New Concept in Tatami Matting
Tatami an integral part of Japanese traditional culture has given its place to carpets and other type of flooring materials in recent years due to changes in the living environment. The tradition form of tatami is facing difficulty to conform to the structural requirements of either Japanese or Western style rooms where there is growing demand for thinner or more functional tatami matting. Due to this fact Kuraray and Dow Kakoh have jointly developed SHINZO Thin Tatami Mats, realizing feel and heat insulation of straw tatami. In this development, Dow has worked with KURARAYKURAFLEX. DOW Kakoh has used the high-density “STYROFOAM” with thin tatami, which is being used beneath the bullet train tracks and underneath airport runways. In addition to this an interlining that maintains the durability and workability needed in thin tatami matting was developed through compounding with high-strength plastic boards which is used in advanced composite materials.
At the same time KURARAYKURAFLEX developed “DK Board” using FELIBENDY, a special nonwoven fabric offering the same cushiony feeling of real tatami in this thin tatami format. The new tatami does not come cheap, where the price tag for just one tatami mat runs at 21,000 JPY. The sales target after five years is targeted at 300,000 tatami mats, which is about 30% share estimated 1 million tatami mat market.