How to Use Furoshiki?

Beyond the more historical uses of the furoshiki, there are plenty of modern-day uses for such an item. Back in 2006, Tokyo department store Printemps Ginza Co. held a furoshiki fair in celebration of the furoshiki and its uses as a Japanese traditional wrapping cloth, which has contributed to its popularity today. A news report on the event claimed that “Before the fair, only about ten furoshiki were purchased per month. During the two-week event, however, 800 were sold, and since then the store is moving around 50 a month.”

The event showcased that in this day and age of designer handbags, fancy backpacks, and ubiquitous totes, the usefulness of the furoshiki had been forgotten. With a couple of simple knots you can make a capacious shopping bag, or even carry a couple of bottles of wine as you see below.

The most popular modern day uses for Japanese furoshiki include: packing bento lunch boxes and protecting them from spilling open; wrapping gifts; transporting glass, ceramic or fragile goods. Particularly fine patterns can be hung on the wall as art, or worn over the shoulders as a shawl. Furoshiki bags can come in all shapes and sizes. They can also be easily used as a tablecloth, or a picnic hamper for your next hanami picnic. In an emergency a furoshiki also makes a great sling or temporary bandage! The uses of the furoshiki are limited by only your creativity.

What makes the furoshiki even more valuable in the modern age is its usefulness as a plastic substitute. Rather than purchasing ziplock bags, saran wrap, disposable gift bags, or even collecting plastic bags from the supermarket, the furoshiki can play the role of all of these items, plus they’re washable, reusable, and certainly more aesthetically pleasing.

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