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I’ve recently become obsessed with the art of Furoshiki. Traditionally, Furoshiki was a shibori-printed wrapping cloth used in Japan to transport gifts, goods or clothes. But the term also refers to the process of using and reusing a piece of fabric to wrap around goods. In honor of the upcoming Earth Day (April 22nd), I wanted to share a few Furoshiki stylings. You’ll be surprised at the number of ways you can repurpose a piece of fabric around the home or on the go.
Make your own Furoshiki cloth by cutting a square of fabric and hemming it. If your sewing skills are lacking, use hem glue to create clean edges. Give yourself more fabric then if you were using wrapping paper, you’ll need it for knot making.
To wrap a gift, start by placing the gift in the center of the fabric, across the diagonal. Pull the bottom corner up and over the gift, tucking the corner under the item. Now bring the top corner down over the gift. Tie the left and right corners together over the item. Finish with a reef knot which will result in a nice bow.
Years ago, Japan’s Ministry of Environment made a concerted effort to bring back Furoshiki in hopes that people would be more mindful of consumption. They have a great PDF guide on techniques you can apply to daily uses. One of my personal favorites is the backpack. Start by placing the item in middle of the fabric and fold diagonally to create a triangle. Tie knots at all three corners. Depending on the size of a person, use another piece of fabric that you fold into a long and narrow strip. Tie the second piece of fabric to all three previous knots in a row, creating the shoulder support. Slide it your arms into the loops and go!
Wine Bottle Carrier
Wow a dinner party host by wrapping your wine bottle in beautiful fabric. You could use a tea towel for this or even scrap fabric. Here’s how: Start by placing the bottle in the center of the fabric. Knot two of the opposite corners on top of the bottle then twist the loose ends to form a handle. Wrap and cross the other two ends around the body of the bottle, knotting them in the front. Finish by fluffing the knots for a polished presentation. To wrap two bottles, here’s a video tutorial.
When you’re entertaining, serving ware is essential. Create a bowl by placing the items in the middle of the fabric to start. Fold the fabric around it, building the walls of your container and knot the ends together to finish. You can also use an existing bowl and wrap the fabric around it, twisting the ends and knotting it to make a basket. Here’s a video tutorial for this advance step.
You’ll be amazed at how you quickly you can change the style of your home with this technique. Instead of purchasing new pillows, wrap them in a Furoshiki cloth. I think this fold also works for seat covers and cushions. You could even wrap a canvas in a printed fabric for new wall art in seconds. The possibilities are endless!
These are just a few ideas to get you inspired to use eco-friendly Furoshiki techniques. If you have more uses for fabric wrapping, share them in the comments!