Furoshiki (phonetically foo-roh-shee-kee)

Giving gifts doesn’t always have to be about the gift itself but about the thought that has gone into creating it. The traditional Japanese art of Furoshiki embodies this idea wholly and beautifully.

The Furoshiki wrapping tradition dates back more than 1200 years when a simple square piece of cloth was folded and tied to keep precious items safe. During the Edo period, it became known as furoshiki when public bathhouses became increasingly widespread. It was used as a means of transporting clothes to the bathhouse and once there used as a mat to stand on. The name furoshiki is a combination of the words ‘furo’ meaning ‘bath’ and ‘shiki’ meaning ‘to spread’.

It demonstrates Japan’s cultural tendency towards the considered and the multifunctional. If you don’t want to use disposable wrapping paper, you can swaddle gifts in reusable fabric. Here, we have used linen tea towels and napkins, which can double-purpose as a gift. You can also use leftover fabric remnants.


1. Get a piece of cloth about 45cm x 45cm.
Tip — If you use a linen tea towel or napkin wash first to soften and iron so it’s easier to create folds and ties.

2. For cube-shaped boxes, tie a simple knot on the top. For longer items, roll them diagonally in the cloth then tie in the middle.
Tip — For a cleaner look, fold the fabric around the gift as you would wrapping paper and hold in place with pins or a simple stitch.