Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese art form that involves wrapping cloth around an object to gift wrap it or transport it. Furoshiki embraces the eco-conscious philosophy of reusing an item for multiple purposes. So often when we receive a gift we dispose of the wrapping material without a thought. Receiving a beautiful cloth-wrapped present is a gift that keeps on giving!
History of Furoshiki
The name 'furoshiki' literally translates to “bathing cloth”. At first, furoshiki was used to carry clothes to and from the sento (public bathhouse) so that your clothing would not get mixed up with other bathers. Often, the cloths were adorned with family crests and emblems as further indications of who they belonged to. This practice might date back as far as the Nara period (AD 710 to 794). Eventually, this practice was taken up by merchants and popularized as a way to transport goods and decorate gifts. During this time, a cloth that an object was wrapped in was referred to as tsutsumi, meaning “package” or “present.” The art of furoshiki was officially founded by Minoro Takohama around 1935.
After WWII the use of furoshiki in everyday life began to decline due to the invention of plastic shopping bags. In 2006, Japanese Minister of the Environment Yuriko Koike promoted furoshiki cloth in an effort to increase environmental awareness and reduce the use of plastic. They released this handy infographic on the many ways furoshiki can be used.
This campaign started a modern interest in the lost art of furoshiki. The practice nowadays is commonly used by Japanese schoolchildren to carry bento (lunch) boxes and by gift-givers all over the world!
How to tie Furoshiki
Furoshiki is even quicker than paper wrapping! It doesn't require any tape or scissors and best of all, its reusable! Cotton is the best fabric to use as it isn't too thick or slippery.
Here is an easy to follow video on how to create a simple furoshiki gift wrap using our Japanese bandanas.
Looking to try something a little more challenging? Just type "Furoshiki" into Youtube and hundreds of examples will pop up!
Here is a creative and sustainable way to make the presentation a part of your gift! If you try out any of these techniques we'd love to see! Tag us on our socials @Popkiller_us
Matane (see you later)! ♡ ～('▽^人)
The Popkiller Team