Why do sheets get softer with each wash, while towels get coarser over time?

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Why do sheets get softer with each wash, while towels get coarser over time?

In: 2810

it’s structural damage in both.

sheet is basically a weave strings, and each wash destroys some of the strings, making it easier to bend as there’s _less_ things to resist the bending.

towel is made to have a lot of protruding knobs, and each knob lined with a lot of soft fibers. this maximizes surface area (good for drying) and giving it a fluffy feel. each wash makes these knobs “go bald” and once they become bald, they feel less fluffy

Reminded me of a towel life-hack (I worked in marketing for a major US retailer for a decade).

If you like your towels, use liquid fabric softener in the wash vs. dryer sheets. I can’t recall the “why”, but the company “towel expert” did a presentation with towels from the product testing lab. After like a hundred wash/dry cycles, the liquid softener towels were like new, while the dryer-sheet towels were markedly eroded. It was really night and day when they passed the examples around. Wish I could remember the explanation, but it was pretty dramatic.

The real question is why does my flat sheet develop a crease in the top fold after the first wash that is more permanent than crimped steal?

What gets wetter as it dries?