where I found it.

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