The edges of tenugui are not hemmed. The raveling edges allow the cloth to be wringed and dry better, and the raveling will stop by itself. As the tenugui are hand painted and reliant on weather, temperature and humidity, even tenugui painted at the same time will differ slightly in print and intensity.
Tenugui are thin Japanese cotton hand towels. They are generally 35 by 90 centimeters, plain woven and usually have a specific pattern or image. They are very versatile and are therefore make very popular gifts and souvenirs.
Traditionally, tenugui were used as napkins and towels. Men also used them as extra padding for head wear and tied them around their head to keep sweat out of their eyes during summer. The Chinese characters for ‘tenugui’ translate into ‘hand’ and ‘wipe’ and definitely fail to capture the rich history, versatility and craftsmanship behind these cloths.
Tenugui is a special product. Handmade, hand painted and with a lot of cultural history, it is a unique and beautiful Japanese craft and makes a versatile gift. As they are reusable and biodegradable, they are a great investment which you can enjoy for a long time.
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