New towels should be washed prior to use as directed on the tag. For the first wash only, one cup of vinegar should be added during the wash cycle to set the towel's color and prevent fading over time.
New towels often look extremely soft and fluffy on the shelf because many manufacturers coat them in a special fabric softener. While this fabric softener makes the towels look nice, it negatively affects their ability to absorb water, making it important to wash towels prior to their first use. After washing, towels should be dried in the dryer on a low heat setting.