Tenugui, Japanese Towel

The tenugui, a Japanese towel with multiple functions

Used on a daily basis by the Japanese, the tenugui is a thin cotton towel, white or printed with various and varied patterns. This rectangular piece of cloth, generally measuring 35 by 90 cm, can be used either as a handkerchief, hand wipe, dish towel, etc


In onsen and thermal baths, it is used to wash the body or to wipe the face. The tenugui can be used to protect oneself from the sun, from dust and also to wipe perspiration. It is worn as a bandana around the head when practicing Kendo, a Japanese martial art, or when attending a matsuri, a summer festival in Japan.

Back in the days, this Japanese towel was also used as an advertising medium, like the noren, or as a gift wrapping, like the furoshiki. As you can see, the tenugui is a multipurpose accessory of everyday life, a piece of cloth that we always keep with us, in our pocket, to dry our hands, to wipe the sweat on our forehead, to bandage a wound, to clean an object. Nowadays, the tenugui has even more uses: souvenir, table runner or wall decoration.

Japan Avenue proposes real cotton tenugui, made in Japan. The fabric used for the tenugui is tokuoka, a strong and high quality cotton fabric, also used for the yukata and jinbei. This type of fabric has a very fine mesh with a smooth texture, which makes it durable despite its thinness. The delicate patterns are obtained by a traditional Japanese dyeing method (hand printing). Soft to the touch, the tokuoka has a strong absorbency.

Decorated with traditional Japanese patterns, our tenugui are real decorative objects. Hung on the wall, this cotton fabric will be of the most beautiful effect. If you wish to buy a tenugui, don't forget your relatives and friends, as it makes a unique and original gift as well.