You have invested time and money into finding the perfect gift for a loved one for Christmas, so it’s important that your gift is packaged with the same love and attention. Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese gift wrapping cloth, Furoshiki fabric is usually either cotton or silk and comes in varying patterns and colours. Wrapping your Christmas presents in Furoshiki is the perfect way to add a special finishing touch to your Japanese gift.
What is Furoshiki?
A Furoshiki wrapping cloth is traditionally used to carry items such as clothes, gifts and food amongst many other everyday Japanese items. The word Furoshiki literally translates as Japanese bath spread, although the Furoshiki cloth dates back to the Nara period, the term itself derives from the Edo period when the most common use for the cloth was to bundle clothes at the sento or public baths. Furoshiki has become increasingly decorative and has now become a popular way to wrap gifts in the traditional Japanese style and provide protection until they are opened by their recipient.
Furoshiki wrapping is also great for the environment too as the eco-friendly cloth provides a prettier alternative to the plastic bag and the resistant material means it has multifunctional benefits and can be used over and over again to wrap your Japanese gifts
As with most traditional Japanese items, Furoshiki has a long, rich history which dates as far back as the Nara period when the cloth was used to preserve the valuables of the Emperors.
Fast forward to the Edo Period and Furoshiki became popular in the increasing number of public bathhouses which were being built in Japan. Its multi-purpose functionality meant the cloth could be used as a mat to stand on whilst dressing before and after bathing and then as a protective bag to carry the clothes.
Furoshiki history does not remain in the past, it became an essential everyday item for the working classes and a functional piece of material. Although Furoshiki began life as a functional carrier and protector, more recently its decorative appeal has earned its reputation as the gift wrap of choice for many people in Japan and all over the world.
Japanese Gift Wrapping Furoshiki Style
There are so many different Furoshiki wrapping techniques for a wide range of items in all shapes and sizes. Wrap anything from flowers to bottles in Furoshiki and impress your loved ones with a thoughtful presentation of you gift. Here’s the simplest way to wrap your gifts using Furoshiki:
- Firstly, lay the Furoshiki cloth flat on the table, ironing out any folds or creases in the material with your hand before you start.
- Place the gift in the centre of the cloth and grab a corner of the cloth, lift it up and over the gift, taking care to tuck it underneath the item. Repeat with the opposite corner of the cloth however leave this corner covering the item without tucking underneath.
- Pull the remaining two corners together and tie into a square knot on the top of the gift, you can now tuck the earlier corner which was left out underneath the knot and there you have it!
For more information on gift wrapping in the traditional way, read our Japanese style gift wrapping five-minute guide for a video tutorial and easy-to-follow advice and inspiration for your gifts.
If you are adding a card or message to your gift, this can be discreetly tucked away within the cloth for an added element of surprise. Buy Furoshiki in a wide range of colours and styles from subtle floral designs to big bold patterns. Whatever Furoshiki gift cloth you do use, the cloth itself will be all you need, no ribbons or bows necessary as the eye-catching designs speak for themselves. At the Japanese Shop we have a beautiful range of Furoshiki fabric, perfect for your gifts this Christmas, you can view all of them on our online store.
Japanese style gift wrapping takes time and practice to get the best results and in Japan, the presentation of the gift is almost as important as the gift itself. So, to take some of the pressure off and give you more time to purchase the perfect gift, we offer a free Japanese style gift wrapping service on all orders. Simply select this option from the drop-down menu before you place your order and your Japanese gift will arrive perfectly wrapped and ready to give (we won’t tell them if you want to take the credit).