The Evolution of Multifold Paper Towels

by | May 25, 2024 | paper towel | 0 comments

From the humble beginnings of paper products to the modern, highly efficient multifold paper towels, the evolution of these essential items is a story of innovation and practicality. Today, multifold paper towels are ubiquitous in public restrooms, offices, and homes, and brands like Genuine Joe and Scott have become staples in the industry. This article will delve into the history, advancements, and current state of multifold paper towels.

multifold paper towels

The Dawn of Disposable Paper Towels

The concept of paper towels as we know them today began in the early 20th century. Initially intended for medical facilities to prevent the spread of germs, paper towels quickly found their way into other public spaces and eventually households.

The Birth of the Paper Towel Industry

Arthur Scott, the founder of Scott Paper Company, is often credited with creating the first disposable paper towel in 1907. The idea was born out of a necessity to repurpose a batch of defective toilet paper. These early paper towels were a hit, and thus began the journey towards the multifold towels we're familiar with today.

The Rise of Multifold Paper Towels

Multifold paper towels are designed to dispense one towel at a time, which helps reduce waste and improve hygiene. Over the years, the design and materials used in these towels have undergone significant changes.

The Design Revolution

The original paper towels were single sheets, but as the need for more efficient dispensing methods grew, the multifold design was developed. This design allowed for towels to be interlocked, making it easy to pull a single towel without touching the next one, promoting better hygiene and reducing cross-contamination.

Material Advancements

Initially, paper towels were made from virgin paper. However, with increasing environmental concerns, manufacturers began to use recycled materials. Genuine Joe and Scott multifold paper towels, for example, have embraced the use of recycled fibers without compromising on strength and absorbency.

Key Players in the Multifold Paper Towel Market

Several brands have emerged as leaders in the paper towel industry, with Genuine Joe and Scott being two of the most prominent. Their commitment to quality and innovation has helped shape the market.

Genuine Joe Multifold Paper Towels

Genuine Joe is known for providing quality paper towels that balance cost-effectiveness with performance. Their multifold towels are popular in commercial settings due to their reliability and compatibility with a variety of dispensers.

Scott Multifold Paper Towels

Scott, with its long history in the paper product industry, continues to be a household name. The Scott multifold paper towels are praised for their superior absorbency and softness, making them a top choice for businesses and consumers alike.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

The paper towel industry has faced its share of environmental scrutiny. The production and disposal of paper towels contribute to deforestation, water usage, and landfill waste. However, steps have been taken to mitigate these impacts.

Recycled Content and Certifications

Many multifold paper towels now contain a significant percentage of recycled fibers. Certifications such as the EcoLogo and Green Seal indicate that the products meet specific environmental standards throughout their lifecycle.

Reducing Waste with Dispenser Innovations

Dispensers for multifold paper towels have become more sophisticated, with designs that encourage single-towel dispensing and reduce overuse. This not only cuts down on waste but also results in cost savings for establishments.

The Future of Multifold Paper Towels

As technology and environmental awareness progress, the future of multifold paper towels is likely to see further innovation.

Biodegradable and Compostable Options

Research is underway to develop fully biodegradable and compostable paper towels that can break down quickly without leaving harmful residues in the environment.

Smart Dispensers and IoT

The integration of smart technology into paper towel dispensers is on the horizon. These advancements will allow for real-time monitoring of usage and supply levels, further improving efficiency and reducing waste.

Choosing the Right Multifold Paper Towels for Your Needs

When selecting multifold paper towels, several factors should be considered to ensure that you're choosing the best option for your specific needs.

Absorbency and Strength

The primary function of a paper towel is to absorb liquids and clean surfaces. Towels with high absorbency and strength will perform these tasks more effectively and may require fewer sheets per use.

Cost Versus Quality

While budget constraints are a reality for many businesses and consumers, it's important to weigh the cost against the quality of the towels. In many cases, investing in a slightly more expensive, higher-quality towel can lead to long-term savings by reducing the number of towels needed for each clean-up.


For those looking to make environmentally conscious choices, towels with a high percentage of recycled content and eco-certifications should be prioritized.

Best Practices for Using Multifold Paper Towels

To maximize the benefits of multifold paper towels, users should adopt best practices for their use and disposal.

Proper Dispensing

Always use compatible dispensers and ensure they are loaded correctly to prevent multiple towels from being dispensed at once.

Responsible Disposal

Encourage the proper disposal of used towels in waste bins, and where possible, implement recycling programs specifically for paper products.

Educating Users

Educational signage can help inform users about the correct use of paper towels and the importance of minimizing waste.


The evolution of multifold paper towels reflects a journey towards greater efficiency, hygiene, and environmental responsibility. Brands like Genuine Joe and Scott have played significant roles in this progression and continue to innovate to meet the needs of a changing world. As we move forward, sustainability and technological integration will likely be at the forefront of future developments in this essential product category.

By understanding the history, current state, and future potential of multifold paper towels, consumers and businesses can make informed decisions that align with their values and requirements, ensuring that this everyday product continues to evolve in a direction that benefits both people and the planet.

Related Products

toilet paper

Toilet Paper

paper towel

Paper Towel

printed paper napkins

Paper Napkin

facial tissue

Facial Tissue