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Mastering the Furoshiki Technique

Do you wrap your gifts like an artisan, spending time and putting attention to the littlest creases to make sure everything is perfect? Do you do it quick, wrapping the gift just enough to hide it from plain view? Or do you even know how to wrap a gift at all? In any case, the Japanese art of furoshiki is for you.

What is furoshiki?

Furoshiki is a Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used for covering gifts or transporting food, clothes, and other objects. Its use as a wrapping material is believed to have come from the practice of tying furoshiki to clothes to prevent mix-ups in the onsen or hot spring. It soon became a popular mode of carrying a lot of other things besides clothes. Over time, the word has also evolved to become an umbrella term for the process and the techniques of wrapping objects with furoshiki.

Furoshiki has changed a lot since its beginning hundreds of years ago. While they have retained their square shape, they now come in varying sizes, ensuring that you can carry virtually anything—books, bento boxes, groceries, bottles, and even flowers. You can also choose from different materials. They even come in different designs if you want to be unique.

What do you need for furoshiki?

At its core, furoshiki is all about convenience. It is very handy. As such, you don’t really need a lot of things to get started on it. With a little patience and enough practice, you will definitely master it, too.

Here are some of the things you will need for furoshiki:


Traditionally, the art of furoshiki uses a square piece of fabric. Today, it is possible to find furoshiki of varying sizes, from ones the size of a handkerchief to others that are bigger than bed sheets. They are also made from a selection of materials, including cotton, silk, nylon, or rayon. Choosing the right fabric will depend on the effect you want and what kind of goods you will be wrapping.

Modern furoshiki come in a spectrum of colors and designs. You can pick plain-colored or patterned ones. You can also opt for ones that are printed with either traditional or modern designs. There is practically something for everyone.


Furoshiki has long been used for wrapping a wide variety of goods. They are ideal for wrapping even objects that are spherical or irregularly shaped. This puts the art at an advantage over more popular wrapping materials such as wrapping paper. Do not be scared of using furoshiki for potentially messy goods as you can just wash the fabric when it gets dirty.


Traditionally, you don’t need anything besides cloth for furoshiki. If you want to add a little more personal touch though, you can always add clasps, ties, clips, and handles to your work. These accessories come in all shapes and sizes so there is bound to be something that suits your taste. Not only do they make your gift look pretty, the handles make them easy to carry, too.


Furoshiki is so easy that even beginners can do it. That, however, does not mean that you can do it in one try. You might need to be a little patient to figure out the best way to fold the fabric or to tie together to ensure that your goods are secured while looking presentable.

How do you do furoshiki?

While there are defined ways to wrap certain objects with furoshiki—you can easily find them online—it doesn’t take that much strategy to actually accomplish it. Just spread your cloth on a flat surface, place your goods at the center, and then pull the edges or corners of your cloth together to wrap your gift. You may also fold the cloth to accomplish this. Tie the cloth together to secure your goods. Make sure that your goods are well-covered and are easy to carry.

While the art of furoshiki may be hundreds of years old, it has many handy applications for the modern world. Its many benefits and its simple but beautiful results definitely make it worth mastering.