The Humble Tenugui (てぬぐい)


Giftwrap, bento box cover, headband, wall art, and now mask.  Don’t underestimate the humble tenugui. Staples of everyday Japanese life, tenugui are incredibly useful pieces of cotton, silk or hemp fabric that date all the way back to the Heian era (794 to 1185 AD).  Although they were originally considered luxury items, they’ve since become popular for their eco-friendly, multipurpose uses.  Its name comes from the Japanese characters for te (“hand”) and nugui (“to wipe/wiping”). 

Sway Gallery Tenugui Collection

Today we’re sharing a simple, step-by-step guide from our friends Hamamonyo so you too can make your own DIY tenugui face mask without sewing.  You’ll only need two things:

・One tenugui (Hamamonyo recommend half-sized tenugui for the right thickness but full-size will work too!)

・Two pieces of elastic cord or bands

① Fold your tenugui in half, so it’s roughly 34cm x 43cm (or 13.4” x 17.7”) in size.
② For adults, fold your tenugui three times – first from the bottom, then the top, and from the bottom again.  For children, fold four times.
③ Fold both ends of the tenugui inwards, one over the other (this step is the same for both adults and children).
④ Attach the elastic cords by looping them through either side of the mask.

Image courtesy of Hamamonyo

Happy mask-making! 


Older Post Newer Post