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Cotton is no longer king, at least when it comes to bath towels. According to our latest tests, those woven from a new, touted blend of cotton and bamboo were about 25 percent softer after laundering, on average, than their all-cotton counterparts.
If you're picturing strands of bamboo woven through the cloth, don't. Actually, cellulose from the panda's favorite food is often converted into silky rayon fibers, and it's the rayon--which can also be created from cotton or wood pulp--that can lend a softer feel. Unfortunately, soft isn't cheap. The four bamboo-blend towels that we tested averaged $23. That's about $8.50 more than the average 100 percent cotton towel.
Because bamboo grows fast and can be harvested quickly, …