The rich world of tenugui
The Japanese textile form of the tenugui has a rich and textured history that weaves together art and commercial uses. Still handcrafted by artisans in Tokyo shitamachi (old downtown), its versatility and affordability ensure it continues to evolve in exciting new ways even today.
Everyday art — versatile & practical
Tenugui are used for a multitude of purposes, from hand towel to headwear, bandage to business card, place mat to wall hanging. As every tenugui is handmade, each is unique. Their individual appeal grows with repeated use and washing, as the cloth softens and the dyes take on a well-used patina—natural qualities which we love here at CIBI.
Each pattern tells a story.
Crane & Turtle (Kisshou-tsuru-kame) : In Japanese legends and stories the crane is said to live for 1,000 years and the turtle for 10,000 , and are seen as symbols of good fortune and longevity. Likewise, the grouping of the pine, bamboo and plum, the 'friends of winter' because none of them wither, have long been used as symbols of promise and good fortune.
Arrows (Yaga-suri) : This patter has been used since ancient times as symbol of good luck. In the Edo Period, when women get married it is said they won't divorce if they take a kimono with a Yagasuri (arrows) pattern with them - once an arrows is fired it never returns back.
Hemp leaves (Asa-no-ha) : As this geometric pattern looks like hemp leaves, people started cling the pattern hemp leaves. As hemp trees grow very quickly and strongly, to share the luck of the asa-no-ha this pattern was often used for babies' clothes.
Seasonal elements and patterns : As there are four distinct seasons in Japan, they play an important part in Japanese culture, and the enjoyment and appreciation of seasonal patterns expresses this.
Size: 90 x 30cm