Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Furoshiki

I hate tote bags. They get in the way, they are never the right size, and they don't usually look all that good, either. I'm sure they have their uses, like when I need to haul heavy or sharp things, or dirty things, but for everyday work I really dislike them. Plus, they're a pain to fold up and bring.

So, I was quite happy to discover the Japanese furoshiki. It's the art of folding basically a large scarf into a multitude of shapes, wraps, and carryalls. It was originally designed to be used in Japanese baths, as a non-cold place to sit on and something to hold your clothes. But lately the Japanese government has rejuvenated it as a greener alternative to plastic bags. has expanded upon the idea and created well over 50 techniques which do everything from shirts to pillows to (yes) carryall sacks. There's also the blog MyFuroshiki which posts new designs on occasion.

Both sites also sell them, but I find that cheap synthetic scarves from your local thrift shop do just as well and come in lots of shapes and colors. I use one to carry my lunch bag to school and then remove the bag and retie to to carry my groceries. When it's dirty, throw it in the wash.

One recommendation - use a scarf you don't mind getting ruined. Sharp edges can cut threads and some things can poke holes in the fabric.

This also works nicely as a birthday gift wrap. I gave a friend a vase and wrapped it in a pretty scarf using furoshiki techniques. She got two gifts in one and was thrilled.

Thoughts? Ideas? Got a great wrap? It works wonders.

1 comment:

  1. Great to find another furoshiki fan and thanks for the mention. I'm really enjoying reading this and your other posts, so much so that I've just done a quick post about it myself Hope you like it! Mich