A simple piece of fabric and yet, an infinity of possibilities. Japan is a wonderful and innovative country; and furoshiki is just a great example of this.
While Western countries might see it as a simple piece of cloth or an oversized handkerchief, the Japanese developed the furoshiki, a simple and effective wrapping technique using a piece of cloth, folds and knots.
Read on and discover the different ways to use furoshiki in your daily life.
How to use furoshiki?
Once used by locals in bathhouses as a way to identify their clothes by wrapping them, furoshiki has evolved into a versatile cloth used by young and old alike. Whether you want to use it for chic gift wrapping, an improvised picnic basket or as a decorative fashion accessory, you will notice that, when used conscientiously, this square piece of fabric can come to your aid in many situations.
Use furoshiki wrapping to create an original gift package
Forget about single-use wrapping paper and paper bags that end up in the trash once the gift is unwrapped, instead, opt for an economical and ecological alternative. Thanks to your furoshiki, the environment will thank you. Plus, these reusable pieces of Japanese fabric will add a touch of originality to your gift package.
Not only is a furoshiki wrapped item a 2-in-1 gift, but you also gain a great opportunity to introduce a unique Japanese tradition to the recipient. In turn, the recipient can pass on the furoshiki when giving a gift to someone else.
Creating your own furoshiki picnic bag
Large furoshiki are great for improvising a lightweight picnic basket; perfect for an afternoon spent watching the cherry blossoms. Whether you're carrying a bottle of wine to a friend's house or a stack of bento boxes for an outdoor meal, the furoshiki adds a fancy touch that turns a moment into an unforgettable memory. Plus, as the fabric closely follows the shape of what's being packed, it allows you to carry your belongings without the burden of huge bags. Practical, elegant and essential.
When it comes to bento boxes, furoshiki wrapping is a great solution for the Japanese businessman that brings his lunch to work every day. Using this simple wrapping fabric, you can say goodbye to unsightly paper and plastic bags - and start replacing them with washable fabrics right away. And, if you're someone who likes to attract attention, with a simple, original Japanese patterned fabric, you can arouse the curiosity of your colleagues throughout the company; furoshiki makes a statement in the boardroom.
When furoshiki becomes art
Japanese furoshiki extends beyond simplicity of use; it is also an art form. If you love traditional Japanese aesthetics, these pieces of fabric, available in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns, are perfect accessories for your home decor. Appreciated as souvenirs by Japanese and tourists alike, framing these beautiful textiles, which come in a variety of fabrics from cotton to linen to the finest silk, can be quite entertaining. Unveil your passion for Japanese culture with furoshiki hanging on your walls or even better, use them as elegant curtains to embellish your windows.
Furoshiki, that piece of cloth that becomes a fashion accessory
With such a multifunctional piece of fabric, it was only a matter of time before the furoshiki turned into a fashion accessory. Often made of high quality fabrics, furoshiki can be used as a chic scarf for fall or as a colorful summer belt. Similar to the Southeast Asian sarong, the larger furoshiki can be folded and tied into a beautiful skirt or dress.
You can also complete your outfit by wrapping a color-coordinated furoshiki around the handle of your handbag or suitcase.
Many other ways to use furoshiki in your daily life
The numerous ideas mentioned above are just a handful of what you can do with your furoshiki. The following are a few other ways that just need a little imagination to see the light of day.
- Breathe some Japanese flair into your bedroom or living room by hanging a furoshiki garland along a wire stretched from wall to wall.
- When packing your suitcase, use multiple furoshiki to keep your clothes, toiletries and other accessories that you will need on your trip separate and organized. This will make it much easier to unpack your stuff without turning it all inside out.
- If you like to stroll through markets and stores, make sure you always have a neatly folded furoshiki at the bottom of your purse. This way, you can take it out at any time to turn it into a bag and store your items.
- If you notice a small stain, hole, or frayed edge on your fabric, don't throw it away; simply hide the unsightly stain by folding the fabric over itself and use it as a oven mitt to serve food (be careful using this fabric for hot items, though, as furoshiki is often thin and allows for much faster heat transfer).
Now that we've shown you that furoshiki can be very useful, that the possibilities of use are endless, that it's an ecological and economical alternative AND a fashion accessory, it is high time to buy your first Japanese furoshiki and learn how to use it! What are you waiting for?