How to Furoshiki Gift Wrap with Fabric
The furoshiki is a square-shaped Japanese wrapping cloth that has grown in popularity in recent years. Pronounced foo-roh-shee-kee, the word breaks down to mean ‘bath spread.’ Public bathing has always been a way of life in Japan. To keep their belongings from getting mixed up with those of other guests at the bathhouse, noble families and feudal lords would wrap their clothes in a furoshiki that bore their family crest.
These days, furoshiki are made from a variety of materials including silk, cotton, and synthetic fibres. As a greener alternative to wrapping paper, you can reuse furoshiki over and over again, and not only to wrap more gifts. Fabrics with their own purpose can also be used as furoshiki. Think: beautiful scarves, bandanas or stylish tea towels.
Don’t be intimidated, a few tips will have you wrapping with confidence in no time.
- Make sure your cloth is square. Common wrap sizes is 45×45 cm, or 70×70 cm for larger gifts.
- Your cloth should be thick enough to hold the weight of the object. If the fabric is too thin, it won’t be sturdy enough and may reveal what’s inside.
- Choose fabrics with unique patterns or texture; reversible fabrics are always a hit
- Get creative with natural accessories like pine bough or a eucalyptus branch
Once you’ve found the right fabric, it’s time to choose a wrapping technique. The most popular is the Otsukai Tsutsumi.
- Lay out your wrapping cloth on a flat surface and place your gift in the centre.
- Fold the top edge over the gift and then follow suit with the bottom edge.
- Pinch the remaining corners together, and lift them over the top of your gift.
- Loop the two corners together and tide once. Place your accessory before completig the knot (securing your fabric and the accessory in one)
But, don’t stop there. An online search will find many different ways to use furoshiki wrapping this holiday season!
Photo by Claudia Cotici