Our Organic Peshtemal Cotton

Our cotton is sustainably sourced from Denizli, Turkey, where traditional weaving methods dating back six hundred years still thrive today. Skills are passed down from fathers to sons, mothers to daughters. These artisanal techniques once produced a luxurious, flat-woven cotton towel known as a peshtemal.

The lightness, absorbency and quick-drying features of the fabric have earned peshtemals a grand and storied history; sought after by senators of ancient Rome and a staple of the Ottoman Hammam culture. Today, it makes them beach-perfect.

Our shirts, designed in London, are crafted from 100% organic Turkish peshtemal cotton or bamboo.

This means:

  • No added chemicals
  • Gets softer with each wash
  • Towelling nature
  • No sweat patches
  • Skin friendly: no irritation and soft – proven benefits for both physical and mental health

A short history of the peshtemal


Peshtemals back to 14th century Anatolia, Western Asia, where the cloth was a staple in Ottoman Empire hammams. Peshtemal towels became ubiquitous in Ottoman society among royalty and were used in traditional Turkish baths. They were considered ideal for the hammam setting because they allowed bathers to maintain their privacy.


Beyond their functional use, peshtemals became a fashionable accessory in the 17th century when royal Ottoman women began to seek out beautiful and ornately designed peshtemals. Turkish weavers were commissioned to design vibrantly patterned peshtemals using traditional hand-woven techniques and the peshtemal transformed into a fashion statement through its distinct designs and intricate weaving methods. These unique patterns were used by Ottoman society to indicate which region people originated from, and allowed for variation in styles and colours across Turkey.


How is peshtemal cloth made?


Peshtemal cloth is made using 100% organic Turkish cotton and traditional weaving techniques that utilise looms. This premium cotton is recognised for its high quality and its extra-long fibres that allow it to open up with use. It is this unique feature that makes the cloth highly absorbent and forms a stronger and smoother cotton thread once woven. The design of this unique material ensures that peshtemal cloth becomes softer, fluffier, and more absorbent with each wash. As it was designed for the traditional hammam settings, peshtemal cloth is lightweight, highly absorbent and quick-drying, making it both easy to care for and practical.


Peshtemal cloth has traditionally been woven and produced by small family businesses in historic textile factories located in Denizli, Turkey. The purchase of peshtemal cloth serves to benefit families and local artisans that have been weaving cotton for centuries and ensures the preservation of their culture, heritage and skills from generation to generation.


Why we chose peshtemal cloth


At Playa London, we recognise the excellence of this classic Turkish textile that is designed to be thin, absorbent and quick-drying. Playa London works with local Turkish artisans to produce the highest quality peshtemal cloth that is both ethically sourced and sustainable. Following the tradition set by the original peshtemal artisans, our peshtemal designs use unique patterns and colours to suit each one of our collections. These collections are inspired by various regions around the world and are designed with culture, climate, and fashion in mind. Rooted in this historic tradition, Playa London seeks to use authentic, plush and durable peshtemal cloth to create fashionable and luxurious beachwear.

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