Are you also fed up with the amount of paper and plastic tape that you use (and have to purchase) to wrap your presents? Are you looking for a more eco-friendly way? Then you may want to try Furoshiki. It is an ancient Japanese gift wrapping technique which uses cloth instead of paper. It is simple, ecological and as you can see on the infographic below, there are several folding and tying techniques.
According to 1 Million Women website: ” Cloth wrapping has been used for over 1200 years in Japan. The word furoshiki came about during the Edo period (1603-1868) when the cloths were commonly used in bath houses to wrap clothes and as bath mats. The word furoshiki means ‘bath spread’.”
One furoshiki cloth can be used for:
- wrapping a gift
- a bag for shopping
- decorating a handbag
- a picnic hamper
- a tablecloth
- household decor
- a scarf, belt or bandana
- wrapping clothes when travelling.
Our family is trying to follow a zero waste way of life. We have a long way to go till we get to the stage where we won’t buy anything covered in plastic. Sometimes it’s hard- if you know where to find fresh spinach in winter or rolls of toilet paper that are not wrapped in plastic, do let me know.
I believe that we should go slow, step by step, and learn along the way. Changing one’s lifestyle from one day to another can be too drastic, we may get fed up and revert to old habits. It’s like trying to lose weight. Extreme diets don’t work. If you start with small changes, you’re more likely to reach your ideal weight and keep it.
Furoshiki is one of the ways you can incorporate zero waste thinking this festive season. You will save money as there is no need to buy wrapping paper, tape, bows or ribbons that contain plastic.
I like to choose soft cloth (cotton, silk or linen) because it’s easier to fold and tie. Instead of tape, use a ribbon, fabric scraps, leather cord, or hemp. And to make it even more original, add branches of evergreen trees (cedar, cypress, eucalyptus, etc.), red or white winter berries (watch out for horns on the leaves), twigs or pine needles.