Posts Tagged ‘Tenugui’


February 18, 2011


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

A perfect day for this color and activity. Highs were up to 77°…no mosquitoes. Comparing temps though, we may have been warmer than Tampa – strange winter – we’ve actually had lows that compared to Anchorage (or colder) and now we’re doing this.


Printed Tenugui on a wall

January 29, 2010

Printed Tenugui on a wall

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I also like the way this sensei decorated the walls of the school hall with printed “tenugui” (also this week).

Wall Hanging, Tenugui or…

May 8, 2009

Wall Hanging1

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Dee and I both worked along side our students as a demonstration and to potentially show them the challenges we were running into (like them!).

The pieces measure 12 x 36 inches and it’s the same size roughly that I cut when making the hachimaki/tenugui for the younger set when I do the fish printing workshops. Tenugui tend to be 2 inches wider.

When I do the Aizome Shibori workshop at Animazement I will be offering something similar. I’ll probably take in a wider range of tools (as opposed to only needle & thread) for participants to work with due to time constraints. Still, in the time provided, those otaku should be able to make something pleasing.

Matcha green

March 22, 2009


Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Initially, when I started thinking about doing this month’s residency I considered dyeing the hachmaki, but thinking about the number (300), it seemed over the top. However, I know how important it is to leave something behind when doing a thing like this. So I wound up dyeing some square pieces for the kids to print the fish on in addition to their headwraps. I chose the green after seeing it was one of their school colors, but I thought of the arrival of spring, the various colors of water, our color symbol for the environment, and then again, the color of matcha – used in the tea ceremony. All of these things came to mind in bits and pieces and seemed to fit the various themes (under the guise of fish, of course) we’ll be looking at next week. I hope it works.


March 6, 2009


手・て/’te’ means hand, 拭う・ぬぐう/ nuguu is the verb to wipe, 拭い・ぬぐい/ nugui is the noun – a wipe, hence 手拭い・てぬぐい・tenugui is a hand wipe or towel. I first saw them when I was very young, growing up Kagoshima. I probably saw them daily on people who worked hard outdoors, in shops, or out in the inaka working the rice fields or picking tea (in the appropriate season). Today, it seems their uses and popularity have increased. While they are still used practically as towels, “headbands” or bonnets, they are also used to embellish the home as wall or window hangings, tablerunners or other decorative items. The imagery on them has changed from traditional to a wide range of  playful, contemporary patterns and color.

Recently, I viewed an episode on NHK’s Furusato where the host and hostess took viewers to a small tenugui industry. I was able to see how these cotton pieces were stenciled with traditional imagery, then, hung to dry outdoors.

Finished product

Finished product

I’m also taken with these little towels, since they are exactly what I reference in making hachimaki. My students print a variety of fish all over them and sometimes add other elements (when time allows) with fabric markers.  In the future I’m imagining other elements: other kinds of stamps and stencils.   As I research, I’m seeing that there are a lot of possibilities.  In fact, I’m just getting started.

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