It’s a wrap!

I’m fortunate in that I work with colleagues from a wide range of cultural and language backgrounds. Many of them are aware of my interests in textiles and I sometimes receive nice surprises from them.

Niponica magazine

Niponica magazine

Yesterday one of my Japanese colleagues gave me a small magazine featuring Japanese textile traditions. I haven’t yet had the chance to visit Japan, but it is on my list of “must see” countries.

The back cover features furoshiki cloths which are square pieces of cloth that have been used for centuries in Japan to make a kind of bag for carrying or storing simple objects. There are many ways to tie the cloth which can then be used to carry things of just about any shape.

Wrapping a watermelon

Wrapping a watermelon

One of the pictures illustrates how to tie and then carry a watermelon, which I am not sure I will ever do, but I thought it was kind of cute!

The cloths are generally made of cotton, silk or polyester and can come in different sizes. They can be folded up and carried around which makes them the ultimate eco-friendly shopping bag.

Furoshiki wrapping cloths

Furoshiki wrapping cloths

Looking at the illustration made me think about using some of my left-over fabric this way for gifts, both to wrap different gifts or perhaps gifting some different sized cloth with instructions for other people to use them.  Quite coincidentally today I came across the  mairuru blog which had a post from 2008 on how to sew a patchwork furoshiki which would be just the thing to use up some scraps.

A quick web search comes up with numerous sites to show the different wrapping techniques –this site has good instructions and illustrations and This YouTube video shows the basics for wrapping boxes.   Then there is always Pinterest – this board has great images and ideas.

Just think of the trees we could save if we all used cloth instead of expensive wrapping paper. Happy wrapping.


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