100x35” is named after the dimensions of the tenugui (hand towel).
Tenugui is a rectangular shaped cloth. A staple item in the traditional Japanese lifestyle with versatile use. It can be a towel, a dish cloth and even a fashion item. It has been a much beloved household essential since the Edo period in the 17th century.
When the tenugui had become worn out, the cloth was used as a rag. It was used even at its end as a fuel source by being added to the stove. At each stage of its life, a way to use the cloth would be found that suits its condition resulting in its full usage without waste.
The cloth is coarsely woven, allowing for high water absorption that also dries fast. The cut-off edges has the advantage of making it difficult for bacteria to grow.
The item’s name “100 x 35” allows those who are not familiar with “tenugui” to explore the functionality of this cloth more creatively beyond a hand towel. Many of today’s functional items are named after its one function which limits their capabilities. The item was named so to rid of such limitations.
“100 x 35” adopts Naniwa-dyeing method (a resist dyeing method, chusen), one of the traditional craft industries in Sakai City of Osaka. This kind of stencil dyeing technique was born during the late 19th century’s Meiji period and has been a popular method for dyeing yukata and tenugui since.
Naniwa-dyeing or chusen involves placing the dye-resistant paste on the stencil and then having the dyes poured from a watering can. The dye penetrates the fabric so both sides are dyed together, unlike the printing method.
In the past, the technique was viewed as mass production of the towels, producing 20 of them in one go. However, in today’s terms the production process is almost all done by hand. This leaves the fibres uncrushed, offering breathability and a soft finish.
This dyeing technique is indispensable to create the strong and clear appearance of the solid graphics that Hiroko Takahashi has designed.
Enjoy the unique texture in the cotton that is the result of chusen, as well as the high convenience of tenugui in your daily life.