[Video]Elegant and Charming Designs! Five Select Stores in Kyoto for Tenugui and Furoshiki
Tenugui hand towels and furoshiki wrapping cloths are traditional Japanese tools that can be used for a variety of purposes such as wiping off sweat and wrapping things, and are popular in Japan even today. Here are shops where you can buy fashionable tenugui and furoshiki in Kyoto.
1. SOU・SOU Ise Momen
SOU・SOU is a Kyoto brand that produces and sells jikatabi footwear, Japanese clothes, and furniture using original textiles made under the concept of "creating a new Japanese culture." It has many outlets, among which SOU・SOU Ise Momen is dedicated to ise momen, a traditional cotton textile with a history dating back more than 250 years.
The shop has a wide selection of tenugui hand towels made with valuable textiles woven using traditional methods and hand-dyed by skilled craftsmen. In addition to those with traditional motifs, there are many with designs that are modern yet uniquely Japanese.
Price example: Tenugui (1,155 JPY (incl. tax) and up)
2. Nijiyura Kyoto Sanjo Branch
Nijiyura offers a selection of tenugui that represent the artistic sensibilities and traditional skills of their creators. This is a brand by a workshop that has a long history of production using a traditional dying technique called chusen.
Chusen dyes are characterized by the delicate and soft texture of "bokashi" (gradation) and "nijimi" (seeping). Because they are individually handmade by artisans, each one is slightly different even with the same pattern. The designs are by renowned artists of various genres, and each one is exciting just to look at! A wide range of designs, from those that seem to tell a story from a picture book to those with rhythmical patterns, are available.
Price example: Tenugui (1,404 JPY (incl. tax) and up)
3. Hamamonyo Kyoto Shinkyogoku Branch
Hamamonyo, the textile brand from Yokohama, is also recommended! They produce and sell original Japanese goods that cherish "the appeal of the Japanese concept of 'wa' suited to the modern lifestyle."
They are distinguished by designs with Japanese motifs arranged in a modern manner to emote the sense of "iki" elegance. The designs give expression to a unique world while maintaining a sense of seasonality. The rich and deep colors and textures attained through the traditional Yokohama technique of Yokohama nassen is also worth paying attention to. This delicate dying technique, which uses print blocks, was developed in the local luxury silk scarf and handkerchief industry and achieves exquisite colors.
Price example: Tenugui (864 JPY (incl. tax)), furoshiki (540 JPY (incl. tax) and up)
4. Sanbido Karasuma Main Branch
Sanbido is a shop specializing in Japanese accessories run by the kimono accessories manufacturer, Sanbi, that has a history dating back to 1886. It is a shop that perfectly suites the times where you can casually enjoy the Japanese "wa" culture.
The shop offers a selection of tenugui hand towels, furoshiki wrapping cloths, coin purses, obidome (a decorative item used with kimonos for women), bags, etc. from the Sanbi line and selected from other brands. Most of them are created through techniques and ideas developed via traditional Japanese crafts. The furoshiki include those with Japanese patterns such as Japanese arabesque and rikyubai flowers, as well as those with globally popular Liberty designs. For tenugui, they also offer designs that are unique to Kyoto, such as of the Gion Festival, one of the three biggest Kyoto festivals, and of a map of Kyoto!
Price example: Tenugui (1,080 JPY (incl. tax)), furoshiki (756 JPY (incl. tax) and up)
5. RAAK Main Branch
RAAK is created by Japan's oldest cotton merchant, Eirakuya, which was established more than 400 years ago. The line includes a variety of fashionable "wa" items as well as tenugui and furoshiki.
Their design runs the gamut from those that represent Japan and Kyoto to unique and innovative ones. In addition to the standard tenugui, the "gauze tenugui" that focus on usability while incorporating the traditions of a long standing establishment, are recommended. Feel the soft, pleasant texture for yourself.
Price example: Tenugui and gauze tenugui (1,728 JPY each (incl. tax) and up), small furoshiki (1,296 JPY (incl. tax) and up)
Watch this video how to do Japanese napkin folding
You can put the tenugui in frames to decorate the house, or use the furoshiki as table crosses. They have various uses, so be sure to pick some up as mementos from your trip or as gifts to take home.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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