Nick Rossi says he began making the towels to raise money for Italian earthquake victims a few years ago before expanding production to other languages including Spanish and Hebrew.
The Ligonier man tells WTAE-TV ( http://bit.ly/QEU7QK) he thinks his towels are a "new and improved version" of the ones sold by the Steelers to benefit mentally disabled children and adults at the Allegheny Valley School.
Rossi says he received cease-and-desist letters from the team but changed his design to get rid of "terrible" in any language.
A phone message left for the team early Thursday wasn't immediately returned.
Allegheny Valley School says the towels have raised more than $3 million.
Information from: WTAE-TV, http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com