What the hell is Furoshiki?
In short, it’s the ancient Japanese art of wrapping objects in cloth in an elaborate and aesthetically pleasing way. Traditionally, it has been used to transport goods, as an element of home decor, as a beauty accessory and in fashion, or to wrap gifts.
The history of furoshiki
Furoshiki is an ancient Japanese tradition dating back as far as 7th century AD; although the exact date remains unclear it is known to have been around during the Nara period.
The furoshiki was born in the ofuro, traditional baths, where attendees used square fabrics to wrap their belongings.
For centuries, these wraps were a family treasure and one of the most beautiful textile representations of the refinement of Japanese applied arts. The designs and techniques are a reflection of different styles, places and historical times, customs and crafts of Japan. There are countless guides and books on how to wrap gifts of varying shapes and sizes - similarly to origami being the art of folding paper, furoshiki has its own techniques of folding with fabric.
Although they lost their popularity during the post-war period when plastic bags and paper gift wraps became prevalent, recently they have been regaining their popularity due to the growing environmental and sustainability consciousness of people with even the youngest generation rediscovering the beauty and eco-friendliness of this ancient tradition. Japan too has made a concious effort of reviving this tradition with the Japanese Minister of the Environment, Yuriko Koike, creating a furoshiki cloth to promote its use in the modern world.
Why are we talking furoshiki?
This ancient tradition is what inspired us here to create Wrapuccino. If this art has managed to thrive and survive for over 1300 years in Japan, it is only fair the Western World embraced its beauty and versatility. Especially now, with the threat of dramatic climate change and people’s efforts to reduce waste and plastic pollution, it is high time to look into this ecologically-friendly method of gift-wrapping.
There are 500 varieties of knots that can applied in the tie of the furoshiki, but don’t let this care you, we are not that strict here. By saying we were inspired by this tradition, we don’t mean we copied it exactly, but put a twist on it and made it more user-friendly for the modern ecologically-conscious person.
Cloth is one thing that you’ll find all our wraps and bags have in common, however you don’t need to master the art of furoshiki to be able to wrap.
On the contrary, it can take you as little as a couple of seconds to wrap any gift as there are no rules in wrapping- you can do it any way you like and experiment with your favourite designs.
In fact, if you wish so, you can wrap in cloth just the same way you used to do using the old-fashioned gift wrapping paper- we have videos how to do this in out ‘how to wrap' section too and there are countless other ones on Youtube.
And for the busy people around us, we came up with beautiful, fully reusable fabric gift and wine bags - each ready for you to use, looking stylish and effortlessly beautiful.
If you would like to learn how to wrap in the traditional Japanese way, we strongly encourage you to do so- please remember we really do like it when you show off your amazing designs - you can find some inspirational tutorials here.