Terrycloth Has Taken Over, But Will the Bubble Burst?

Bags not just for the pool and the beach, but beyond

If you hear the word terrycloth and immediately think of the pastel-hued tracksuits you wore to high school in the 2000s, it’s probably time to consider botox if you haven’t already.

Oh, wait. That’s me…

Jokes aside, terrycloth boomed big in the 2000s. There were terrycloth skirts, tracksuits, dresses, hats, and of course, bags. You probably owned at least one item in the material, and chances are it wasn’t something strictly made for the beach, but where did it all begin? Let’s take it all the way back to the 1800s…

The Origins of Terrycloth

While the term terrycloth is largely associated with towels, it actually stands for a specific technique. The technique of weaving terry has been around since the mid-1800s when it first appeared industrially in Europe. First, the process was perfected with silk, and eventually, its use on cotton became more widespread.

The name is derived from the French word “tirer” which means to pull, referencing the loops that are pulled to make the material we now know as terrycloth. The use of the fabric has evolved greatly since its creation over 150 years ago, and no longer is terrycloth just used for towels. In fact, the material typically used in clothing is called French terry. Lighter in weight, French terry utilizes the looping technique on only one side of the cloth, leaving the backside smooth and soft.

From the Beach to the Streets

While the material has been around for ages, the use of the fabric strictly for fashion purposes only dates back to the very first terrycloth boom when high-end athleisure hit the scene in the early 2000s. The world took notice, and everyone from Paris Hilton to J.Lo was spotted wearing a terrycloth tracksuit or carrying a terrycloth bag on their arm.

Dior Terrycloth Bag

Remember those J’ADORE bags from the early aughts? It’s not surprising then that terrycloth has found its way back into the hearts of fashionistas everywhere, with the Y2K revival hitting its peak. The 2000s hottest trends are back, and the terrycloth takeover continues, but will the bubble burst?

Get It While It’s Hot

Every trend goes through the trend cycle, starting slow, hitting its peak, and eventually trickling down to the masses. Terry began to make its return a few years ago with our favorite high-end brands like Chanel and Fendi jumping on the bandwagon. In 2021, the trend was big, and this year, it’s massive. If you’re interested in adding some terry to your collection, this would be the year to do it.

The Best of Terrycloth

Terry Cloth Baguette

Bottega Veneta Teen Pouch

Bottega Veneta Teen Pouch
via Moda Operandi

Prada Terrycloth Triangle Pouch

Chanel Terrycloth Flap Bag

Miu Miu Terrycloth Tote Bag

Prada Terrycloth Tote


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