Sunday, 20 March 2011

Furoshiki - The art of Japanese gift wrapping

When I was in Japan I fell in love with Furoshiki-  the art of Japanese gift wrapping.
For the Japanese, wrapping a gift is not about obscuring the gift to make it a surprise for the recipient. Instead, Japanese people see it as a means of expressing respect for the person and for the gift itself and sending subtly expressive messages. In many cases, the presentation is just as important as what it contains.
Furoshiki is the easiest Japanese gift wrapping method: it uses cloth instead of paper. A furoshiki is a decorative square Japanese cloth used traditionally for carrying all sorts of items. They come in many different sizes, materials and designs, which can vary greatly in intricacy and formality. In furoshiki wrapping, the cloth is placed face-down, the gift is centered on it, and one or more knots are used to enclose it.
There are dozens of techniques for folding and knotting the furoshiki for different uses and gift shapes.
Instructions and hundreds of beautiful fabrics can be used.
Like the ones you see below...

Wrapping Instructions
- Center the box or container in the middle of the scarf or furoshiki so that the cloth's four pointed ends are at the middle of the box's sides, and not at the corners.
- Grab two pointed ends on opposite sides of the box, hold the ends up straight and tie the ends together tightly over the middle of the box using square knot.
- Take the remaining two scarf ends and pull the fabric flaps up over the edges of the box and knot over the previously tied ends using a square knot, so the box is wrapped neatly with the scarf fabric.
- Tuck in any excess fabric at the corners to make a neatly wrapped package, then grab the box with one hand at the knotted ends in the center to carry the wrapped box to its destination.

Pic 5-6 How to wrap things for a pic nic

Pic 7- 8 Instructions provided by the Japanse MInistry of the Environment. Furoshiki is a way to reduce waste generated by plastic bags (Japanese people are the smartest!!)

Here is an interesting video that explains how to wrap things beautifully

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