Forgotten wrapping paper? Use fabric instead!

Furoshiki is the Japanese wrapping technique that makes any gift look stunning. We explain how even awkwardly shaped gifts can be wrapped easily.

Sara Gutierrez

Furoshiki is the name given to a square piece of fabric used for wrapping. The technique has a rich tradition in Japan and other Asian countries. There are countless variations, and you can be as creative as you like. The thinner and softer the fabric, the easier it is to fold and tie. You can use a tea towel or old bed linen, for instance.

In this article, we’ll show you two wrapping techniques: one for a book, another for a bottle.

How to wrap a book using Furoshiki:

  1. Take a square piece of fabric, spread it out and place your book diagonally in the middle. Good to remember: the size of the cloth you’ll need depends on how big your gift is. A Furoshiki cloth is typically about 45-100cm long on each side. Bring two opposite corners of the cloth together over the book.

  2. Hold the resulting strand close to the book.

  3. While keeping a firm grip on the strand,wrap the remaining two corners around your hand using your other hand.

  4. Then tie the two loose ends together around the strand, making two or more knots.

  5. Now pull the two ends of the upper strand apart.

  6. Push the tips into the centre to make a flower.

  7. Your lovely Furoshiki gift wrap is now ready!

How to wrap an awkwardly shaped gift, like a bottle, using Furoshiki:

  1. Take a piece of square cloth, spread it out and stand the bottle in the middle.

  2. Bring two opposite corners of the cloth together over the bottle and tie two knots.

  3. Wrap the two loose ends around the bottle.

  4. Then knot them together.

  5. Your Furoshiki gift wrap is ready!

Furoshiki isn’t just great for wrapping gifts beautifully. The techniques can be used in many different ways in everyday life too, whether for tying a muslin cloth on a baby, carrying shopping or packing holiday luggage to protect valuable items.

«Furoshiki is unconditional love»

Ye Jarrett has been running courses and workshops on Furoshiki at the Migros Club School since 2019. She is thrilled whenever she manages to make participants as enthusiastic about the technique as she is. “To me, Furoshiki is about a sense of security and unconditional love. No matter what we wrap, the technique forces us to handle it carefully and lovingly,” Ye explains.

More courses for a creative Christmas can be found here.

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