New Tatami without Igusa, its benefits
For long time, rice straw and Igusa have been used as Tatami materials.
However, these materials have their weak points.
The housing style of Japanese houses have changed with time from pure Japanese style to European style, which makes tatami materials not suitable to modern housing in some parts.
Though bugs in house may vary by country, in Japan, using tatami with Igusa hightens the risk of mite.
Traditional Japanese housing had a lot of inter-spaces for bugs to escape but modern house is airtight resulting in allergy by keeping mites inside the house.
Therefore, nowadays, there is a new material tatami that doesn’t use Igusa nor rice straw.
It uses Japanese traditional crafts “Washi” coated with resin which won’t have bug easily.
Also, since it’s coated, even if you spill over a drink, it’s highly water repellent.
If you are choosing Tatami now, I recommend you to pay attention to its materials too.