Making Tatami

Some time back I mentioned S and I had gone to Tokyu Hands to see what I might need for the moving process.  Another thing we also experienced while there that I hadn’t had time to write about was – we also suddenly ended up making small tatami boards for ourselves!  I had taken pictures but what with all the moving and preparations I simply didn’t have a chance to write about it till now.

As we were browsing the store on that day, we came across an area lined with tatami boards and noticed several people seated around a small table.  A sign nearby advertised that there were tatami lessons taking place and that the next one would be coming up soon.  On the spur of the moment, just because it looked pretty interesting, we put our names down (it only cost something like Y400!) and when the time rolled around, sat down at the table along with 4 other random people.

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The entire process was really interesting – we were provided with the base materials which were basically just hard paper, a couple sheets of thin cardboard, the “interior” thick board made up of recycled paper materials, the “straw” weave (though I think in this instance it was actually a kind of paper material as well), and the colored side cloths.  (S had really wanted a pink cloth instead of the orange she got, and I had wanted a reddish one, but the people at our table were surprisingly aggressive, grabbing materials as quickly as they could… )

Our tools consisted of a punch-down stapler, regular stapler, clips (to hold the material in place while we were stapling it), scissors, and double-sided tape.

Creating the board was extremely simple (there was even a 9-10 year old kid there with us at the table who also created his tatami board without any problems) and we finished the whole process in about 50 minutes.  (of course, it helped that there was someone there guiding us every step of the way).  In fact, it went so fast that I didn’t have time to photo-document every step of the process..

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Basically, we  stretched the weave across and stapled it on while it was being held in place by the clips.  After that we folded the 2 thinner paper sheets on each side of the board, stapled the colored material onto it and folder the same material back over to hide the staples.   Then, we folded in the material at the sides, and once more stapled them.  Finally, we used double-sided tape to place the thinner piece of cardboard to cover the underside.

It was a fun experience, and I’ll later post pictures on where I put the tatami board in my new place. 🙂

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