An eco-friendly and beautiful way to wrap your gifts

October 7, 2015

Japanese cloth gift wrapping

Do you know Furoshiki?  Don’t worry, it’s not a swear word but it’s a beautiful eco-friendly Japanese tradition of wrapping gifts in cloth.  It comes from the old Japanese culture of caring for the environment and reducing waste.  Last week I was reminded of this beautiful Japanese cloth wrapping tradition when I was given a cloth wrapped gift by a cousin visiting from India.  She didn’t use a traditional Japanese cloth but instead used an Indian fabric which looked so pretty.  With the gift giving season coming up and since we’ve got a spate of birthdays before then, I thought it was a good time to start thinking gift wrapping and why not try something new and environmentally friendly this year?

Furoshiki wrapping cloths are available to buy in the most beautiful patterned Japanese fabrics.  They can be expensive compared to paper so think of them as part of the gift.  Otherwise you don’t have to restrict yourself to these – my cousin just used some off-cuts of fabric she had lying around the house so you can use practically any fabric that you have.  I’ve also seen gifts wrapped in beautiful tea towels which are very much a part of the gift. Once you get used to fabric wrapping, you can wrap practically anything in these cloths.  The Japanese don’t stop at gifts but also make pouches with handles to carry stuff around or wrap their lunch boxes in these cloths as some of the pictures above show.  I also love them for wrapping a bottle of wine – so much nicer than taking the bottle as is. 

This Japanese cloth wrapping method looks complicated but it’s actually quite straightforward – it’s kind of like origami with cloth but simpler.  In case you want some help, here is a good site showing you lots of different ways to use cloth wraps.  The site goes in to step by step instructions for different methods of cloth wrapping, making it easy to follow.  But for the simplest option, you can also get cloth wrap bags that tie at the top to make them look wrapped like in the third picture.   

Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

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