The art of Furoshiki – Using cloth to wrap packages

furoshiki  - wrapping gifts in clothI found this great visual explanation on how to use cloth to wrap gifts on a Japanese government website. You can use any square or rectangular cloth.

Furoshiki (???, furoshiki) are a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that were frequently used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods. Although possibly dating back as far as the Nara period, the name, meaning “bath spread”, derives from the Edo period practice of using them to bundle clothes while at the sent? (public baths;public furo). Before becoming associated with public baths, furoshiki was known as hirazutsumi (??), or flat folded bundle. Eventually, the furoshiki’s usage extended to serve as a means for merchants to transport their wares or to protect and decorate a gift.

Last weekend I was in a craft store and there was a display of gorgeous wrapping papers. I love a fancily wrapped gift. However, as we all know, it creates an absurd amount of waste for just a moment or two of beauty.

I’m about to make one using some soft cotton and some flannel. Basically I am going to make a small blanket and also wrap a gift in it. Two gifts in one and nothing is wasted!


  1. says

    I love furoshiki – the individuality and earth friendliness of them! As well as looking great, they’re so much better for wrapping awkward shaped items as the fabric just drapes. Also it’s really easy to tie different wraps to suit the gift and the season. Oh and they’re also brilliant for making quick, customised bags. We had a real blitz back in February / March posting ideas in our blog if you’d like to take a look.

    Happy wrapping!

  2. says

    Thank you for raising the awareness of the artistry and eco-friendly qualities of using furoshiki to wrap presents and carry bundles. My hope is that more people will adopt this time-honored Japanese tradition year-round. We are seeing a number of artists and businesses begin to offer furoshikis. My savvywraps are made from bona fide sustainable crop fabrics like hemp and organic cotton and non toxic block print inks. Thanks again for featuring the beauty of furoshiki — a gift! Cheers, Mandy

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