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Fountain Pen Retro Hand Towel

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Paper towels outside the home are almost non-existent in Japan, so the locals carry patterned hand towels called "tenugui" (te = hand, nugui = wipe). You will see them most often on hot summer days, damp with bottled water, resting on conference room tables and desks in office buildings with no air conditioning, occasionally wiping an overheated brow.

Many department stores have entire sections devoted just to tenugui, and in fact there are stores and businesses focused almost exclusively on designing and making them.

They are also useful for wiping fountain pen nibs after filling them with ink; for the same reason, Ito-ya keeps a damp tenugui in a shallow container of water on their fountain pen counter.

This one is made by Miyamoto of Osaka and measures about 35" x 13". It is a slightly rough, rustic weave, and the edges are unfinished. Your neighborhood tailor can sew them for a small fee, although it is not totally necessary.

Because of initial dye transfer, it is best to wash them by hand a few times before combining with the regular laundry. And, if you accumulate enough of these and use them until they are threadbare, they can be sewn into beautiful things.


 

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