Noren is a Japanese curtain commonly used to divide areas, such as the kitchen from the living room. You will also see noren at the entrance of many Japanese restaurants.
We’ve just moved into a studio in San Francisco. It’s less than half the size of our 2-bedroom apartment back home in Australia, but we don’t miss all that extra room at all;—it’s amazing how little space you need to live truly happy lives.
Our studio apartment has an eat-in kitchen that leads to the living room. There is a doorway opening between these two areas, but no door. So I thought a noren would be just the thing to separate the two rooms as well as keep in some heat in the living room.
You will need
- Fabric (thick, woven fabric both to block light and look attractive from the reverse side)
- Curtain rod
- Buttons, ribbons, etc for embellishment
Measure your doorway width and height. Divide the width by half and add on 9cm at the top, 4cm at the bottom and 1cm on the two side edges for seam allowance. Cut two pieces.
Right sides facing, stitch the top 19cm (9cm for curtain rod loop + 10cm for closed section of noren) to create the centre flap of the curtain. Press the 1cm seams apart.
Fold and press the seam twice at 5mm intervals to hide the raw edge. I also did a basting stitch to hold the seam together as my fabric was quite thick.
Stitch seams and remove basting stitches.
Repeat with side edges. Fold and press top edge to 9cm mark. Ensure your curtain rod fits! Stitch.
Hem the bottom of the curtain and you’re finished!
Leave your noren plain, or embellish with pretty buttons and embroidery. I drew a pattern directly on my noren. I bought these pens by Chako Ace in Japan; the ink fades gradually over time! I then stitched on some ceramic buttons.