Background: I was asked to apply "hot flannel towel" by my optician; to alleviate a mild eye lid inflammation, not important. My question is what she meant by the "flannel towel".
Terry cloth (or terrycloth) - this is the fabric towels are normally made of. As Wikipedia puts it: fabric with loops that can absorb large amounts of water. It's surface is coarse, it's made for rubbing. In my language we use froté, from French frotté, meaning rubbing.
Flannel - this is the fabric shirts can be made; and also blankets and bed sheets. NOT towels. It's soft and smooth and not a great water absorbent.
Thinking that "flannel towel" would mean a towel made of flannel, that is a special type of a towel, I started to search on Amazon. But to my surprise, all the results terry towels labelled as flannel towels.
Flannel even seems to be even used as a synonym to towel.
Is it something historic? Like that towels used to be made flannel before terry cloth was invented? Please, can someone shed some light on this?
And back to my optician advice, should I keep searching for a towel specifically made of flannel?
The optician is British English.
UPDATE 2019-09-06: So I simply emailed the optician. Their answer was: A small face cloth will help or any small terrycloth towel also.