The first towels were introduced into Japan from the UK in 1872 and were initially used as scarves. In 1887, local textiles merchant Satoi Enjiru obtained towels from Germany and began to research the weaving process used to make towels. The towels were bleached after production (atozarashi), leading to towels that were incredibly soft to touch and highly absorbent.
Atozarashi towels are typically woven with thin, raw fibers which are coated with an adhesive agent (such as starch) to increase durability. However, the problem with fibers treated in such a way is that they can repel water and as a result, the towels are less absorbent. Senshu towels follow a post-production process of washing and bleaching to wash away adhesive agents, remaining oils, and other impurities. The final product is a highly absorbent towel which is luxuriously soft.