Zero-Waste Gift Wrap: How to Wrap Gifts in Reusable Fabric with Furoshiki
If you’ve been seeking zero-waste gift wrap and tips and tricks on how to wrap presents with reusable gift wrapping, look no further. Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth (pronounced foo-roh-shee-kee) used to transport clothes, gifts, or other belongings. This sustainable alternative to wrapping paper can be used again and again, making it a beautiful and eco-friendly way to wrap gifts.
Furoshiki takes reusable wrapping paper to new heights. Once you understand the basics of using a furoshiki reusable gift wrapping cloth, with just a few simple steps, you can transform your Japanese wrapping cloth into a work of art.
How to Use a Japanese Wrapping Cloth as Reusable Wrapping Paper
A furoshiki reusable gift wrapping cloth is a great way to wrap gifts sustainably. All you need is a piece of square cloth and some creativity. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be a zero-waste gift wrapping pro in no time.
Step 1: Choose Your Square Fabric
The first step is to choose the fabric for your Japanese wrapping cloth. Any type of cloth will do, but lighter fabrics are easier to tie and fold. Cotton, linen, satin, and silk are all good choices. When choosing your fabric, it’s important to consider the size of the gift you will be wrapping. To make sure that your furoshiki fabric is large enough to wrap your gift comfortably, a good rule of thumb is to choose a square piece of fabric that is about three times the diagonal length of your gift. This will ensure that you have more than enough coverage for your gift.
Step 2: Place the Gift in the Middle of the Fabric
Now that you’ve selected your fabric, lay the cloth flat and place your gift in the middle of the fabric with one corner of the fabric facing you. To ensure your gift is at the center of the fabric, take each corner and make sure it aligns with the opposite corner. Adjust the positioning of the gift as necessary.
Step 3: Wrap Your Gift with your Japanese Wrapping Cloth
Now comes the fun part—it’s time to start wrapping your gifts completely free of paper, tape, or any fuss. There are many furoshiki techniques to fold and tie your zero-waste gift wrapping cloth depending on the size and shape of your gift. Below are some furoshiki wrapping styles to consider. Scroll on for a step-by-step guide and how-to videos for the most popular furoshiki wrapping techniques.
Furoshiki Wrapping Techniques
The Two Main Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Techniques
The two main furoshiki gift wrapping techniques we will be exploring include the “Basic Carry” Wrap and the “Four Way Tie” Wrap which are most commonly used for square gift boxes.
How to Use Furoshiki Gift Wrap: The “Basic Carry” Wrap (Otsukai Tsutsumi)
Place the gift at the center of your square cloth.
Fold the top corner over the box and tuck the corner of excess cloth underneath.
Fold the bottom corner over the box. You can either tuck the corner of excess cloth underneath like you did the top corner or simply leave this corner as is.
Take the left and right corners of the cloth, meet them in the middle folding in any excess cloth, and tie a double knot at the center of the gift.
Your gift should now be fully wrapped with one double knot at the center of your gift.
See the “Basic Carry” Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Technique in Action:
How to use Furoshiki Gift Wrapping: The “Four Way Tie” Wrap (Yotsui Musubi)
Place the gift at the center of your square cloth.
Take the left and right corners of the cloth, meet them in the middle folding in any excess fabric, and tie a double knot at the center.
Take the top and bottom corners of the cloth, meet them in the middle folding in any excess fabric, and tie a knot at the center of the gift.
Your gift should now be fully wrapped with four corners that look like petals at the center of your gift. Adjust the fabric knot and its petals as necessary.
See the “Four Way Tie” Furoshiki Gift Wrapping Technique in Action:
Get Creative with Reusable Gift Wrapping Decorations
Whether dried flowers, eucalyptus, or even cute tokens like a skeleton key bottle opener, think outside the box when it comes to adding adornments to your furoshiki gift wrapping.
During the holidays, consider adding mistletoe, an ornament, pinecones, or even a candy cane as decoration. The sky is the limit, so have fun with it.
Furoshiki Wrapping Cloths Frequently Asked Questions
Dating back centuries, furoshiki are traditional Japanese cloths that are used to wrap gifts and carry belongings. These decorative cloths always come in square dimensions ranging from 17 x 17 inches to 28 x 28 inches to accommodate a variety of gift shapes and sizes. Furoshiki Japanese cloths offer a sustainable alternative to paper gift wrapping and are gaining popularity as sustainability becomes an important initiative worldwide.
With the rising popularity of furoshiki Japanese wrapping cloths and the increasing demand for zero-waste gift wrapping, there are many places to buy furoshiki wrapping cloths, but our personal favorite is Wrappr.
Wrappr is a woman-owned independent brand that partners with artists from around the world to design furoshiki wrapping cloths that are zero waste and full of beauty. Each artist receives a share of every sale, and every order is shipped in boxes made of recycled materials that are fully biodegradable to further Wrappr’s mission of sustainability.
Yes, you can use any square fabric for furoshiki gift wrapping. Ideal fabrics are light and flexible for easy handling which include cotton, satin, nylon, rayon, linen, canvas, and even silk. The most commonly used furoshiki fabric is cotton due to its durability, crisp folds, and easy care. Ultimately, you can use any type of fabric for furoshiki as long as it has square dimensions and is large enough to fully cover your gift.
Yes. In traditional Japanese culture, furoshiki wrapping is happily returned to the gift-giver. This means once you invest in furoshiki wrapping, you can continue to reuse the fabric for future gifts. If the gift recipient is not aware of Japanese customs, you can decide to pass it along to the gift recipient to help spread sustainable gift wrapping practices, or simply mention you would like to use the fabric again for future gifts.
Yes, you can use furoshiki for a variety of purposes such as wrapping a picnic lunch, wrapping a bottle of wine, or even using your furoshiki cloth as a tote. You can also use furoshiki cloths for wrapping clothes when packing a suitcase, wrapping flowers, and more.
To care for your furoshiki wrapping cloth, we recommend gently washing it in cold water and air drying it. If your furoshiki cloth is cotton, be sure to stretch it out before you air dry it. Do not bleach, iron, or dry clean your furoshiki wrapping cloth unless specified.
There are Etsy sellers that offer a variety of festive furoshiki gift wrapping options. Furoshiki is the perfect way to wrap your holiday gifts this year. The vibrant colors and festive designs make any present look special, and the cloth wrapping is eco-friendly and reusable. Plus, furoshiki is easy to use and can be adapted to any size gift.
Yes, you can make your own furoshiki wraps. You will need a large square piece of fabric, a sewing machine, and some thread. Begin by making a small fold around the edge of the fabric to create a seam. Press the fold with an iron to ensure it’s smooth. Once smooth, pin the folded seam so it stays in place. Use a sewing machine to sew the seam and your furoshiki is ready for wrapping. Once you have made your wrap, you can use it to wrap gifts and carry groceries, clothes, or other items.
Furoshiki wrapping cloths have been around for centuries and are rooted in Japanese tradition. Furoshiki was initially employed by noble families and feudal rulers to wrap their garments when visiting public baths. In order to prevent mix-ups with other people’s belongings, bathers would wrap their things in a furoshiki with their family crest printed on it.
With the arrival of the sewing machine in Japan in the 20th century, furoshiki could be printed for the masses and the wrapping cloths became more widely accessible. Traditional furoshiki wraps were utilized to transport goods, and of course, to wrap presents.