Let's Grow Comics

Ep. 22 – Furoshiki, The Finest and Eco-Friendly Wrapping Cloth from Japan

Have you ever heard of the beautiful art of gift wrapping from Japan named Furoshiki? Zahra explains it in this episode.

Furoshiki, The Finest and Eco-Friendly Japanese Wrapping Cloth
What is Furoshiki, and where did it come from?

Furoshiki is a square cloth used to wrap goods and gifts used by the Japanese people since more than 1200 years ago in the Nara period. Emphasizing high aesthetic value, furoshiki uses high quality and thicker fabrics such as silk, hand painted designs, and has sewn edges.
Different names in various era

In the Nara period (710-794), it was used to wrap precious things in temples, and was called “tsutsumi” which means wrapping. And in the Heian period (794-1185), the role of this cloth changed to cloth wrapping clothes, and named as “hiratsutsumi”. In the Muromachi era (1335-1573) his name changed to the “furoshiki” we know today.

Furoshiki itself means wrapping clothes for bathing, taken from the words "furo" which means bath and "shiki" which means wide. This name is used because many people like to bathe in public baths (onsen) and do not want to change their clothes, so they mark it with a unique furoshiki.
Furoshiki in the present days

Now furoshiki is known as the art of gift wrapping that is popular among certain social circles. Since it is used to wrap large items, it will be made as beautiful and attractive as possible, using expensive fabrics such as hand-painted silk.

However, among environmentalists who promote a zero-waste lifestyle, the furoshiki used today are made of cotton, nylon, rayon and polyester with attractive and eye-catching motifs. And in addition to being a wrapper, the furoshiki itself becomes a gift so that it can be reused by the recipients.
Furoshiki as a fashion item

In addition to wrapping goods/gifts, furoshiki can also be used as fashion items. For example, you can use them as a handbag, tote bag, shopping bag, and many more.

The ways to fold it also varies, depending on the goods going to be wrapped or carried. Moreover, it all comes back to the creativity of the furoshiki owner.
Wrap A Gift with Furoshiki, The Otsukai Tsutsumi Way
Wrap A Gift with Furoshiki, The Kousa Tsutsumi Way
From now on, let's use furoshiki to wrap gifts

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