The Japanese curtain “Noren” are fabric dividers, hung in doorways, across windows, on walls and between rooms. They take many shapes and sizes — as our selection here shows — and are made using a multitude of different colors, patterns and materials.
It is thought that noren originally appeared during the Heian Period (794-1185), where they were used to keep houses cool, or retain heat during colder weather, to protect a house from wind, dust, and rain. Gradually, businesses started using them to guard entrances from dust, dirt, bad smells and smoke; a function they still carry out today. In restaurants during the Edo period, customers would wipe their hands on the noren as they left the establishment, so the dirtier the noren, the better!