It’s How-To Wednesday!
Furoshiki is the traditional art of folding fabric to wrap or carry just about anything. It dates back to the mid-Edo period (1603-1868) and was first used as a way of carrying toiletries to the public bath house. To do traditional furoshiki you need a special square cloth, but a large scarf, tea towel or a piece of ordinary fabric will also work. There are a number of different folding techniques for different purposes, here are a few basic wraps to try.
One Scarf Three Ways
I’m using a vintage silk scarf to demonstrate three basic furoshiki techniques. A thicker fabric will give you much sturdier results, but may be trickier to knot. None of these took more than a couple of minutes to learn and do.
Wrap it up
Wrapping presents furoshiki style is a green alternative to wrapping paper. The cloth is reusable and you can even use a pretty tea towel for a kitchen-related or housewarming gift. Here’s a diagram of three different wraps. I used the Otsukai Tsutsumi to wrap my little book.
BYOBW (Bring Your Own Bottle Wrap)
If you’re giving a bottle of wine or sake as a gift, or just want to protect your own bottles when transporting them, this simple wrap is a cinch to do. Below is a video of someone demonstrating the single bottle wrap. I twisted the ends at the top of my bottle and secured them with an additional knot for a little added decoration.
Probably my favourite use for furoshiki is to create a quick bag for whenever you need it. With a smaller cloth you can make a little carryall like I did, or with a larger square you can make a tote bag or even a backpack. To create a very basic little bag hold your cloth so it makes a square (like in the photo below). Tie the top and bottom corners together on both sides creating handles and then fold the two knots towards each other.
Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth- Uguisu
If you’re interested in tracking down Furoshiki cloths a couple of good online shops I’ve found are Uguisu, Bento & Co and Furoshiki.com. There are some beautiful patterns to be found at all these shops.