Japanese Furoshiki (or How to Wrap a Gift in Cloth)

The Japanese have perfected the art of simple beauty (and if you’ve ever had street gyoza in Kyoto, you know). Their gift giving is no exception. Ditch the wrapping paper and ribbon (it’s not recyclable, FYI) and opt for the Japanese art of fabric wrapping, or Furoshiki. Furoshiki traces its roots to the 8th century bath houses when wrapping up your clothes for transport was all the rage. Since then, the practice has been adapted for all sorts of cost-saving (and sustainable) reasons. Wrapping gorgeous gifts is just one of them. 

To start, gather up old fabric, bandanas, large scarves, or even old bed sheets and table cloths. Using fabrics that are square or rectangular is best. If you have a raw edge, use a pair of zig-zag peking scissors around the edges to prevent fraying. Place your gift on the diagonal in a corner of the fabric and roll inward. Then find the ends, and start wrapping. Watch the video below for some ideas, or just wing it. Pull taught around the gift and get creative – you’re only limited by your boldness.