Genue Inc.
October 16, 2018

Links We Love: October Edition

Tenugui Cloth by Portland-based Kiriko Made

Tenugui Cloth by Portland-based Kiriko Made


This month we’re talking about Tenugui cloth. You’ve probably Tenugui cloth before without even realizing it; to the untrained eye, they are perhaps easy to overlook. Oftentimes the traditional Japanese Tenugui are patterned either silk or cotton material, though they are clearly very special material goods. Sometimes though, they simply look like a scrap of plain fabric with frayed edges. Whatever these objects look like though–they are special. Yes, some are more casual, while others are fancier, but all Tenugui cloths are part of a long Japanese tradition dating back to 794 C.E.


At the time these Tenugui cloths were primarily silk and used in religious ceremonies. Once fabric became a bit easier–and therefore cheaper–to manufacture, Tenugui cloths were adopted by people outside of Japan’s elite upper class. Tenugui cloths were–and still are–used to wrap presents, but that is just the beginning. Tenugui cloths are, of course, cloth, and therefore can be washed and reused. These cloths can substitute for a headband or a handkerchief, they can be used as a household cleaning cloth, or worn to a fancy event–it really all depends on the imagination of the owner, and the quality of the cloth.


So this month I have rounded up some of the best Tenugui-esque options out there. From this straightforward Tenugui cloth from Japanese brand, Kirko to some more usual options below.


Tenugui cloths make the perfect hostess gift! This Etsy shop has four beautifully pattern Tenugui cloth designs to choose from. Why not have a couple on hand the next time you’re invited to a dinner party. It would look perfect wrapped around a nice bottle of wine!


If you’re looking for some ideas as to what to do with your new Kirko Tenugui cloths, what about wrapping up a bento box like a perfect little gift? I use a bento box for lunch every day – although I haven’t gotten this fancy yet!


I also love this tutorial on making your own Tenugui – and the options available for customization. You could add a name or a date of a special occasion.  And of course, you can always use a custom designed textile! If you haven’t tried the Genue App, this would be a perfect project to get started on!


And perhaps my favorite thing on this roundup: a picture book made from Tenugui!  A very thoughtful gift for a little person in your life, maybe? An introduction to Japan and Tenugui through cloth–sounds perfect to me!

The best way to understand Genue is to try it!

So ready... GIVE IT A TRY