This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Enjoy free shipping for orders exceeding 49 USD.

Furoshiki, the Japanese Art of Gentle, Beautiful, and Sustainable  Gift Wrapping

Furoshiki, the Japanese Art of Gentle, Beautiful, and Sustainable Gift Wrapping

Everyone loves to unwrap presents; the magical moment when the bows come off and the paper tears away, revealing the gift inside. But have you ever really thought about what happens to all of that gift wrap once the celebration ends?
That foil-lined paper, glitter ribbons, and polyester bows are landfill contents waiting to happen. Because most of the traditional wrapping paper, bags, and bows are not biodegradable, for that single moment on Christmas morning, our climate suffers for decades to come.

Origin of traditional wrapping paper

The use of wrapping paper was first documented in ancient China in the 2nd century BC when monetary gifts were wrapped with paper formed into an envelope shape. This was known as chih pao.
Many centuries later, in 1917, Rollie and Joyce Hall, the founders of Hallmark Cards, developed the first modern-day wrapping paper, and the tradition of wrapping gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other celebrations took off.
But as much as Americans love to wrap presents and exchange gifts, the wrapping paper industry is responsible for an enormous amount of waste every year. Not surprisingly, the demand for wrapping paper and all the accouterments that go with it increases during the holiday season.
The average American produces 5 pounds of trash per day, or 35 pounds each week. During the holidays, that rises to 6.25 pounds per person per day, or 43.75 pounds each week. With a population of over 330 million people, that means 2,887,500,000 more pounds of trash is generated each week during the holidays relative to the rest of the year. And the worst part is most wrapping paper ends up in landfills.
Shiny and glitter-encrusted paper is especially bad because not only is it not recyclable, but glitter is made from microplastics, the tiny pieces of plastic that not only appear in your hair weeks later but also stick around in the world’s oceans. Marine life ingests these little specks, and the result is tragic. 
But you don’t have to be an eco-grinch this holiday season. So, with less than 3 months to go before the holidays hit, now is the time to prepare for a planet-friendlier holiday season this year.
Furoshiki is an eco-friendly wrapping technique that will help you give the gift of sustainability this holiday season.




 Furoshiki, the Japanese art of gift wrapping that uses a cloth to wrap objects, unites the concepts of sustainability and mindfulness by replacing non-planet-friendly, wasteful wrapping paper with scrap fabric, old clothing, or deadstock, and taking the time to savor the moment.
Many of the most revered Japanese arts have emerged from inventions first intended for practical uses. Japanese calligraphy, for example, was the solution to a need for a uniform script, and Kintsugi, an elegant way to repair broken pottery, was created to turn trash into treasure.
The Japanese, who were the first to master the art of repurposing, originally used cloth to carry valuable belongings. Today, this once-practical solution has become a popular green gift-wrapping method across the globe.
The term Furoshiki, which literally translates to “bath spread” (furo shiki)  was first used in the Nara period as a means to protect valuable goods.
Evolving into a popular practice over the last several years, cultures around the world have adopted this versatile, environmentally friendly modern alternative to holiday gift-wrapping.


History of the Craft


During the Nara period in 710 BC, a cloth was first used to wrap important goods and treasures found in Japanese temples and other valuable objects, referred to as Tsutsumi, meaning “package” or “present.” During the Heian period, from 794 to 1185, the cloth, called Koro mo Utsumi, was used to wrap clothing.
The name Furoshiki was adopted during the Muromachi period, from 1136 to 1573. It is believed that Ashikaga Yoshimitsu installed a large bathhouse in his residence and invited feudal lords to stay and use the facility. The guests would wrap their kimonos in a Furoshiki cloth.
In 2006, the Japanese Minister of the Environment, Yuriko Koike,  promoted the Furishiki cloth in an effort to increase environmental awareness and reduce the use of plastic.  Commonly used by Japanese school children to carry bento boxes, gift-givers around the world are adopting this environmentally-friendly way to wrap gifts.
Furoshiki is more than a craft; it is a school of thought. Furoshiki teaches humbleness, the importance of tradition, courtesy, consideration for our environment, and mindfulness.
This is especially important during these strange times we are living in today. After over two years of uncertainty and fear, show your loved ones how much you appreciate and treasure them by taking the essence of Furoshiki and adapting it to your holiday season this year.
And Furoshiki allows you to give yourself the gift of mindfulness and peace while you wrap your gifts. Play soft zen music, light a candle, and spend an hour reflecting on the year gone by and what you’re most grateful for, and enjoy the experience.


How to Tie Furoshiki

It’s simple to create your own Furoshiki cloth with easily accessible materials like old t-shirts, jeans that don’t fit, or linens you no longer use. Basically, any pliable fabric will do. 
All that’s needed is the cloth itself. Furoshiki can be any square piece of cloth. The most common sizes are 17 x 17 inches and 28 x 28 inches. 
For some gifts, the cloth may be as small as the palm of your hand, while other pieces of fabric may be cut as large as the size of a huge box. It just depends on the size of the object you’re wrapping. The gift-giver can get as creative as they want by customizing the look with beautiful fabric patterns, colors, and textures.
To wrap a gift Furoshiki-style, all you need is a two-sided square cloth and some basic folding skills.
Below are some basic Furoshiki wrapping techniques to try.
To wrap a square object:
Yotsu Musubi manual
Kousa Tsutsumi manual
To wrap a bottle of wine:
Bin Tsutsumi 1 bottle manual
Bin tsutsumi example

Another great option is to wrap a gift with another gift.

Bandana around a box of jewelry
A scarf around a candle
Line dishcloth around a bar of handcrafted soap
Throw blanket around a wooden bowl
Tablecloth around napkins
Napkins around serving ware
    Then create a bucket filled with these small items for a gift everyone on your list will treasure.
    Tip: To make the wrapping fancier, add a fresh flower, cranberries, dried lavender, rosemary sprig, or pine branch for a charming package topper. Use this as an opportunity to graze through a park, walk through a field, or simply spend quality time in your own backyard and take in all the beauty autumn has to offer while “shopping” for package toppers.
    Furoshiki cloth gift wrap can be passed on over and over again, used to wrap gifts indefinitely, eliminating waste and serving as an eco-friendly family heirloom or treasured keepsake.
    Keep a stockpile of various Furoshiki fabrics, separated by color, season, or occasion, and be ready to wrap and roll!
    Furoshiki turns a once tedious chore into an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we can all use a moment to breathe. And perhaps the best part of Furoshiki is that it’s a gift you give to the planet.
    There are plenty of sustainable ways to wrap gifts in all shapes and sizes.  Here are a few more planet-friendly gift-wrapping ideas to try this holiday season.

    Kraft Paper

    Let your creativity shine when decorating a gift wrapped in kraft paper. To complement the rustic look of the paper, decorate the gifts with some natural materials like eucalyptus, pinecones, dried orange slices, lavender, thyme, or sprigs of rosemary.
    Tip: Create an all-natural stamp by carving out shapes in a cork and using beet juice as ink.


    Denim Gift Bags

    Turn an old pair of old jeans into beautiful little gift bags. Using the Furoshiki method or simply cutting off the legs of jeans and placing a bottle of wine inside and tying it with a piece of twine or a strip of leftover denim scraps is a delightful way to create a personalized gift. 




    Use newspaper for gift wrap and turn a simple and thrifty gift into something special. 
    Once you’ve used these cute gift-wrapping ideas to make your holiday gifts more eco-friendly, make it a habit for all gift-giving occasions. 
    Give the gift of sustainability this holiday season by creating beautiful Furoshiki-inspired wrapping paper. It’s a gift you’ll love to give, an experience you’ll enjoy,  and an everlasting feel-good gift you can give to the planet.
    Written by  Eileen Honey Strauss

    Use coupon code WELCOME10 for 10% off your first order.


    Congratulations! Your order qualifies for free shipping You are $200 away from free shipping.
    No more products available for purchase