Sunday, May 10, 2009

japanese detail - noren

i have a beautiful book by sadao hibi on my shelves called japanese detail: architecture. i hope to do a little intermittent series on the content of this one, it is so great. 

noren are woven curtains traditionally used over shop entrances, for both protection from elements and as a method of signage. pictured here are the noren featured in japanese detail: architecture - great examples of traditional textile design and motifs - as well as my selection of noren shots from flickr and a lovely one via ouno design.

jaanus, an online resource for japanese architecture and art terminology, has an entry on noren here. many more images of noren can be found by searching google images for 暖簾。the above is the detail of a classic sento noren. the hiragana character reads 'yu' - meaning hot water.

ziguzagu in melbourne has the coarse weave noren textile in plain colours and some beautiful linen and hemp weaves in rolls that would make perfect noren. but noren can come in all types, if you take the basic idea as a curtain that either protects from outside elements or provides privacy. cut pieces of patterned sheets from op shops make a nice internal bedroom door privacy noren. or in winter, my project is to gather old blankets from op shops and stitch together to make a warmth barrier curtain for various openings in my house. and in australian summer conditions, perhaps the number one natural element to protect doors from is flies? i saw two pieces of flywire that would hang over an outside door, stitched with designs and words in coloured thread at a recent VCA exhibition, which is also a version of a modern (very australian) noren in my mind...

can you see the noren at entry to the left? yocca flickr

min's noren. i like this photo. min's flickr

unusual semi-graphic noren design. takahiro yamamoto flickr

strictly speaking could be called a sudare as is bamboo hanging screen. but let's say noren. tearecipe2 flickr

noren as room divider. via ouno design

all above are images from japanese detail: architecture


  1. What an interesting post. I have a very nice noren that I inherited from my gradparents but I don't have it up as it just doesn't look right in my modern and small house somehow. Maybe in my next place.

  2. These are so lovely Ii-ne-kore! xxx

  3. hello peapods, wow, an old one? that sounds lovely, i hope you find the place for it one day. 

    and glad you like them ebony, のれんはいいでしょう :)

  4. i was planning on doing that sundare in my back patio! thank you for this picture example!!

  5. great idea - i use them for shading the summer sun from my north windows, they work really well and look beautiful. i hope we see some pictures of make it easy patio sometime soon:)