Artist-Designed Tenugui Hand Towel / Quiétude


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Artist-Designed Tenugui Hand Towel

Marukyu Shoten x Pauline Androlus
Echappées Bleues [Quiétude] 


Tenugui Towels by Paris-based Designer Pauline Androlus

The “Echappées Bleues” collection is a collaboration between Paris-based designer Pauline Androlus and Marukyu Shoten.

The blue gradation and white straight lines invite the viewer to meditate.
The four designs are Crépuscule (Twilight), Songe (Dream), Quiétude (Silence),  and Maintenant (Present).



Echappées Bleues [Quiétude]

Size :  39″ x 15″ (99 x 38  cm)
Cotton 100%
Made in Japan
*Tapestry frame not included

French designer: Pauline Androlus
Japanese manufacturer (Tokyo): Marukyu Shoten
Japanese brand: Shin Edozome


//Echappées bleues collection//

Echappées bleues is a collection born from the meeting between designers Pauline Androlus & Marukyu Shoten during the Edo Tokyo Kirari program connecting Parisian designers with Japanese companies.

Marukyu Shouten is a traditional and artisanal Japanese textile dyeing company called Chusen used to make yukata (summer kimono) and tenugui (rectangular piece of fabric).

Pauline Androlus is a French object and space designer focused on people and their territory, passionate about know-how and materials.

This time, Echappées Bleues was asked to design a series of hand towels with emotional colors and patterns for decorative purposes.
The collection consists of four designs: Crépuscule (Twilight), Songe (Dream), Quiétude (Silence), and Maintenant (Present).

Each tenugui looks like an abstract painting, transcending the conventional concept of a hand towel by the gradation of blue and the weaving of the white cloth.


Inspired by the windows and shoji screens of Japanese architecture, these Tenugui are composed mainly of blue, a serene and iconic Japanese color, inviting the viewer to contemplate and dream.

The transparency of the Koubai fabric, preferred for yukata (light cotton kimono) fabric, is also evident in the weave and elegant delicacy of the fabric.


It also shows the incredible know-how of the dyeing technique at the Chusen.
Each textile is thus unique and bears the hand of the artisan who shaped it.
White is left in the background and on the lines. It allows you to play with the transparency of the fabric and reveal its weave and elegant finesse.


//Tokyo Chusen//

Chusen is known for its hand towels and yukata. Here in Tokyo, Chusen is recognized as a traditional industry, and even today, craftsmen still glue patterns onto the fabric by hand and dye the fabric by hand.
The most distinctive feature of Chusen is that the dye is poured over the layered fabric, so there are no two sides to the dyed fabric.


This series uses a technique called “Hosokawa-zome,” in which multiple sheets of stencil are used in the dip-dyeing process.

By repeating the normal dyeing process many times, the colors and patterns are layered in depth and the range of expression is broadened.

Thus, the finished dyed pattern has a soft look with unique pattern scuffing and shimmering that is not found in printed products.



  • All of Chusen's processes are done by hand by specialized craftsmen.
    Therefore, even if the dyed products look the same at a glance, the expression and texture may differ from piece to piece, and even the same design may differ from period to period.
    Such instability, which could be a demerit, is in fact the most lovable aspect of Chu-sen as an element of "fluctuation" and "playfulness.
  • Due to the dyeing characteristics of the fabric, please note that the color may migrate due to perspiration or friction at the beginning of use.
    When washing, please hand-wash separately from other items.
  • Please note that there may be slight individual differences in size, uneven dyeing, and crushed patterns.
  • Please note that since this product uses an old pattern, it may be discontinued or changed without notice due to damage to the pattern.










Thin, sweat absorbing and quick drying Tenugui is also used by our FutonTokyo craftsmens everyday!


It can be used in many situations depending on your ideas. In addition to towels, you can enjoy traditional Japanese patterns as interior decoration.


<About Marukyu Shoten>

Marukyu Shoten was established in 1899 in Nihonbashi, Tokyo as a wholesaler of Chu-sen products.
Chu- sen is a dyeing technique that originated in the Meiji era (1868-1912).
It was mainly used for yukata (light cotton kimono) and towels and was a part of people's daily life at that time.

Marukyu continues to offer yukata (summer kimonos) and towels that can only be made with Tokyo Chu-sen dyeing.
Marukyu has added color to Japanese arts and seasonal festivals by producing many patterns and designs under the name "Shin-Edo Dyeing".

Today, the production of Chu-sen is not limited to its use, but is part of the Chu-sen dyeing culture.

/// What is Chu-sen dying ? ///

 1. Paper Patterns

The Chusen paper patterns apply a dyeing resist paste to the fabric in  order to create a pattern.  This product method is charactaized by pattern length of around 100cm.  Marukyu Shoten has an immense quantity of paper patterns made from tanned paper that we have been collecting since we fist began operating  in the Meiji Era (1867- 1912).  They utilize these patterns as a resource to design, produce, and present Chu-sen products that meet modern needs. 


 2. Stencil printing (on cloth)

Using a paper pattern, the fabric is dipped in dye-resistant glue. 
The process is repeated: first a pattern is applied, then a long piece of fabric is folded over, then another pattern is applied, and so on. There may be 20 to 40 layers.
The areas covered with anti-staining glue do not allow dye to enter, so the pattern is dyed using this mechanism.

3. Dyeing

The dye is poured from the top of the fabric, which is folded into a bellows, into a narrow spouted kettle.
Then, a special machine is used to reduce the pressure from below and inhale the dye. The dye passes through the layered fabric from top to bottom at once, and the fabric is dyed.
The fabric is then turned inside out and the same process is repeated so that the dyed fabric has no back and is dyed in exactly the same way.

4. Washing

The dyed fabric is washed in water to remove excess paste and dye.
After dehydration, the fabric is hung on a 10-meter-high outdoor drying rack to dry in the sun.

This process is an emotional scene that is unique to the traditional dyehouse.

5. Finishing

If it is a hand towel, we cut it in the specified length and pack it.



Read More about Marukyu

+++EDO Tokyo Kirari Project

+++TOKYO Teshigoto





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