It is a plain-woven fabric made with silk or cotton spun yarns.

After spinning cotton or kuzu mayu (inferior ill-shaped cocoons) into yarns by hand work, the fabric is made from those hand spun yarns with a hand-loom.

Even if the inferior materials are used for the yarns, it has gained popularity because of its uneven surface texture. Although the color or patterns may vary depending on the producing regions, the shima or kasuri pattern can be often seen on tsumugi fabric. There are some major tsumugi including Oshima tsumugi which is produced in Amami Island in Kagoshima Prefecture, Kihachijo which is produced in Hachijo-jima Island of Izu Island, Kume tsumugi which is produced in Okinawa Prefecture and Ueda tsumugi which is produced in Nagano Prefecture.