The Art of Gift Wrapping
Furoshiki is the age-old Japanese art of wrapping using cloth. It evolved to enable traders to carry and transport goods, but it’s gaining a lot of attention more recently as a stylish and sustainable method of wrapping gifts using reusable cloth wrap.
Every Christmas in Australian alone, over 350,000kms of paper wrap gets hurriedly torn apart & tossed away: that's enough to go around the perimeter of Australia more than 13 times! Re-usable wrap is one easy and sustainable solution to this paper wastage problem.
It's easy, fun and guaranteed to be admired and appreciated! Here's the low-down...
Reusable Wrapping 101
- Make sure your cloth is square. The most common wrap sizes are 45x45cm & 70x70cm. (Wraps can be folded to reduce their size to fit the gift.)
- The cloth should be thick enough to conceal the gift and hold its weight.
- Get creative with accessories! Embellish your gift with ribbon, string, Christmas tree ornaments, leaves, dried flowers, gum nuts, hand-made cards... etc!
1. How's it done?
Reusable gift wrap can be used the same way as traditional wrapping paper, using string or ribbon to hold it in place. Or if you want to get a little more fancy about it, you can try some furoshiki; tying knots and bows to secure the fabric in place.
Here are some basic furoshiki techniques:
Images from 12 Ways to Wrap a Gift Using Furoshiki.
Have a play with it! The joy of gifting is in giving as well as receiving, and it starts with the fun of 'hiding' the gift to add a surprise element. The gift recipient is bound to be appreciative of the wrapping regardless of its technical precision!
2. Can I ask for it back?
It's your call. The wrap can form part of the gift - or if you’ve invested in a nice wrap or fabric that you’d prefer to re-use, you could just say: "This is a special wrap that I use (and reuse) to wrap special gifts!” The gift recipient is likely to be impressed... and possibly inspired to switch to reusable wrapping too!
3. Where do I start?
You could start by scavenging around home for unused materials that would make a nice wrap. Or have a rummage through you local opp shop. Alternatively, there are plenty of crafty sewers and makers who sell ready-made reusable wraps with beautiful fabric ranges for you to choose from.
To wrap it up...
Furoshiki, or your own version of wrapping using cloth, makes gift-giving more personalised and special. Sustainably-minded gift-givers around the world are adopting the fabric-wrapping approach in favour of its beauty, versatility and environmental virtues.
This Christmas, consider giving at least one gift wrapped in a fabulous fabric wrap instead!
Written by Anika O'Connell for The Good Party Co.