Every holiday season, as everyone is opening their gifts, I can’t help but think about all that wrapping paper that was made just to be ripped up and thrown away (or recycled in the best case scenario!) My mom used to carefully untape the paper and neatly fold it to put away for another time but I don’t really remember it coming back out for anything! Where did they all go, Mom??
A great way to wrap gifts – the way many different cultures have been doing forever – is to wrap them in reusable fabric. In Japan, they use a square piece of cloth called a furoshiki. Originally used to bundle up clothes/bath supplies going to and from the public bath, these furoshiki were also used by merchants to carry their wares, and then for wrapping gifts. It’s not as commonly used today as they were back in the day but there is a bit of a resurgence due to desires to live more sustainably.
Furoshiki come in all sizes and the beauty of them is that you don’t even need a box for the item you are giving. Since they conform to the shape of the item you are wrapping, you can wrap a bowl, a mug, or a wine bottle without much difficulty! No need for tape either.
We have some examples of furoshiki wrapped items in the shop. We also have a book that includes great instructions along with pictures to wrap common items to gift or to carry. It’s a great way to give a gift within a gift this holiday season!
Our furoshiki is currently only available in our Princeton store but if you are looking for something local to you and you can’t find actual furoshiki, make your way to the craft store and get some fabric you love! If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you just need to sew the edges so they don’t fray. Or find a large bandana to do the trick. Shop local and/or shop small if you can!
More furoshiki experiments to come…