Senshu has a long history

of textile production, and produces premium towels.

Made in Japan – Discover the Magic of Senshu Towels

Historically, Osaka’s Senshu region thrived as a producer of textiles. But did you know that it is also the area with over 130 years of producing premium Japanese towels? Super soft and highly absorbent, learn about the secrets of beautiful Senshu towels.

What are Senshu Towels?

The production process involves clever use of weaving techniques.

The first towels were introduced into Japan from the UK in 1872 and were initially used as scarves. In 1887, local textiles merchant Satoi Enjiru obtained towels from Germany and began to research the weaving process used to make towels. The towels were bleached after production (atozarashi), leading to towels that were incredibly soft to touch and highly absorbent.


Atozarashi towels are typically woven with thin, raw fibers which are coated with an adhesive agent (such as starch) to increase durability. However, the problem with fibers treated in such a way is that they can repel water and as a result, the towels are less absorbent. Senshu towels follow a post-production process of washing and bleaching to wash away adhesive agents, remaining oils, and other impurities. The final product is a highly absorbent towel which is luxuriously soft.


An Unusual Process

Soft and gentle Senshu towels are perfect for infants!

Sakizarashi towels are also available, although the technique is not unique to the area. These unbleached towels are characterized by the colorful patterns of the woven fabrics. After weaving, adhesive is left on the fibers post-production, so their water absorbency is slightly inferior compared to atozarashi towels.


Currently, Senshu is researching methods of producing environmentally friendly towels. The Green Towel Club aims to find ways of making towels more eco-friendly, and to reduce chemicals currently used in production. By using a natural starch paste as adhesive, factories can generate clean wastewater that can be returned to rivers without harming their valuable ecosystem.

The Innovation of Farmers

The Shizuku towels are made using local vegetables from the Senshu region.

One pioneering company producing more eco-friendly towels is Fukuroya Towel (established 1926). “I wondered if there was a way to utilize waste products to create finished products, and then realized that we could perhaps use local vegetables to create dyes” recalls the president of Fukuroya Towel. This thought was the beginning of a revitalization process, and led to the production of the Shizuku towel series, which use five locally sourced Senshu vegetables as dye. The five ingredients include the skin of mizunasu, which is a type of eggplant that can be eaten raw, to produce purple towels, while the flesh is used to create lighter green colors. Onions can produce a light brown color, and carrots are good for pastel orange towels. Cabbage is also used for light green colors, and basil is great for darker greens. No bleach or fabric softeners are used in the production of these towels—other chemicals that are used are done so in the smallest amounts possible. The towels may appear thin, but they have good water absorption and the colors are durable, which means it can be washed many times without it fading.

These towels are decorated with a motif reminiscent of local Senshu vegetables.

To produce some of the deeper hues, they have also turned to alcoholic drinks such as wine and beer. Local wine and craft beer breweries often produced a lot of waste, which contains materials perfect for producing dyes. The use of the remaining waste product gave way to the branding of Nokori-fuku, which translates to “left-over fortune.” For rich green colors, they have also branched into using matcha as a dyeing ingredient.


Supporting local businesses and recycling waste material through an eco-friendly process is at the heart of what they do. The company believes in working closely with local farmers and businesses to obtain ingredients necessary for their dyes. They also support the Tohoku Cotton Project, which aims to revitalize farmland affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. They do so by removing salt-damaged soil to restore the ability to cultivate conventional crops, and by cultivating cotton that is resistant to damage from salt.

The Senshu Towel-kan is located in the Rinku Premium Outlet.

Visitors who wish to purchase these towels can do so at the Senshu Towel-kan Main Store which is located a 15-minute walk from Izumisano Station, served by the Nankai Main Line. Alternatively, they also have a store in the Rinku Premium Outlet which is located a short walk from Rinku-Town Station, one stop away from Kansai International Airport. The station is served by both JR Kansai Airport Line and Nankai Airport Line.


All towels, including Senshu towels, deteriorate and become harder with use. In such cases, it is recommended to use a small amount of fabric softener. Please refrain from using fabric softener on new towels, as it may reduce fluffiness, and the oils may reduce water absorbency. The use of water-saving drum washing machines and dryers may accelerate deterioration of towels, so it is recommended to dry them in the sun.


For Senshu tourist information inquiries, please contact the Senshu Japan Concierge Team.

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