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Reusable Gift Wrap


Furoshiki is the Japanese art of wrapping gifts in beautiful fabric instead of disposable paper.

I am on a quest this Christmas to find alternatives to using disposables and plastic.  Last week I met my friend Vicki Stalker a fellow blogger.  She gave me a beautifully wrapped gift with cotton fabrics in the same colours as my blog theme.  Locallaly sourced bamboo cutlery,  What a treasure.  Especially with the concerns about deforestation and the plight of lumbering — the concerns of food security.  But when I saw the wrapping, I loved it as much as the gift.

Why use fabric as gift wrap

While I use and reuse gift wrap, and buy gift bags and gift boxes to use over and over, even wrapping kitchen themed gifts in tea towels,  I hadn’t thought of using fabric.  But when I saw the artistic way that Kirsten wrapped this gift, I knew I had to find out more.

Fabric wrapped gifts and parcels have been used around the world for centuries.  Remember the hobo with the handkerchief on a stick to carry his worldly goods?  But the Japanese have mastered the art of folding fabric to make beautiful parcels and gift wraps.  Think of it as origami with cloth instead of paper.  Furoshiki is the simple art of wrapping with reusable and beautiful cloth.

I find this appealing because

1. It’s reusable

2. It’s pretty

3. It’s doesn’t end up in the land fill

4. It isn’t made of plastic, at least if you use natural fabrics

5. It can be sewn into another object, a napkin, a purse, a pillow, for instanceMany of us have a stash of fabric waiting to be used

6. It makes good use of fabric remnantsIt’s eco-friendly

7. You can give it to a friend or neighbor without worrying about getting it back

8. It’s unique

9. The fabric choice can be customized to the gift theme or the recipient

How to create furoshiki gift wrap

Traditionally fabrics used for Furoshiki are square — small items are usually wrapped in a 16 inch square of cloth, medium size items are wrapped in a 22 inch square, and larger items are wrapped up in a 26 inch square.  This tells me that a pretty cloth napkin would be ideal for many furoshiki wraps.  I love to hunt for linen napkins at charity shops so now I have another reason for my passion of recycling old linens.

But you can also use fat quarters from your stash, so you aren’t limited to hemmed and finished fabrics.  Fat quarters are a popular size for quilters and crafters to purchase cotton prints for quilting.  A fat quarter is generally 18 x 22 inches, almost square, and just the right size to wrap a gift. 

You can also use a 1/2 yard of fabric and fold it in half, the way Vicki did when she wrapped this present for me. 

Just have a search on youtube for furoshiki and there lots of instructions on how to do it.

Thanks for reading!

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