We take time thinking of the perfect gift to send to our loved ones. You should also take enough time to come up with the best presentation for the gift. That is where the furoshiki comes in. It is a traditional fabric from Japan that is used to wrap gifts, store, and carry them from one destination to the other. Since it is reusable, it is better than using plastic bags which pollute the environment.
In the country, people like taking simple items and using them for different purposes. Furoshiki can be used in many ways. The name comes from two words, namely furo, which means bath and shiki, which stands for something to spread out. According to their culture, the Japanese used to wrap the essential items they needed for their pubic bath in this cloth. After bathing, they would later spread out the cloth on the changing room floor and stand on it while dressing.
For decades, this cloth has been used to transport goods and gifts. Merchants used furoshiki to carry their wares during the Edo period. They were also used to wrap lunch boxes referred to as bento and acted as a table mat during lunch. The popularity of furoshiki declined after the 2nd world war due to the introduction of plastic carry bags. Though most people switched to such bags, a few of them still use the furoshiki.
The modern furoshiki is made from different materials, including chirimen, rayon, cotton, nylon, or silk. Designers decorate this cloth with traditional designs that make it look presentable for gift-carrying. The original furoshiki did not contain many colors, but this changed with the introduction of different dyeing techniques. You can now get furoshiki in more colorful designs.
Furoshiki can come in different sizes. While some are made in the size of a handkerchief, others can be bigger than a bedsheet. Choose the right size depending on the specific purpose. The most common size of this cloth is 45 and 68 cm.
Using the furoshiki
The versatility of this cloth is unmatched. When you use it to wrap a gift, you should try and focus on the person you want to surprise with the present. You can slip into a meditative state as you focus on the gift and the cloth. Wrap it carefully and take your time so that you come up with an excellent presentation. Feel free to wrap this authentic cloth on anything. You can use it around a wine bottle, oddly shaped items, candles, books, and even food.
Apart from being eco-friendly, the furoshiki is quite beautiful. Being a frequent user of this cloth can enrich your life as you admire its elegance. If you want to wrap a bento box, you should stick to a furoshiki that is at least 70 cm. You need to learn the traditional ways of wrapping furoshiki. The internet offers different techniques for wrapping furoshiki on various items. For instance, you can learn the basket wrapping technique or how to wrap a furoshiki on one bottle.
The beautiful pattern of the cloth should be visible as you wrap the gift. You should also make it easy to carry around by wrapping it accordingly. Some of the furoshiki appear like animals when folded the right way. The most creative cloths of this type contain animal patterns that make your gift stand out.
Apart from wrapping gifts, you can even use the furoshiki as a bandana. Some people also use furoshiki cloths to decorate different areas of their homes, such as the bedroom. A lot of Japanese retail stores have this cloth. You can also buy it from estores like eBay or Amazon.