turning japanese

In Japanese, the word tenugui means 'to wipe one’s hands'. It also refers to squares of fabric with season specific patterns that are dyed in such a way that they have no front or back. Tenugui were originally used by both sexes as towels, head coverings, stationery, and wrapping for presents. Contemporary tenugui prints are so cleverly considered that I would love to pick up a few yards just to make into a bag/skirt/obi belt. Or perhaps embarass my cat with a "racoon dog" jacket (the little owl-eyed bear creatures up top).

Ninja femmes. Not since IvanaHelsinki's maatuska print (and more recently, the skirt on this Swede) have I been so patternamoured.

'Moon phases' for a fall festival and 'rain shelter' for the wet season.

An unusually elegant take on pink flamingoes, and if batman was Japanese, his kimono could be trimmed with the second print.

>> Any favourites? Too bad The Sound of Music was set in Austria rather than Japan. Imagine the whimsical outfits the von Trapp kids would have been wearing if Maria had had these towels to work with, rather than musty old green curtains... The resulting dirndls and lederhosen would have been much more cheerful.

From shops in the downtown Tsukishima area of Tokyo via PingMag.


Mademoiselle said...

You are right, tenugui are incredible here, I put some all over the place (on tables, on the walls....) and make great gifts our of them (they go especially well with tea boxes)

The Spicers said...

WOW! Great prints. These are just beautiful.

hogan said...

i used to have one with the simple flower print at the bottom right of the first picture, but mine was mauve and sadly i lost it while cycling. i thought it was just a bandanna! but now that i know what they are i must get a new one :) these prints are fantastic!