What’s in your mat?

Tatami mats have been used for several hundred years beginning as simple, thin roll-able bedding mats and evolving into what is known today, as the traditional tatami mat which is thicker, measuring 2″ thick.

Tatami mats are commonly used as flooring in homes, for tea ceremonies, martial arts, yoga and meditation. As bedding, mats become a base for a mattress or futon and even as a decorative wall covering. In ABC television’s highly acclaimed series, Extreme Makeover – Home Edition, host Ty Pennington used tatami mats from Chopa Zen Home to create a headboard for the master bedroom. It was quite dramatic and beautiful.

These Asian styled mats are filled with piled layers of natural rice straw. The straw is compressed, formed and shaped, then covered with a green, rush grass matting, made from thousands of tightly woven and bound rush reeds. A moisture barrier is sewn to the bottom of the mat, providing additional protection and to help extend the life of the mat. The two longest sides of the mat are wrapped and stitched with a fabric border completing the distinctive tatami mat look.

Over the past decade, manufacturing has undergone some changes. Some producers began using alternative materials for the core, or the filling of the mat. Rather than traditional rice straw, other materials are being used including paper, corrugated, fiber board, foam and other fillings. In our research and experience, these alternative fillings are often inferior to rice straw durability, and the life expectancy of the mat is frequently exaggerated.

In Japan, among the few producers remaining, some use synthetic papers in lieu of rush grass tops. While these mats can simulate a tatami mat, we feel nothing compares to the original, traditional rice straw filled tatami mat for beauty, aesthetics, history and symbolism, not to mention the natural aroma that “real tatami mats” produce.

Chopa Zen Home is an online retailer offering quality, premium grade, 100% rice straw filled tatami mats since 1994. As a provider of beautiful tatami mats at fair and affordable prices, our mats are stocked in the USA and normally ship within one business day. Tatami mats provide the simple life for your inspiration. Welcome to Chopa Zen Home. Zen Inspired Living. Shop with confidence.

tatami mats

What is in your tatami mat?

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , ,

One Response to “What’s in your mat?”

  1. Amy D. says:

    Good article and valid points. We have used foam filled tatami mats and straw filled ones and from our experience, straw is the right choice. They hold up well and provide the right feel.

Leave a Reply

*