What are Korean umbrellas called?


Korean Umbrellas: A Blend of Tradition and Innovation


Umbrellas have always played an essential role in protecting individuals from rain and sun. While many regions have their unique variations, Korean umbrellas are particularly notable for their elegance, durability, and rich cultural significance. In this article, we will dive into the world of Korean umbrellas, learn about their history, craftsmanship, materials used, and reasons behind their popularity. Let's explore the captivating world of these exquisite accessories that have veiled the heads of Koreans for centuries.

1. A Historical Glimpse: Traditional Korean Umbrellas:

Korean umbrellas, known locally as "janggo," carry a vibrant history rooted in ancient times. Traditionally, these umbrellas featured a unique design with a circular or hexagonal shape. The canopy was crafted from hanji, a traditional handmade paper, while the frame consisted of bamboo and wood. These umbrellas were adorned with intricate paintings representing nature, mythology, and folklore. They were often seen as symbols of social status and played a crucial role in various ceremonies and events.

2. Modern Korean Umbrellas: Embracing Innovation:

While traditional umbrellas still hold cultural significance, modern Korean umbrella designs have evolved to cater to changing needs and preferences. The advancement of technology has introduced exciting innovations, such as auto-open, auto-close, strong wind resistance, and UV protection. Today, Korean umbrellas boast a wide variety of designs, sizes, and materials, seamlessly blending traditional beauty with contemporary functionality.

3. Materials: The Quest for Durability and Aesthetics:

Korean umbrella manufacturers pay meticulous attention to the selection of materials to ensure both durability and aesthetic appeal. The canopies are often made from waterproof fabrics like nylon or polyester, offering maximum protection against rain. The handles, traditionally made from wood, are now available in various materials, including plastic, metal, and even leather, providing a comfortable grip. The combination of these carefully chosen materials enables Korean umbrellas to withstand harsh weather conditions while adding a touch of style to any outfit.

4. Traditional Techniques: The Art of Making Korean Umbrellas:

Crafting Korean umbrellas is a meticulous process that involves skilled artisans employing traditional techniques. The bamboo and wood frames are handcrafted, exhibiting the expertise of these craftsmen. The frames undergo multiple stages of shaping, connecting, and reinforcement to ensure sturdiness. The canopy is carefully attached, with each segment sewn by hand. Nowadays, manufacturers also utilize modern machinery and tools to enhance productivity while keeping the traditional craftsmanship alive.

5. Symbolism and Cultural Significance:

Korean umbrellas have long been associated with deep cultural symbolism and significance. In the past, the rounded shape of umbrellas was believed to represent protection against evil spirits and misfortunes. They were often seen as a shield against bad luck and brought a sense of security. Additionally, umbrellas played a vital role in traditional rituals and ceremonies, symbolizing blessings, protection, and warding off negative energy. Today, Korean umbrellas not only provide physical protection but also act as carriers of cultural heritage and traditions.


Korean umbrellas stand as a testament to the country's rich cultural heritage and commitment to blending tradition with innovation. From their humble origins as symbols of status and protection against the elements, these umbrellas have evolved into fashionable and practical accessories. Whether it's their historical significance, the meticulous craftsmanship, the careful material selection, or their symbolic meanings, Korean umbrellas continue to captivate people worldwide. So, the next time you shield yourself from the rain or sun beneath a Korean umbrella, remember the beauty, culture, and craft you hold in your hands.


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