Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's a wrap!

What's not to love about Furoshiki?

Waaaaay back in the 80's, friends from Japan presented me with large cloth squares in cotton, rayon, poly blends or silk. Each square was printed with traditional Japanese designs rendered in gorgeous colors.

I wondered why my new found Japanese friends were all into giving big square scarves as gifts. I received quite a few. Not a problem, for I, at the time, was The Scarf Woman. Not only did I accent my outfits with a scarf round the neck or shawl o'er my shoulders, but dressed my hair in scarves and wore them at the waist or fashioned into wrapped blouses as well. So I welcomed these presents of big square scarves in a multitude of colors and prints!

Indeed a furoshiki can be used as such, but the true purpose of these over sized square cloths is much more than that.

I watched in amazement as my Japanese friends demonstrated clever ways to use the square to wrap items into pretty cloth packages for gift giving or simply to tote round. It is astounding how many creative ways there are to wrap and tie a furoshiki around objects. Who knew a simple square of cloth could be so useful?!? Well, someone knew and I learned.

Recently, DollinkDaughterLLS presented me with a 'modern day' furoshiki.

The one LLS gave me is from Furochic.
It's a 27" cotton square in a vibrantly colored elephant and flower print. The fabric is tightly woven; strong yet flexible. The latter features are important when it comes to using furoshiki cloth for wrapping, twisting and tying.
Think: use and re-use. Think: sustainability.

The owner of Furochic is designer Jenn Playford. Her books and videos show examples of the tried-and-true approach to wrapping anything and everything in a simple square of fabric. Cultures all over the world wrap things in fabric squares, but there is definitely an art to the Japanese way.

Furochic's website emphasizes the 'green' of eco-friendly packaging with fabric.
If you don't know by now -
Green is the new Good. So very good.

Now get yourself some furoshiki and start wrapping!


Lauren said...

Glad you've been experimenting with your furoshiki! I bought one in Japantown recently that is rectangular, and I'm not quite sure how to use it yet... it's not as easy as the square version.

PS- I can't see the painted banner at the top of your blog anymore. Let's fix it!

Conn said...

cool... my favorite part is the way she ties the knots by wrapping it around her hand on the bag.