Shinshi is a tool for use in Arai-hari of Wafuku (Japanese traditional clothing) (a Kimono cleaning technique of laying or stretching out a starched Kimono to dry) or dyeing fabrics by sticking each of its ends into a longer edge of the fabric, respectively, so as to stretch out the fabric in the shape of a bow (a type of weapon) and support it while keeping its width without shrinkage. Approximately 300 pieces of Shinshi are normally used per one tan (length approximately 10.6 m and width approximately 34 cm).
Tomozume: Thin, split bamboo with sharp ends
Both ends of the bamboo are sharpened (while leaving its skin) into the shape of a two-pronged fork with sharp, corniculate points. Tomozume with its skin left on each side is convenient for storage and use.
Kanazume: Finely split, shaved bamboo with a needle made of iron, brass, zinc or the like sticking out from each end
The slipperiness of the needle is improved by oil-hardening the first two or three centimeters (approximately) of the top of the needle at its periphery before use. The Kanazume is more frequently used than the Tomozume, and particularly the type with a brass needle is considered to be superior due to its rust resistance.
The Tomozume and Kamazume each come in two sizes, one being approximately 39 cm long for fabric with a standard width and the other being approximately 80 cm long for fabric with a double width.
Although there is a wide variety of them according to application, one for use with cotton and one for use with silk satisfy the demand in private households and one for Tsumugi (plain cotton or silk fabric woven with a durable twisted yarn) is used with both fabrics. The one for cotton is thicker with high tensile strength, and the one for silk is thinner with somewhat lower tensile strength. Additionally, some of them are designed for thick fabrics and others are for thin fabrics.