Posts Tagged ‘Tortoise General Store’

Tenugui Cloth Napkins


tenugui cloths

Lydia and I were so excited to see gardening editor Stephen Orr’s Thanksgiving table setting in the new Martha Stewart Living.  The picture hasn’t made it online, but if you flip to page 106, you’ll see why.  Stephen set his table with a few of our favorite things!  Lots of natural elements like branches, quail eggs and individual flowers in low vases as well as Lydia’s Heath plates in mixed colors (French grey, mist and aqua) and my tenugui cloth napkins in mixed prints and different shades of blue.

The article inspired me to purchase a new fall collection (you can see my old one here) so that I’ll be ready for my Thanksgiving guests.

I’ll be doing all-white plates and mixing napkins in navy, burgundy and gold.  Each tenugui costs $13 at Tortoise General Store and each cloth makes 2 napkins.  You simply cut them in half and toss them in the washing machine.  They come out as soft as an old T-shirt with frayed edges.  Use scissors to clip any long strings and press with a hot iron before setting your table.

Can you believe we’re already thinking about Thanksgiving?  We’ll be sharing our centerpiece decor, tips for executing your feast in a small kitchen and our Turkey Day countdown in the next few days.  Number two on the countdown?  Make sure you have enough napkins.  Check.

Have a wonderful, candy-filled weekend!


Tortoise General Store


By Sarah Lagrotteria

Tucked into a little split-level bungalow on Abbot Kinney are all things wonderful Japanese kitchen-style.  Tortoise General Store is easy to miss, but keep an eye out as you stroll down the road for a window display of pottery and cookware that is both elegant and earthy.  Or, check their online store and blog.

My favorite Tortoise product is their Tenugui cloths.  These are essentially Japanese bandanas (you might recognize them as what Mr. Miyagi wrapped around his head), but the patterns are so much richer and the fabric so much softer to the touch.  I haven’t tried them as headwear but I do swear by them as napkins,  kitchen towels, and hostess gifts.

Here’s my current collection:



See how soft the cotton looks after a few washes!  Like the butteriest of old cotton Ts.

And here’s TGS’ new fall collection:


Personally, I’m not so into the bunnies (maybe it’s just me, but red eyes scream rabies), but I love the big Chinese mum print in the second row! And are those figs at the top left?

Per the saleswoman’s advice, I cut the long cloths in half to make perfectly-sized napkins, leaving the edges to fray which is quite nice.  I like to mix the patterns and set them against solid plates for a happy, casual look.  When they get dirty just toss them in the wash.