a strip of towelling

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
There was an old strip of towelling hung from a hook in the entryway, and after hanging up his dripping coat and removing his boots, he used it to towel his dark-blonde hair dry.
Source: Misery by Stephen King

Below hung four strips of towelling, right? Would you call a facecloth a strip of towelling?

upload_2019-4-17_2-31-13.jpeg


Thank you.
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The phrase "a strip of towelling" used in preference to simply "a towel" suggests a piece of towelling fabric that was simply cut into a strip but not finished with seams at the edges (that would create a "towel"). It brings to mind a cheaper alternative than a "real towel" and a picture of poverty or cheapness.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Below hung four strips of towelling, right? Would you call a facecloth a strip of towelling?
    No, those are towels.
    No, facecloths are not "strips".

    A "strip of <uncountable substance>" is a long, narrow piece of that uncountable substance.

    "Towelling" is the uncountable substance that towels and facecloths are made from. Towelling is a kind of fabric.

    So a strip of towelling is a long, narrow piece of "towelling" fabric. In the story, it probably means that a towel has been torn or ripped or cut into long narrow pieces ("strips").
     
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