Furoshiki How To

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TiedHere’s a neat idea I found at diylife.com:

These traditional Japanese square cloths are getting a lot of attention lately, as a “green” alternative to wrapping paper and plastic shopping bags. Furoshiki means “bath spread” — in feudal Japan, they were used to bundle and protect people’s clothing at public bath houses, but over the years, their standard use has been to tie up any bundle you can imagine (they’ve even been used as baby carriers). The word is pronounced something like “f’-ROHSH-kee”.

There’s a download mentioned in the article full of diagrams showing how to use this technique and I love the idea of printing this off to include in a wrapped gift (idea mentioned by M.E. Williams – the DIY Life author).

Also check the blog post for some videos, my favorite is this one showing how to tie and fold them:

Excellent article and this gives a whole new flurry of ideas for gift wrapping and totes!



Also check out this 2 Minute Bag, it’s made with a large square of fabric (about 41″) and two hair bands.

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11 Comments to “Furoshiki How To”
  1. furoshiki says:

    Not only do they make great gifts but also helpful to the environment because they can be reused. Very pretty too!

  2. Pam says:

    Cool…until the very end when you see the ladies with their purchases – in cardboard containers inside paper bags. OK, I see a small environmental problem here! Overpackaging!

  3. TipNut says:

    Pam I saw that but it didn’t “click” with me how ironic that part was, good catch!

  4. Elle says:

    I really wanted to buy one of these bags while I was in Kyoto recently but I never got around to doing so! I’ll have to find a piece of fabric and try it out myself! Thanks!

  5. Michelle says:

    What a great idea!I hadn’t come across the Furoshiki before today but will definitely (try to) make one myself!!

  6. Kyoki says:

    I have three that I use a lot- two I use to wrap bento for the guys when they go to work, and one that I use for everyday stuff. You don’t need special cloth or to buy stuff sold as furoshiki- any bandana or square cloth will work! I have several in different sizes (the largest is three feet square) and I use all the various sizes I have for all sorts of things- storing bundles of things I don’t want to forget, little handkerchief sizes to keep things separate in my basket on Market Day. (It’s nice- radishes and carrots in one, my wallet and cell phone in another, peas in another…)

    They’re wonderful, and inexpensive. You can make them from fabric remnants you buy for a dollar at the craft store! Any pattern, any color, any material. If you’re going to make one of your own, make sure the material isn’t slippery and that it ties tightly without coming loose. I can’t imagine silks, satins, or other ‘shiny’ fabrics would hold tightly enough to keep a bundle.

    • Sylvia says:

      You can use silks or “slippery” fabrics if you tie a square knot. This knot will not slip; the heavier the bundle, the tighter the knot.

  7. toichingal says:

    Great to be reminded of these. i used silk scarf that my brother brought back from overseas in the forties and placed my Sumi painting supplies in the bag.(Japanese brush painting. such fun and such looks from others. mlk

  8. Dj says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t heard of these! What a GREAT idea and wonderful ways to avoid using plastic bags or cumbersome reusable bags. LOVE the video. Leave it to the Japanese to come up with something so fabulous! You guys ROCK!

  9. Jinnymaer says:

    This has to be one of the best things ever. I’ve been using ‘furoshiki’ since I lived in Tokyo years ago… as Kyoki says, it doesn’t have to be something specifically designed for that purpose. Any square or rectangular piece of fabric will work. I have wrapped many presents this way, the wrapping is part of the gift or can be reused many times. It’s great to see the ‘West’ embracing them.

  10. Mary says:

    Although they’re very creative with their knot tying, it’s not exactly a new idea over here, either. Remember those pictures of storks? How little boys running away or hobos would have a bag tied on a stick? And I’m sure I’ve heard that lunches used to be wrapped in a bandana, too.

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