Furoshiki, a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth, has a history that spans a history of over 1200 years. While the use of it has evolved over the course of Japanese history, many of the original defining principles of its tradition are still being continued to this day.
Furoshiki is most often used as way to wrap gifts
Furoshiki has a long tradition of being used as a decorative and personalized wrapping cloth. To this day, it is often used as a gift wrapping that can bestow your gifts with a more personal touch than simply using a disposable bag or wrapping paper. In addition, many people around the world, as well as in Japan, are becoming ever-more conscious of the amount of waste they produce on a day-to-do basis.
Furoshiki are fantastic to use because they can be openly exchanged with friends and family, and easily reused upon giving gifts to another person.
It is also a special way to wrap gifts, because the person receiving the gift not only receives the contents of the furoshiki, but also the furoshiki itself as well, which is a great way to carry the gift until they arrive home. Furoshiki continues to remain popular as a way to inject a bit more personality into gift exchanges.
The benefits of using Furoshiki as a form of wrapping
Furoshiki incorporate a portable design and versatility while incorporating unique and visually pleasing designs.
There are many different ways to style and use furoshiki, making them useful in a wide number of different situations. For example, furoshiki are often used today as a wrapping cloth, resizable pouch, a fashionable scarf or headband, or even as a tablecloth.
The range of different applications and unique designs, as well as various folding methods make furoshiki as fun and creative as they are practical.
The history of Furoshiki
First used during Japan’s Nara period (710 to 794) , furoshiki cloths were originally called tsutumi (lit. wrapping). Tsutumi were primarily used to protect precious objects at temple’s. During the proceeding Heian Period (794 to 1185) this type of wrapping tsutumi cloth began to be known as koromo utsumi where this type of cloth began to be used primarily to wrap clothes.
During Japan’s Muromachi period (1336-1573) a shogun named Ashikaga Yoshimitsu is thought to have installed a bathhouse in his personal residence. Following this feudal lords would begin to visit this bathhouse. Visitors to this bathhouse would begin what we become known as a a furoshiki (which literally means “bath spread”) during their visit.