What is “Tenugui”?

Tenugui is a piece of dyed cotton cloth – an essential tool for the Japanese. Not only was it used as a towel or a handkerchief, in the past it was also used as a bandage and a headwear. Since it was possible to dye various graphic patterns and designs on the Tenugui, it also came to be used in place of a greeting card or business card.

And recently, people have found even more ways to use it, from place mats to tapestry for decorating their homes.  I bought these two Tenugui when I was in Tokyo during late 2008 from a small shop called Kamawanu. The name of this shop means “We may not give you a special service, but you are welcome anytime”. We didn’t have much time, so I had to go in and quickly decide what to buy. I am sure that I wasn’t the first British tourist to buy the Beckoning cat design but it will great adoring my walls.

You can more of their Tenugui at www.kamawanu.co.jp

Tenugui cat.JPGTenugui sun.JPG

Daniel

Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

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