Furoshiki - The charming Japanese package


You know the Japanese technique of wrapping things called furoshiki? This name refers to the Japanese technique of wrapping, or simply refers to a square of fabric used to pack various things.

Your name Furoshiki [風呂敷] can literally be translated as “hole"(Bath) and"shiki" (Open). In this article, we will know all the details of this square of cloth and its many uses.

Traditionally, furoshiki is used to transport clothes, gifts or other goods. It has been used in infinite ways for over a thousand years. Wrapping techniques can be used on smaller fabrics and even napkins.

There is no fixed size for the furoshiki, they can vary from the size of the hand to the size larger than the sheets. The big one is about 2 meters long and the basic one usually measures 34 to 37 centimeters.


Picnic among the flowers

Following the cherry tree trail, in April, in a village called Shirakawago, I met the friendly Furoshiki for the first time. It is a square of cloth, in which people wrap everything: gifts, boxes, bottles, books, obents (lunchboxes) and others.

In addition to any artistic detail that makes a difference in the wrapping, it can be transformed into a flask, a handbag or a shoulder bag. A small, tightly wrapped furoshiki can imitate a flower, embellishing a treat (small gift).

Furoshiki - the charming Japanese package

The gifts are wrapped in beautiful floral fabrics, preferably silk. For family use, a simpler fabric will do. By wrapping a gift with furoshiki, you are giving 2 gifts at the same time.

The Japanese prefer fabrics made with patterns suitable for each season of the year. In spring, for example, flowers and young animals are preferred. The colors refer to the holiday or events of the time.

Things to do with furoshiki scarves

The art of wrapping Japanese handkerchiefs and cloths allows for countless possibilities. Furoshiki is often decorated with traditional designs or by shibori (dyeing technique).


With furoshiki it is possible to make a hoop bag, bottles, bag to put books, fruit baskets, bag to put objects, wrap gifts, make a summer bag, create a vase holder, make a lunch box, wrap gifts with bow and lots of more.

Below are several techniques being applied to a furoshiki:

Furoshiki - the charming Japanese package


The furoshiki originated in the Nara period (710 - 784) to transport the Emperor's goods. Then, in the Heian period (794 - 1185), the nobility used this resource extensively to pack clothes. In bathrooms or onsen, this was the way used to separate everyone's belongings.

In the 20th century, furoshiki decreased due to the popularity of artificial packaging and plastic. However, in 2006, the Japanese Minister for the Environment, Yuriko Koike, launched a campaign to promote the use of cloth origami, another nickname for furoshiki. The reason is simple - its use is ecological, in addition to avoiding the waste of plastic bags.

Any tablecloth, napkin or printed piece of cheetah, even a beach sarong can be easily transformed into a purse or wrapped a gift in a special way using this traditional fabric folding technique.

It is an invitation to the reader to know the ways, from the simplest to the most elegant, to tie the furoshiki. This is an artistic, elegant, original and friendly way to carry and store things.


Videos and tutorials about Furoshiki