A simple explanation of the types of fusuma (sliding doors) in a traditional Japanese-style room

A simple explanation of the types of fusuma (sliding doors) in a traditional Japanese-style room

Explanation of the types of Fusuma in an easy-to-understand manner

Did you know that there are various types of fusuma (sliding doors), which are indispensable for traditional Japanese-style rooms? There are also different types of fusuma paper used for fusuma, and the appropriate fusuma paper and fusuma edge stretching methods vary depending on the type of fusuma. In this article, we will introduce the types of fusuma, types of fusuma paper, and key points for selecting fusuma paper. Please refer to this article if you have a traditional Japanese-style room in your home or plan to build a new building or remodel a traditional Japanese-style room.

There are various types of fusuma (sliding doors).

ふすま(襖)にはいろいろな種類がある
Fusuma (sliding doors) can be broadly classified into " wabusuma (Japanese sliding doors)," "tobusuma (door sliding doors)," and "fusuma (mass-produced sliding doors). The way of papering a fusuma changes depending on whether it is a Japanese-style fusuma, a door fusuma, or a mass-produced fusuma, so it is important to be able to distinguish which type of fusuma you are looking for.

Traditional Japanese Fusuma

和襖
Wabusuma are traditional Japanese fusuma used in many houses. They are sometimes called kumiko fusuma. A fusuma has a framework inside, on top of which several sheets of paper, called "kotobari," are applied. The fusuma paper can be reupholstered by a technique called ukikashi-bari (floating papering) on top of the underlay. In the case of Japanese fusuma, the fusuma edges are attached with hidden nails, but since the edges can be easily removed, it is possible to enjoy changing the design of the edges. There are four types of Japanese sliding doors.

1. Hon busuma (main sliding door)

This is the most traditional type of fusuma. It can be reupholstered as many times as you like and gives a luxurious and authentic fusuma look.

2. conventional fusuma

A traditional fusuma is a sliding door with a frame like a shoji screen, covered with underhanging paper and body-covering paper, and then covered with fusuma paper. It can be re-covered as many times as necessary.

3. chip ball fusuma

Chip ball fusuma are fusuma that are covered with waterproof and high pressure resistant liner paper using a hot press machine on the frame. The paper can be re-covered over it as many times as necessary. This type of Japanese sliding door can be mass-produced.

4. paper core fusuma

A paper core is placed inside the inner braid, and the paper underlay is stretched on top of the core. The paper can be replaced as many times as necessary by floating papering. These fusuma are widely used in the Chubu region and parts of the Kinki region.

Door fusuma

戸襖
A fusuma sliding door is used as a partition between a traditional Japanese-style room and a Western-style room. Since most modern houses are mainly Western-style rooms, this fusuma is used to partition a traditional Japanese-style room from a Western-style room. Fusuma doors are often made of plywood affixed to braids, and are heavier and sturdier than Japanese sliding doors. Therefore, they are relatively cold-proof and soundproof, and are suitable for room partitioning.

Mass-produced fusuma

量産襖
Fusuma are often used in condominiums and ready-built houses, and can literally be mass-produced. Since mass-produced fusuma are made of solid paper, it is not possible to peel off the existing paper and replace it. When replacing the paper, a new layer of paper is laid over the existing paper. The edges of the fusuma are attached with a bond and cannot be removed.

1. foam sliding door

Foamed fusuma are fusuma that have a base of foamed plastic, then chipboard and aluminum foil, and finally the fusuma paper is pasted on top of it. They are widely used in the Kansai region and some parts of the Chubu region.

2. corrugated fiber core fusuma

Corrugated fiberboard core fusuma is a type of fusuma in which several sheets of corrugated fiberboard are pasted together to form a layer, to which aluminum material is attached, and then sliding door paper is pasted on top. This type of fusuma is popular mainly in the Kanto region, but is also used in the Chubu and Kansai regions.

3. paper core fusuma

Paper-core core fusuma is a type of fusuma in which a paper core is used as the base, aluminum foil and chipboard are attached to it, and fusuma paper is pasted on top. It is widespread in some regions in the Kansai region.

Types of Fusuma Paper Used for Fusuma

ふすまに使う襖紙の種類
There are several types of fusuma paper used for fusuma.

Washi fusuma paper

Washi fusuma paper is the standard fusuma paper traditionally used in Japan and is relatively inexpensive. It has a Japanese-style texture and fits well in a traditional Japanese-style room. Various types of washi fusuma paper are available, and the impression of washi fusuma paper varies greatly depending on the type.

Textile sliding door paper

Fusuma papers made by weaving natural fibers are called woven fusuma papers. It is characterized by higher strength and durability than Washi fusuma-gami. There are two types of sliding door paper: one made of natural fibers and the other made of synthetic fibers. Woven sliding door paper made of natural fibers has delicate folds. Synthetic textile sliding door paper is characterized by its coarse grain, which adds character to a traditional Japanese-style room.

Iron-on adhesive sliding door paper

Iron-on adhesive fusuma paper is popular among those who want to replace fusuma as a DIY project. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, some with a Japanese feel, others with a modern or pop design, so they can completely change the atmosphere of a room.

Re-moistening glue sliding door paper

These are sliding door papers with glue on the reverse side. When dipped in water, the glue dissolves and the paper can be reupholstered, making it popular among DIY fusuma paper makers. It requires more skill to apply than iron-on adhesive sliding door paper, but it is characterized by its authentic finish.

Seal sliding door paper

The back side of fusuma paper is sealed. By removing the seal, you can easily replace the sliding door paper as a DIY project. The fusuma edges cannot be removed for mass-produced fusuma, but seal fusuma paper can be reupholstered without removing the edges. Since it is difficult for one person to glue the paper, it is recommended that two or more people work together to reupholster the paper.

Points to consider when selecting fusuma paper

襖紙を選ぶ時のポイント
As mentioned earlier, there are various types of fusuma paper. The appearance of the same washi fusuma paper varies greatly depending on the texture and color of the washi, and the impression of other fusuma papers also varies greatly depending on the material and design used. What points should you keep in mind when selecting fusuma paper for reupholstering? Here are some points to keep in mind.

Point 1: Select according to your favorite design

The feel and appearance of fusuma paper changes completely depending on the material used, weaving method, processing method, grade, and other factors. Since you are going to replace your fusuma paper, why not take this opportunity to choose a design that you like and make the room the way you like it? Since fusuma cover a large area, reupholstering will give the room a whole new image. If you want to choose a modern or pop design, we recommend iron-on adhesive sliding door paper or sticker sliding door paper, which are available in a wide variety. If you want to create a traditional Japanese-style room, choose your favorite texture and design from among washi sliding door paper and woven sliding door paper.

Point 2: Select by ease of replacement

Recently, DIY has become popular, and more and more people are reupholstering fusuma paper by themselves. If you are going to replace fusuma paper by yourself, we recommend using iron-on adhesive fusuma paper or sticker fusuma paper, which are easy to replace. These sliding door papers are relatively easy to re-cover, even for first-time users. Re-moistening glue sliding door paper is also a DIY fusuma paper, but it may be more difficult for first-time users because it requires more tricks than iron-on adhesive sliding door paper or sticker sliding door paper. However, with re-moistening glue sliding door paper, you can expect a beautiful finish that does not look like it was DIYed. Washi fusuma paper and woven fusuma paper are also not unsuitable for DIY, but they require special tools and are more difficult to reupholster by yourself.

Point 3: Select by type of fusuma

If your fusuma is a mass-produced fusuma whose edges cannot be removed, choose seal fusuma paper that can be reupholstered without removing the edges. Iron-on adhesive sliding door paper and re-moistening glue sliding door paper are suitable for DIY, but they cannot be re-covered without removing the edges. If the edges can be removed, any Japanese sliding door paper can be used.

Point 4: Select by functionality

Some of the latest fusuma papers have a deodorant function or a fire-retardant function. It is also recommended to choose a fusuma paper with functionality depending on the room where it will be used. Since some fusuma paper is stain-resistant, families with small children or pets may want to choose a fusuma paper that is stain-resistant. For rooms on the first floor, where moisture tends to accumulate, we recommend using washi sliding door paper, which is resistant to mold and mildew.

Knowing the types of fusuma makes it easy to replace them yourself

ふすまの種類を知っておけば自分で張り替えるのも簡単
There are three types of fusuma: Japanese sliding doors, door sliding doors, and mass-produced sliding doors. If you do not know the type of fusuma when it comes time to replace the paper, you will not be able to choose the best paper for your fusuma. It is important to know which type of fusuma you are looking for. If you cannot tell the difference yourself, consult an installer to confirm the type of fusuma in your home.