A week before Christmas, I discovered Furoshiki via Alabama Chanin’s blog. Furoshiki refers to a traditional Japanese fabric cloth used to wrap and carry things. A sort of highly functional origami, if you will, that can be used carry home items from a store or wrap a gift. I was immediately intrigued and set out to learn more. The more I learned, the more determined I became to wrap the few Christmas gifts we would be bringing to Carrie and Al’s home on Christmas Day, using the Furoshiki techniques.
I began with this downloadable PDF which includes illustrations of 14 different wrapping techniques. I then discovered a site devoted to Furoshiki. From there I watched a few videos including this 30 second(!) one which shows how to wrap a pair of wine bottles.
Furoshiki cloths were traditionally made of silk, but now are made out of a variety of fabrics. Some cloth squares are lined in contrasting colors and patterns to increase the strength of the square, as well as to heighten the visual interest of the final wrap. For this Christmas wrapping foray into Furoshiki, I cut out several different sized squares of holiday themed cotton fabric. I didn’t even bother to hem the fabric. I wrapped pairs of wine bottles using the Bin Tsutsumi “two bottle carry wrap” technique. I also wrapped selections of fruits, cheeses, crackers and other goodies using the Suika Tsutsumi “watermelon carry wrap” technique. One tip I found along the way was when wrapping a collection of disparate sized and shaped items, lay your furoshiki square inside a shallow bowl or basket to corral your things. This worked very well and I didn’t have fruit rolling this way and that as I tried to tie the square!
It was quite successful. The packages were very easy to carry and looked both interesting and attractive. Some recipients gave me the “Lee/Auntie Lee/Lee Ann has come up with another oddball thing to share” look! But nearly everyone absolutely loved the two bottle wrap style and declared it a vast improvement over those little paper bottle bags or sewn fabric bottle sacks. I printed out the PDF to give to folks so that they would have a starting off point to explore Furoshiki on their own. I look forward to sewing some Furoshiki squares, hemming the edges and making some lined ones as well.
Here are a couple of photos:
Suika Tsutsumi “watermelon carry wrap”
Bin Tsutsumi “two bottle carry wrap”