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Why not buy tenugui, a Japanese hand towel, as a souvenir?

All my tenuguiJapanese hand towels, are presents from my friends or even some shops. I never bought one for myself, but I will definitely buy some for my friends when I visit my home country. I mean, we all need to buy and receive souvenirs from time to time, but wouldn’t it be better if all of them were like hand towels?tenuguiTenugui are inexpensive, not bulky, and the receiver does not have to keep them forever. Plus they look good, come in different patterns and colors, handy, and fun to use.tenugui

Here are only several popular ways of using tenugui, Japanese hand towels:

As a wiping tool or a kitchen rag.

As a wrapping. You can wrap an actual present into tenugui, so there will be no paper waste after your friend unwraps it. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!tenuguiAs a decoration. 

As a napkin or a hand towel. 

History of tenugui

In Heian period, tenugui was very precious and people used it used only for Shinto rituals. It became popular and widely used by common people only starting from Kamakura period. In Edo times (1592 – 1868) tenugui became a necessary thing for everyday life. People even compared their hand towels for the most original design. That triggered development of new dyeing techniques. Unfortunately, now tenugui was partly replaced by handkerchiefs, terrycloth and waffle towels. However, cute tenugui always make a great souvenir.tenugui

Taking care of your tenugui

Don’t wash it in the washing machine, using hot water and detergent. Do not wash it with other items, and don’t leave your Japanese hand towel wet. Do not hang it in the direct sunlight. If you follow the instructions, the color will not fade away quickly and the fabric will get softer.

Article by Olga Kaneda

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