What Are Japanese Noren?
Japanese noren are decorative fabric wall hangings, which are often hung in doorways to separate two rooms. They are sometimes used in Japanese shops and restaurants to keep out dust, excessive sun and wind, and often display the business logo. In addition, they can signify whether the shop or restaurant is open.
Noren can also be found in commercial bathhouses, known as sento. Different colours are used for the different genders – blue is typically used for males, and red for females.
History of Japanese Noren
Japanese noren are thought to have originated during the Jomon period (12,000 – 300 BC). Their original purpose was to protect households from the negative forces of nature.
With the passing of time, the applications of noren became more diverse. The first significant change in their use was when people began to use them to indicate whether a business was open or closed.
Following on from this, businesses started using their noren as a means of promotion, displaying the shop name and logo or stating how the products on offer were unique to the business. Later, they became popular as a covering for doorways in people’s homes, and since then have been made with a longitudinal split in order to allow a person to pass through.
Nowadays, noren are widely used as decoration rather than to fulfil the functional purposes for which they were originally designed.
Using Noren for Decorative Purposes
Fabric wall hangings have become a popular addition to homes of all styles, both in Japan and the West. Thanks to their diversity, noren can be placed in a range of locations depending whether you wish to change the appearance of a room or increase its privacy.
Besides working well as fabric wall hangings and door covers, noren can also be used as coverings for windows. You could even use them to divide a room up into two or more separate spaces. In smaller homes where the kitchen flows into the dining or living room, for example, noren can be used to separate the two. This provides a more adaptable and flexible division than a solid door, as well as functioning as a great talking point amongst guests.
Wherever you choose to hang them, the striking designs on Japanese noren will really add a touch of character to your home. So if you’re looking for something different that has a versatile range of uses, they are well worth looking into. With a range of practical and decorative options, they will really stand out and give your home a unique touch.
If you would like to buy beautiful and authentic Japanese fabric hangings for your home, head over to The Japanese Shop website. We have a fantastic selection of noren to choose from, and are currently offering a 20% discount across the entire range!