How to calculate the GSM of textiles.

What is GSM?

GSM stands for “grams per square meter” or “g/m2”. This is a metric used to benchmark manufacturing specifications set by the customer. The more common answer is that GSM measures how and plush your towel’s pile feels. Basically, the higher the GSM, the thicker the towel.

Are Plush Towels Better?

The answer is situational. A lower GSM Towel (300-400) is as worthy as a higher GSM towel (600-800) when the use case calls for a thinner towel. Take your average gym towel (like our 8lb Institutional 24″ x 48″ Admiral towel). These wholesale white towels are designated for single-use before laundering. Gym towels will suffer from linen-loss as gym towels may walk out with the guest. You’re not going to spend a lot on a towel with such a high churn rate, so 400 GSM is excellent for gym and pool towels. Beach cabana towels are often on the slimmer side of GSM. Thinner towels are lighter, dry more quickly, and are less likely to collect sand in their pile. 

Is There a Standard Bath Towel Size?

Bath Towels Standard Bath towels often weigh in at around 500GSM. Most of our towel sets feature 27″ x 52″ 12lb Bath towels (560 GSM). 

They’re smaller than beach towels to ‘handle’ better in the bathroom. You need enough terry to dry the body quickly, without dragging it on the floor. We specifically developed the Metro Towel Set collection with a regional department store to fulfill this role. Beach towels are more oversized as we use them to cover chairs or act as blankets on the sand.

How Plush is a Luxury Towel? 

A “plush” luxurious towel typically would have a GSM of 600-800 or higher (think luxury resorts, Turkish towels, and Bloomingdales. Our Aston & Arden Resort Towels fill this role. Thick plush towels are statement pieces. They’re softer and feature long-staple ring-spun or combed cotton. Is the towel ideal for the average beach user? Not always, but the heart wants what the heart wants. 

How to Calculate GSM?

By knowing the size and weight of a towel, you can calculate the thickness (GSM). Its a triangulation of sorts so you can also calculate the weight of the towel using GSM and size of the towel. What you cannot do is calculate the dimensions of the towel using GSM and weight. 

GSM is a metric term, so you must convert LBS to grams and inches to centimeters. Fortunately, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. Feel free to use the tables below to calculate GSM.

Find the GSM of a textile when weight and size are known.

Find the Weight of a textile when GSM and size are known.

Woman laying on California Cabana Towels - Red on the beach

Arkwright carries an assortment of wholesale towels, bath rugs, accent rugs, sheets, throws and comforter sets in both in-line and closeout merchandise that hold up to the modern family on the go. We supply linens to stores in our local tri-state area, nationwide chains, and internet retailers. We also export to seventy-five countries worldwide and have global sourcing capabilities.

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