Custom Tenugui for Kendo, Aikido dojo (clubs), and for Taikai (tournaments)

Welcome to Nipponcraft custom-tenugui website!
We will custom-make tenugui for your Kendo / Aikido / Karate dojo (club) from 100 pcs. If your dojo logo and design complexity are within the hand-making craftsmanship, we will make up your tenugui with an unique Japanese traditional dye method "Chu-sen" (see more).
A "Chu-en" tenugui removes sweat very well even if it is dyed with dark background color, and it is good for sports-use - this is the advantage of "dyeing" over pigment-printing. In addition, a "Chu-sen" tenugui is traditional feel, beautiful, and tough.

Please place your dojo's logo, name, other writings (such as a tournament's name) on the tenugui proportional dimension, then we will dye your design accordingly on 100% cotton tenugui through the factory we work with. The tenugui dimensions are approx. 34 cm wide X 100 cm long for a Kendo headscarf purpose, and approx. 34 cm wide X 90 cm long for a sports hand towel purpose.

Please allow us approximately one month for the production.

Here are some tips for the custom-temugui.

  • A decorative design will result in high cost, therefore we recommend you to simply place your club's logo, name and other writings (like handwritten calligraphies and inscription) on a tenugui of pure white or single background color for a reasonable cost. Average cost of custom "Chu-sen" tenugui with a "simpler" design per piece would possibly be 500 - 600 JPY (US$5 - $6) when 100 pcs ordered (not including shipping and local tax).
  • Just show us your logo, writings, and background color (or a design draft) for seeing the possibility and an estimate.
  • A designer seeking for tenugui business needs to understand the craftsmanship characteristics of hand-dyeing, the initial setup cost, and the import costs such as shipping, duties, local tax, etc. FYI, the decorative design tenugui produced in Japan are designed by designers who know the tenugui craftsmanship well, and these tenugui are sold by hundreds lots yearly in the Japanese market to absorb the initial costs without any cross-border fees. Please consider a clear plan of your business.

The followings are more details and ordering steps.

We would like to recommend "Chu-sen" (described in (1)) for Kendo / Aikido / Karate tenugui, because Chu-sen tenugui is of traditional martial art feeling and plus the Chu-sen's tenugui fabrics are more tough. However, there are some design restrictions because all works including your design transcribing are done by the artisan's hand-making. As an option, we have the orthodox silkscreen method ("Nassen" described in (2)) when your design has many detailed lines and colors.

(1) "Chu-sen" hand-dyeing - Chu-sen is dye penetration method (dyes penetrate to the backside of tenugui). The mirror image of your design will be dyed also on the backside of a tenugui (please see samples to know what it means). We can use this method when your design is within the "Chu-sen" hand-making craftsmanship. All lines on a tenugui are more than 2 mm broad and each color is separated by more than 1 cm color gap. A stencil (silkscreen) for "Chu-sen" is made of a washi paper which is dipped in a persimmon juice, and the design is hand-mapped by the artisan's craftsmanship onto the stencil - so, very elaborate lines cannot be crafted by handcarving. When dyeing, a "Chu-sen" artisan separates the color sections by building glue "banks" when pouring dyes onto tenugui cloths. So, a gap is necessary for the banks.
With this method, graduated color presentations are possible if the design is within the artisan's workmanship.
Possible designs - Over 2mm broad line logo design / Hand-written calligraphy / Black and white simpler design / Simple motif design on single background color

(2) Silkscreen-dyeing ("Nassen" hand-dyeing) - This is the one-side dye method, and you will see-through the mirror design image from the backside of a tenugui (please see samples). A silkscreen will be digitally created, and your design will be hand-dyed on a tenugui by using the silkscreen. We will use this method for dyeing a complex design with many detailed lines and many colors, and when more accurate design transcribing is needed. The disadvantage of this method is the initial setup cost when you have multiple colors in your design. As this method requires multiple silkscreens that correspond to each color in your design, the cost of the initial setting the silkscreens will increase when your design has multiple colors. For instance, if you have three colors in your design, three silkscreens are neccessary. Thinking of the initial setup cost, we recommend you to design a tenugui of one or two colors. With this method, graduated color presentations are not possible.

In either method, final color on a fabric may not exactly match with a color swatch on a paper. Although artisans will strive to be accurate, the final results will depend on the workmanship.

May we have a look at your design and color layout to give you a recommendation? Thank you very much for your cooperation.

About Tenugui Artisans & Production Facilities

We work very closely with the tenugui production facilities in Kyoto for silkscreen-dyeing, and in Utsunomiya City, Tochigi Prefecture for "Chu-sen" dyeing. Both facilities have skilled artisans and they have been doing fabric dyeing business over three generations.

The silkscreen-dyeing facility is "Bamba" in Kyoto and you can learn the production process at their webpage (written in Japanese only).
The "Chu-sen" dyeing facility is Miya-zome in Utsunomiya. "Chu" means "to pour", and "Sen" means "to dye". "Chu-sen" started originally in Osaka to produce multi-color tenugui more economically. Instead of setting up silkscreens for each color, "Chu-sen" tries to produce colorful tenugui with less expensive initial cost .

This is a "Chu-sen" Kendo tenugui customer case for your reference. These tenugui were produced at the production facility in Utsunomiya.

Rough Estimates

We need to look at your logo design and order quantity for the estimate, however the following is the general calculation.

(1) "Chu-sen" dyeing method
(15,000~30,000)JPY [For stencil initial setting, depending upon design complexity]+ {450 (simple black and white) ~800 (your base color selection)}JPY X QTY [For tenugui production], where QTY=100, 110, 120... + Shipping cost + VAT of your country. (No test printing service available).

(2) Silkscreen-dyeing method
20,800JPY X (Number of Colors) [For silkscreen initial setting]+ 630JPY X QTY [For tenugui production], where QTY=100, 150, 200... + Shipping cost + VAT of your country. If you need a test printing service, the cost will be added.

Shipping Cost and VAT

We will ship out your package via EMS (Express Mailing Service) forwarding to the postal service of your country. The shipping cost depends on the package weight and destination. For instance, when we ship 100 pcs tenugui to EU/UK, the shipping cost would be 14.000 JPY. Estimated arrival times will be 8 - 12 working days to EU. However, if you are asked by your country's customs to fill in a form for importing the tenugui, this application process time will be added.
If you prefer, we can ship via FedEx or DHL. These couriers are much more expedited, however the shipping costs are normally three or four times more expensive.
As an extra cost, you may need to pay for the import tax and VAT (local tax) of your country. We can never anticipate these tax amounts from Japan, because they will be levied by your government.

Lead Time

Please allow 20 - 25 working days for the custom tenugui production, plus 5 - 12 working days for EMS delivery depending on your destination. As a note, June-July and November-December are the busiest seasons at the tenugui factories, therefore it may require some more lead time during these seasons.

Base Color Selection

We can dye your wish base color on white tenugui. Please be advised that all tenugui are produced from pure white cotton (not beige cotton). Please inform us of your wish base color.

Design Restriction

Your design needs be proportional to 34cmX90cm (or 34cmX100cm for Kendo tenugui) layout.
As a not, if you prefer "Chu-sen" dyed tenugui, the broadness of lines and the diameter of circles need to be more than 2mm when mapped into real dimensions. Two different colors needs to be separated each other by at least 10 mm space. If your design complexity is beyond hand-making capability, we may ask you some changes or abbreviations.


Please acknowledge that the lines may not be so straight as printed by PC printers and that there might appear some blots during dyeing. You may see some inaccuracy on the final product. The design and color on the final tenugui might not exactly match with your original design created on your PC. Especially, the colors created on PC highly depend on a screen resolution, printer & ink type and paper quality. Also, even if you send us Pantone or DIC color swatches, the colors on tenugui might not exactly match with those colors. Dyed colors on a cotton fabric is often different from the printed colors on a piece of paper. However, our artisans will stive to be exact and to match with your design and colors.

Sorry to say, test printing for your color validation before the full-run is NOT available for "Chu-sen" method. Moreover, we produce all of your order at one time, so 10-20 pieces manufacturing before the full-run is not available either.

Payment Method

We accept PayPal, VISA/MasterCard/JCB/American Express payment. Payment currency is Japanese Yen (JPY), and PayPal will convert JPY to your local currency based on the exchage rate of the day and will charge on your deposit. Payment via wire transfer is only acceptable from residents in Japan.

Cancel and Return

Sorry to say, we cannot accept your cancel or return after the confirmation of your final order.

About crafted silkscreens

The copyright of crafted silkscreen(s) all belongs to you and it will never be disclosed or photographed to third parties, unless otherwise permitted by you. The silkscreen(s) crafted for your custom order will be kept at the production facility for your additional order in the future. However, the silkscreen can be preserved in good condition only for two or three years.

Order Condition

  • Your logo and design positioning on tenugui needs to be presented from a customer. (*We are not capable of provoding a design layout service.)
  • Minimum order: QTY 100 (for one design; you cannot divide 100 into several designs). (*QTY 100 is the minimum one lot for the production run at the factory.)
  • Deposit prepayment requested before the production run.
  • Deposit prepayment not refundable after the production run starts.
  • No design change, No cancellation after the production run has started.

Order Steps

Please make sure your country's import tax and VAT prior to your ordering.
Please fill in the order form and agree with our custom order proposal. Please your tenugui design image in JPEG or in PDF for the estimate.
The tenugui artisan will see if your design image is printable onto tenugui.
When printable, we will send you an estimate (in two or three working days) .
After your confirmation and approval of the price and the lead time, we will send you a PayPal invoice.
Please make your prepayment through the invoice. Please send us your design in higher resolution JPEG or in Adobe Illustrator data for the production.
Soon after we confirm your fund transfer and final data, we will start the production run.
As soon as the production run is completed, we will ship out your order and inform you of the tracking information.

(Article Last Update: 25/11/2016)


Order Form

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Design and Order Information

Size Selection* 100 cm long Kendo tenugui (more detail)
90 cm long hand towel tenugui (more detail)
*Minimum order: 100pcs
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