Paper Towel Features
The strength of the paper towel refers to how much weight a wet towel can withstand before it tears. You can determine the strength of different paper towels by wetting the towel, holding two ends of the paper towel and then adding weight. The towel that can hold the most weight is the strongest. The strength of the paper towel may vary depending on how wet it is. Test towels by using a few drops of water, a medium amount of water and then a paper towel that is soaking wet.
The absorbency of paper towels has two different factors: the amount of water that can be absorbed and how fast the liquid is absorbed. A paper towel that can quickly pick up liquid and pick up a large amount of liquid is the most absorbent. When testing the different paper towels make sure you use a fixed size, as not all paper towels are the same size. You will have to cut all of the paper towels to one size.
The ply of paper towels depends on how many layers of paper are used. There are single-ply paper towels with one layer. Double-ply paper towels are made of two layers of paper. The layers are joined using an embossing technique. Triple ply has three layers of paper. Generally, the more layers in the paper towel the more absorbent and the stronger the paper towel. The embossing technique that joins the layers also allows for water to wick between the layers, speeding up the absorbency of the towel.
Recycled vs. VirginSome paper towels are made of recycled materials, while other are considered virgin paper. This might affect the ability to absorb water -- as paper is recycled the cellulose fibers become shorter and shorter. Eventually the fibers will become too short and cannot be used in paper towels. Test the paper towels' strength and absorbency to determine if recycled paper has a similar absorbency and strength as virgin paper towels.
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