Utilization tips for Tatami-mats
Tatami are boardings after the old Japanese model of compressed rice straw and a surface of fine Igusa-grass.
Tatami are initially greenish, over time the color changes more to yellow-brownish.
Tatami are made of straw and therefore do not tolerate moisture well. Upon contact with water the strong smell of wet straw will occur. The wet straw also encourages growth of mold*. Make sure to protect your tatami from moisture and dry it if necessary!
* We have had all tatami that are common in Germany tested, from 'Bale' to 'Karup', and noticed that a certain potential for mold generally exists. This is usually not a problem for adults and is not hazardous to health, but can - when used in 'wrong rooms'** - spread, for example over to your futon.
** We advise against using tatami if you live on the ground floor or in the basement or in badly ventilated rooms or at two walls to the outside, i.e. locations with a lot of condensation. Flats on higher floors or with underfloor heating are better suited, along with placing the tatami within the room rather than in a corner.
We offer the so-called High Quality Tatami (HQ), 5.5 cm. These are extremely condensed / compressed and correspondingly heavy and sturdy. The weight is 14 kg / sqm.
Your Tatami will be delivered securely packed in cardboard. Due to the long travelling time in this package, without air, the smell will have gathered and the tatami requires a few days, preferably in a separate room at room temperature to air out. The tatami essentially offers neither comfort nor ventilation properties, meaning they neither improve the laying quality nor contribute to the ventilation of your futon. They much rather serve as an optical demarcation of the sleeping place and to protect the futon from dust / dirt.
Tatami and Futon in harmony
If you put a tatami-mat in a tatami bed, make sure that the surface of tatami and the bed frame is as flat as possible. Should the tatami lie deep in the bed frame your futon does not get enough ventilation.
Please ensure good ventilation (especially during the winter) of your futon, due to the significant heat difference between the futon top and bottom, especially in cool bedrooms condensation moisture forms, which can lead to stock mold growth. You can avoid this by folding your futon regularly, head to foot and vice versa, so the condensation moisture can dry.
In the acute season or more humid areas this should occur at least weekly, in dry situations accordingly less. Slight stock mold is not harmful and can be removed with soap; then dry with a hair dryer.
Tatami are trading goods for us, thus are not subject to our criteria for material purity. They are all from China and Indonesia (never from Japan! *). There is little information to be obtained concerning purity on the part of the suppliers and importers. What we can say is that there is no reason to treat tatami with chemicals and it is probably not done accordingly, and that they are individually packed in strong cardboard, so there is no contamination to be expected from the outside in the container.
* Of course Japanese tatami are available, but - to our knowledge - not in Germany / outside of Japan and if they are, then at a price of > €400.