Cotton is a natural fiber and new towels will shed some loose fibers.
Avoid fabric softeners as they contain silicon that will make the towels water repellent. To soften them, use 1 cup of WHITE vinegar about every 6 weeks. Run the towels through a regular washing cycle, then redo them with the vinegar instead of soap. The reason towels aren't soft is because they have soap left in them.
Machinewash on max. 40°C
Do not tumble dry. Hang dry only.