Wrap your bottle of wine in a furoshiki this year.

furoshiki wrapping bottle, by fleegle

Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese means of wrapping presents or carrying objects in a square of cloth. It’s waste-free, it’s practical, and it’s beautiful. As an art form, furoshiki is less known outside Japan than origami, but it is just as venerable – it simply uses fabric instead of paper. Because furoshiki require no wrapping paper, tape or ribbon, they are clearly more environmentally friendly than traditional western gift-wrapping methods. Despite the fact that furoshiki cloths are themselves an art form, you don’t really need to buy traditional furoshiki squares. Even in Japan, vintage silk or polyester scarves are sometimes used, or even fabric remnants – any fabric with a certain amount of drape will work. And anyone can learn to tie furoshiki – even kids, who are actually really good at it. There are some amazing videos demonstrating easy furoshiki tying methods here. What furoshiki are especially brilliant for during the holidays is wrapping bottles of wine. It lets you avoid buying all those toxic, lacquered disposable wine bottle bags, and it looks much more thoughtful. And furoshiki can be used year after year – just tie them differently every time, or re-gift them.

red geometric furoshiki by djbebe.

furoshiki bag by MrsTools on Flickr

furoshiki rabbit by yukoki on flickr

Furoshiki Wrappings 5 by vaneea.

Furoshiki actually means “bath spread” and derives from the Edo period practice of using them to bundle clothes while at the sento, or public baths, but furoshiki were also used on a daily basis to transport bottles, clothes, gifts and other goods – and they are still used this way. Try it! It’s much easier to carry a square of textile with you, folded up in your bag, than it is to carry around a big spare canvas shopping bag, so it’s great as an emergency replacement for plastic. We’re on the verge of a plastic bag ban here in Vancouver, so this will be a good thing to know how to do. There’s a really mod Japanese government Ministry of the Environment poster guide to the many practical forms of furoshiki here.

IMG_2150.JPG by Clamoring.

Photos from Flickr: bottle by fleegle, geometric furoshiki by djbebe, instant shopping bag or purse by MrsTools, rabbit bottle furoshiki by sfennell, and gift boxes by vaneea and clamoring. For many more ideas, just search for furoshiki on Flickr.

4 comments on "Wrap your bottle of wine in a furoshiki this year."

  1. Hi Maria,

    I’m not sure where you’re located but most larger North American cities have one or two Japanese shops selling furoshiki. There are many online shops also – here are a few:





    And here’s another fantastic article in pingmag about furoshiki, for other ideas of materials to use:

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