Welcome ...

you are amongst
friends here!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

What is Furoshiki?

Furoshiki is the Japanese art of fabric wrapping. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the Japanese culture for the inspiration that furoshiki offers, as well as the many beautiful wrapping techniques that have been developed over the centuries. 

It is thought that the furoshiki originated as a mat and carrying
cloth for clothes, and was used by people visiting public bath houses. The Japanese word furoshiki translates into English as ‘bath spread’. Over the centuries, the furoshiki developed into a wrapping cloth for just about anything that needed wrapping – from food to precious items.

The furoshiki cloth is always square as this works best for wrapping techniques. They can be made from any fabric that is sufficiently lightweight for folding and tying knots. Cotton, linen, silk and synthetic fabrics all make suitable materials. Some furoshiki are sewn from two squares of fabric, making them
double-sided. These are useful for a number of the more elaborate wrapping techniques, but there are many ways to
wrap beautifully with just a single-sided furoshiki.

Why Furoshiki

There are lots of reasons for choosing to wrap with  furoshiki rather than paper:

  • The reusable furoshiki is much more eco-friendly than single-use paper, particularly foiled and glittered paper that can’t be recycled.
  • Even if we recycle our wrapping paper, reusing is always going to be a greener option than recycling.
  • After a little practice, wrapping with furoshiki is so much quicker and easier than using paper and sticky tape.
  • Unlike paper, fabric drapes comfortably around awkwardly-shaped gifts and doesn’t tear on spiky protuberances.
  • Once you have built up a family and friends collection of furoshiki, you won’t have to keep spending on throwaway wrapping paper and sticky tape.
  • The furoshiki-wrapped gift looks different and beautiful, and if you are feeling creative you can experiment with a variety of wrapping techniques and embellishments.
  • For neurodivergent people looking to avoid too much sensory stimulation, opening furoshiki-wrapped gifts is a much calmer experience than tearing off noisy paper.

For those on a tight budget, it’s not necessary to buy ready made furoshiki. Use whatever you have to hand – scarves, tea towels, baby muslins, napkins and offcuts of fabric all work well. To make your own furoshiki, simply hem a square of fabric. If you have a serger, you can also stitch an overlocked or rolled hem. This works well as it makes for a less bulky edge.

The thrift store can be a great source of materials for making your own furoshiki. Look out for square scarves and fabrics such as pretty sheets, duvet covers and lightweight curtains. If there is some fading on the fabric, it won’t show when wrapped round a gift. In the spirit of not wasting anything, curtain headings, rings or buttons can be saved for your own use or donated back to the needlework and craft section of the thrift store.

There are two further advantages to thrift store sourcing, particularly with sustainability in mind:

  • Secondhand fabrics are always going to be more eco-friendly than using new, even if the new is a sustainably produced fabric such as organic cotton or linen.
  • Through buying from the thrift store, you are supporting the charity that runs it.


All or Nothing?

When trying to live more sustainably and switch from throwaway to reusable, it can feel as though we have to change everything in one go. This is not the case with furoshiki. If we all wrapped just a few presents in fabric each year, it would make a big difference. Take your time building up your collection of furoshiki, and choose eco-friendly paper wrappings to use
alongside fabric. Newspaper, brown parcel paper and string-wrapped gifts look great alongside brightly patterned fabrics – and most brown parcel paper is sturdy enough to reuse several times, particularly if you avoid sticky tape.

Wrapping Techniques

Check out our video tutorials showing some different furoshiki wrapping techniques.

The techniques we cover are:



four tie wrap

basic carry wrap

bottle carry wrap

Which Size to Choose?

Our size chart gives you an idea of what size furoshiki to use for each gift. The key thing to remember is that you need enough spare fabric to tie into knots. If in doubt, go bigger. If your furoshiki is a bit on the small side, you can wrap it round the gift like paper and secure with ribbon or string (see videos).

Small Square ( 30 cm)Medium Square ( 50 cm)Large Square (70cm)
Square Box up to 11 x 11 x 4.5 cmSquare Box up to 14 x 14 x 11 cmBox up to 21 x 30 x 13 cm
Rectangular Box up to 12 x 10 x 4 cmRectangular Box up to 17 x 14 x 9 cmHeavy Knitwear, large shirt
Small Box (e.g. jewellery box)Paperback ( 20 x 13 x 2 cm ) (up to 3)Bottle of wine
Gift CardSmall board picture book ( 15 x 15 x 3 cm )Football
Pair of SocksLight clothing such as t-shirt or scarf Large teapot
Make(lipstick, mascara)Tablet, unboxed with case ( 24 x 18 x 3 cm)DVD box set ( 20 x 15 x 13 cm)
Pack of cardse-reader( 11.5 x 16 cm )large picture book
HandkerchiefDVD(up to 6)Medium to large cuddly toy
Mobile phone caseCD (up to 8)Board game
Small WalletMugTablet,boxed