Modern Tatami Design

Pawprints for Petlovers?

Have you ever dreamed of building a Japanese tatami room in your own home?  A tatami room is more than just a beautiful accent to your home’s interior; it’s a personal expression of who you are.

Tatami Kobo Noguchi
Photo by Tatami Kobo Noguchi. See products at

Genuine tatami mats are made of igusa, Japanese rush, woven and stretched over tightly bound straw wadding, and they are always adorned with a thin strip of fancy border cloth. Though it is the natural padding and rush cover that make the tatami so comfortable and healthy, it is this border fabric – the tatami-beri, as it is called – that gives each tatami its special look.

These ornately patterned strips of cloth can be made of cotton, rayon or synthetic textile, and are sewn with durable colored thread (often of gold color) in jacquard relief that will never fray or fade. Although there are countless traditional patterns for the tatami ‘hem’, recently the rather monomaniacal Japanese are designing all kinds of new themes – one of the more popular being paw prints for pet lovers (see below.) So remember, if you decide to create a tatami room in your home, choose a motif that reflects your ‘beri’ taste and lifestyle!  (Believe me, if you can think of of a particular hem design, I’m sure Japan’s tatami makers can create it!)


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