Today’s project was inspired by our little efforts to be a little kinder to the environment. My boyfriend and I have started taking our own bags whenever we head out shopping. It’s not a huge effort, but baby steps are better than no effort at all. The idea of Furoshiki is something I would like to incorporate into our gift giving. I don’t see this happening at Christmas (I would rather spend my time sewing the actual gifts than the wrapping for the gifts.), but I see us using these for birthday’s, anniversaries, and hostess gifts. Who wouldn’t like to receive a bottle o wine wrapped in lovely fabric rather than the paper bag from the shop?
Furoshiki is one of the Japanese traditions of using cloth to transport clothes, food, or gifts. From the little reading I have done, it is believed that the name means “bath spread” and dates back to the Nara Period when people used them when heading to the public baths. Eventually, the tradition filtered into other aspects of life. Most notably, merchants would use them to transport and protect good while travelling.
My first introduction to Furoshiki was for use to wrap two wine bottles, I have since discovered there are many other uses. Furoshiki.com shares many different options including bags, clothing, wrapping boxes, and bottle wrapping. There are other sites available, but this one seems to be the most comprehensive.
From what I can tell, the general size of a Furoshiki is 28 inches square. I’m sure you can make them smaller or larger depending on your gift, but this is a decent size for wine.
Making your own Furoshiki can be simple or complex depending on your style. In its most basic form, you can simply use a square of fabric. If you are so inclined, you can take the time to hem your fabric so it won’t fray at the edges, thus lengthening it’s life. If you really want to show off, you can take two different fabrics, and sew them together like I did.
To make a Furoshiki as I did, follow these simple steps;
- You will need two squares of fabric that are 29 inches. I would highly recommend pre-washing your fabric so when it needs to be washed later it doesn’t shrink weirdly.
- With right sides together, sew around all four sides with a 1/4 in seam, leaving a 2 inch opening from your starting place to the ending place. You will use this opening to turn the square right sides out.
- Carefully, turn the fabric right sides out.
- Iron all your seams flat. Hand sew the opening closed using a slip-stitch.
- Top-stitch all the way around close to the edge.