In short, Furoshiki wraps are a chic and sustainable alternative to traditional gift-wrap. But, like a lot of respected Japanese arts, Furoshiki, which translates to “bath (furo) spread (shiki),” was first intended for practical uses, like in the Nara period when it was used to protect precious treasures.
Since then, the revival of this ancient Japanese art form has emerged as a popular and elegant way to wrap and transport items and gifts. The last few years, in particular, has seen a resurgence of the use of Furoshiki cloths for wrapping, due to the world’s heightened focus on environmental protection and sustainability. In Japan, the plastic bag tax introduced in July 2020 has further encouraged the reappearance of Furoshiki as more people choose to transport their purchases with clothes.
What is it
Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese cloth. Versatile pieces of fabric that are easy to use and are a great substitute for paper gift-wrapping as they continue to be useful after the gift has been unwrapped. While they come in a variety of sizes, they are typically square. Modern Furoshiki are available in synthetic materials like nylon, or polyester, whereas traditional materials include silk or, like our wraps, 100% cotton.
How to use
Gifts are simply placed in the centre of the fabric, which is then tucked around and fastened with a knot. Fabric is more malleable than wrapping paper too, so you’ll find you’re suddenly able to wrap even the most awkward-shaped gifts with ease. No messing around with tape and no tears. Easy!
Why use it
It’s a brilliant eco-friendly choice as it helps avoid waste and, unlike paper wrap, can be reused time and time again. Each Christmas, as much as 227,000 miles of wrapping paper ends up in UK rubbish bins. So, if you’re looking for more environmentally friendly options for gift-wrapping, Furoshiki wraps definitely fit the bill.
Not only are they better for our planet, but they look fabulous too! It’s certainly a welcome departure from thin and boring wrapping paper! The fabric also offers good protection if you’re gifting delicate items such as drinkware or handmade plates.
Another perk about fabric wrapping is that it really is a present in itself! The receiver not only gets to enjoy the gift, but one that's beautifully wrapped in a cloth they can utilise themselves. This is particularly useful given that, according to a recent report by the Crafts Council, our passion for craft and artisan objects craft has never been greater!
There are, of course, other green and interesting options for wrapping gifts, such as old newspapers. Did you know, all our products come pre-wrapped and protected in traditional Japanese newspaper? Well, you do now! Each piece we pack is hand-wrapped in a randomly selected piece of authentic newspaper.
So why not give Furoshiki wraps a go? Deep blue or crisp white, which colour will you choose?