Sushi Mat

A sushi mat (sushi roller, bamboo sushi roller) is made of many thin sticks of bamboo tied together into a mat. Though the sushi mat are much smaller in size, they have the same structure as a portable curtains called a sudare which are used to crate shades in various areas in old fashioned Japanese buildings. The sushi mat gets is name from the sudare, but is a bit modified, and has multiple terms:

Makisudare (Sudare Roller)
Makisu (Truncated word created from maki and sudare )
Simply “Sudare “ is often used as well.

Sushi Mat

There are many kinds of bamboo mats used for other Japanese cuisines, but the most widely used mats for sushi come in two formats. One has thinner cylindrical bamboo sticks, and is used to make thin sushi rolls (hosomaki). The other type has flat and wider bamboo sticks and is used for thicker sushi rolls (futomaki). There are no special terms that refer to each type.

In the old days, it was customary for sushi chefs to weave their own sushi mats so they can adjust the spacing between the bamboo sticks according to their preference. There are some shorter sushi mats tailored for the thin roll, but the longer one is widely used.