A new international e-commerce website for the Japanese tenugui maker.

We recently launched a new international e-commerce website for the Japanese tenugui brand Kamawanu.

We provided creative direction, art direction, copywriting, UI/UX design and Shopify deployment using a custom theme.

Tenugui are utilitarian cloths from Japan. They are decorated using a hand-dyeing technique which was established over 100 years ago. This technique isn’t a mere surface treatment — it dyes the material through to the core of each thread.

Because the yarn is dyed all the way through, the fabric does not become stiff with time, is highly absorbent, and dries easily.

Artisans with many years of experience dye each tenugui by hand after making various adjustments according to the weather, seasonal humidity, and temperature.

As a result of this caring craftsmanship, each piece has a unique character. Kamawanu artisans consider all aspects of the seasons to create tenugui that reflect the seasons and how the environment and nature shifts seasonally. Just like denim, tenugui get softer with time.

We approached this project with these things in mind – Kamawanu is a brand with a decades-long history selling a product with over a century’s worth of development.

Kamawanu tenugui are both traditional and modern. The surface designs of their products are informed by both history and modernity.

Additionally, tenugui are versatile, multi-purpose accessories that can be used as fashion items or as tools.

We used a lot of negative space and nuanced typography to try and emphasize the humanity of Kamawanu’s products. Each tenugui is the result of intense hand labor.

Tenugui can be used as table runners, placemats, napkins, and as modern ornamentation to bring a splash of color and Japanese taste to your home.

Kamawanu tenugui are the perfect accessories to help offset one’s wardrobe, as well. Chic, modern, and subdued, they can be worn as breezy scarves, as bandanas, or used in a variety of other ways.

With more use and washing, Kamawanu tenugui become intimate objects, reflecting the Japanese term “mono no aware”, or an empathy for objects.

Check out our website for Kamawanu here