Green Gift Wrap and the Art of Furoshiki
One of the things that makes this time of year so special is that color is everywhere. From shimmering tinsel and twinkling lights to vibrant ribbons and wrapping paper, everything gets a little extra joy and pizazz during the holiday season. But have you ever thought of wrapping a present with fabric instead? Let’s talk about the art of furoshiki.
Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese wrapping technique that uses cloth to wrap gifts and other items. The word "furoshiki" comes from the Japanese words "furo" (bath) and "shiki" (to spread), referring to the way the cloth was used to spread out and cover clothes in public bath houses.
Over time, furoshiki evolved into a way to wrap and carry all sorts of things, from clothing and gifts to bento boxes and other household items with the furoshiki treated as an additional gift; you could use it again as wrapping, or turn it into a scarf, head wrap, bracelet, whatever you can think up!
Furoshiki is also a more sustainable and eco-friendly option for gift giving, especially during the holiday season. Traditional wrapping paper is often made from non-recyclable materials and can end up in landfills after the holiday season. In contrast, furoshiki wraps can be used over and over again, reducing waste and conserving resources.
Traditional fabrics used for furoshiki are lightweight and easy to fold materials such as cotton or silk, but quilting cotton is an excellent weight for furoshiki. It’s a great use for some of that Christmas yardage or any spare fat quarters you have laying around. You could either serge or hem edges of one fabric, or sew two together to make a dual sided wrap! Or if you didn't want to get out your machine, you could even make your furoshiki fabrics using a no-sew method with some hem tape and an iron.
To make our furoshiki wrap, we picked two contrasting fabrics and started with one yard cuts of each. We trimmed them to 36” square, stitched them with right sides together leaving a small gap, then turned them right side out through that gap. We finished with a quick topstitch around the edge and sealing up that little gap.
Now that your wrap is prepped, let’s get to wrapping! Here is a quick tutorial for the Yotsu Musubi aka Four Tie Wrap.
- Place your gift in the center of your square, which is laying on point.
- Take your left and right corners and loop tie them together.
- Next, take your top and bottom corners and loop tie them together.
- Pull and tug on the ends to make the knots even and pretty.
- Gift to your happy recipient!
Using furoshiki for wrapping presents is a fun and colorful alternative to traditional wrapping paper. And it’s not just for Christmas, try furoshiki for baby shower gifts, wedding presents, or the next birthday! Pick the perfect fabric from your stash, or come to Birdsong to find some more, and wrap your gifts with furoshiki to add a personal touch to each with every present.