Furoshiki: The Charming Japanese Wrapping Technique

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 wrap various things.

Your name Furoshiki [風呂敷] can be literally translated as “hole” (bath) and “shiki" (Open). In this article, we will get to 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 furoshiki, they can vary from hand size to size bigger than sheets. The big one is about 2 meters and the basic one is usually 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, obentos (lunchboxes) and others.

In addition to all the artistic detail that makes a difference in the package, it can be transformed into a canteen, a handbag or a crossbody bag. A small, tightly wrapped furoshiki can imitate a flower, decorating a treat (small gift).

Furoshiki - the charming Japanese wrapping

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

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

Things to do with furoshiki wipes

The Japanese art of wrapping scarves 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 ring 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 much more most.

See below several techniques being applied in a furoshiki:

Furoshiki - the charming Japanese wrapping


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 the bathrooms or onsen, this was used to separate the belongings of each one.

In the 20th century, furoshiki declined due to the popularity of artificial packaging and plastic. However, in 2006, the Japanese Minister of 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 piece of calico print, even a beach wrap can easily be transformed into a bag or wrap a gift in a special way using this traditional fabric folding technique.

The reader is invited to learn about the ways, from the simplest to the most elegant, of tying furoshiki. This is an artful, elegant, original and friendly way to carry and store things.

The artigo is still half finished, but we recommend opening it to read the following later:

Videos and tutorials about Furoshiki

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