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Asa Tenugui



100% Hemp

Made in Japan

36cm x 90cm


SKU: OKA46890 Categories: , , Tags: , ,

Asa means hemp, this is a beautiful tenugui cloth that is made of 100% hemp (大麻) using a traditional technique. Almost like silk, the fabric feels smooth and comfortable to touch, it has excellent water absorption and divergence, and can be kept clean. It dries faster than cotton, so it will come in handy for housekeeping or even traveling.


Available in multiple colours that are reminiscent of seasonal moments in Japan.

  • Natural: Creamy off-white, it appears soothing in summer, warm in winter.
  • Matcha: Rich green of deep matcha green tea
  • Yellow: Beautiful bright yellow of Yamabuki (Japanese kerria) that blossom in spring.
  • Pink: Colour of deep red Tsubaki (camellia flower), a flower of modest splendour.


Tenugui is a thin Japanese hand towel. Typically, tenugui are about 35 by 90 centimetres (14″ x 35′) in size, plain woven lightweight fabric. It may be used as washcloths or dishcloths. Also often used as headbands, decorations, or for wrapping bottles and similar items. Usually the long sides are finished as a selvage, and the short sides are just cut and so will show some fraying. If the loose thread is unraveled, you can trim it with scissors or leave the ends to continue to fray for a natural edge to appear.


*Please note that the colour may fade or run when washing. Refrain from using chlorine bleach.

Care Instructions

Traditional Chusen dyeing method used on tenugui may cause colour to run upon initial wash. Machine-wash or hand wash separately in cold water. Do not bleach. Avoid soaking. Dry in shade. 

It is the characteristics of a tenugui cloth for the raw material edge to be left unfinished. Fabric fraying will gradually lessen over several wash cycles. 

Tenugui  手拭い

Tenugui is a thin and versatile Japanese hand towel. Typically, tenugui cloths are about 35 by 90 centimetres (14” x 36”) in size, made of plain woven lightweight fabric, often cotton or linen. A Japanese household staple since the Heian period, they can be used for a wide variety of daily purposes due to its excellent absorbency and quick-drying properties. Although the most common household use is that of a dish towel or washcloth.  

To create a long lasting cloth that will continue to look and feel better with age and use, tenugui is made by skilled craftsmen and dyed using the traditional “Chusen” dyeing technique. This technique was established in the Meiji period in Japan, the dye is poured through the cloth in such a way that allows it to seep all the way through each strand. The resulting textile has no front or back, making each tenugui reversible. Usually the long sides are finished with a selvage, and the short sides are left unfinished which will show some fraying. If stray threads are unravelling, you can easily trim it with scissors and eventually a soft, frayed edge will develop. 

Due to the wide variety of appealing patterns or colours that tenugui are available in, it allows it to be used for many decorative purposes. It can be used in home decor as a table runner or placemat; worn as a headband or scarf; used to wrap a precious item for preservation or to wrap a gift, a lunch box, or a sake bottle. Beautiful and functional, tenugui is an excellent tool for every occasion and lifestyle 


Since 1863

Nara, Japan

* * *

Founded in 1863 in Japan, Okaimafu Shouten is the originator of “Nara zarashi” linen textile, which is a high quality fabric that can be pleasantly used in our daily life. In the city of Nara during the Edo period, fabricating this cloth was the main source of industry, with about 90% of Nara city residents involved in some way. 

However, after the Meiji Restoration, demand for this material dropped, forcing many traditional Nara zarashi makers to change or close their businesses.

Okaimafu has remained until today, now producing Nara zarashi linen only on a small scale by traditional craftsmen. They have lasted this long on the belief in the goodness of their linen fabrics and the desire for people to experience it in their daily life at home or work.


Living within Tradition

Shop Location


279 East 6th Ave

Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7



Phone: 604 423 3679

e-mail: info@itsumo.ca




Shop Hours


Monday & Tuesday: Closed

Wednesday ~ Saturday: 12:00 ~ 18:00

Sunday: 12:00 ~ 17:00




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