How do you look after TATAMI?

The golden rule for tatami is that one should take your shoes before walking on the surface. This helps to keep the surface of the mat clean and prevents any excess wear and tear. It is also a liberating feeling to walk around a tatami floor without shoes on as there is a natural springiness in the mat.
The mat surface is fairly resilient to most day-to-day spills and a damp cloth will remove most marks and blemishes. The internal core of the mat can last for anything up to 30 years, but the surface mat, known as the omote, which encases the core, is the first part of the mat that will show signs of wear. If looked after the mat surface can last up to ten years. Given that the surface is made from natural fibres it is best not to leave heavy sharp objects on the surface for long periods . The feet of heavy items of furniture with small surface areas will leave an indentation in mats and it would be better to spread the weight of the feet by putting mats under the feet.

souji