What is TENUGUI?—A traditional art work—

TENUGUI—originally hand towel and has a long history dating from 8th century. It`s cotton hand-dyed cloth, sized about 90cmx35cm. Japanese people have been and are using it in daily life. Nowadays it attained the aspect of traditional art in addition to everyday item.

With its beautiful design and color, TENUGUI is used as home decoration, wrapping cloth, sewing material, table runner, accessory and in many ways. At our Asa no Ha and our online store, you`ll encounter and enjoy traditional craftworks and Japanese stories told by TENUGUI.

TENUGUI made by craftspeople with expert technique

First of all craftsperson cuts a paper and makes a pattern. The paper is reinforced with a special method, which is to make layers using natural persimmon tannin.



Every detail of design is expressed by craftsperson`s expert technique, using appropriate kind of knife. After cutting, the pattern is backed up with silk thread and Japanese lacquer.

This pattern is used repeatedly to dye textiles until it collapses.


Tenugui textile is usually long white cotton. It is folded to accordion form and craftsperson put a paste on top of textile and pattern to block the color.


At dyeing place another craftsperson blends the materials and prepares colors. Blending also requires expertise. When more than one color is used, the craftsperson squeeze out additional paste to block the areas, then pour colors into blocked spaces and dye the textile. The more complex the design becomes, the more times the process is repeated.




After dyeing process the textile is carried to washing place, where textile is washed in water and the paste is washed off. Wet long textile is quite heavy, so it is also a craftsperson`s technique to haul and get it together quickly.


After going through a machine dewatering process, the textile is carried to drying space and is dried with natural air or with machine heat according to weather condition.


Finally, after craftsperson checked all the conditions, long textile is cut into TENUGUI size. All the processes are done by hand. There is a dedicated craftsperson for each process and they never change their area of expertise, generally continue in the same expertise whole life.

All our Tenugui products are made by expert craftspeople. We hope you enjoy these beautiful and traditional art.