Choosing the best fabric for Furoshiki
Furoshiki is a word that comes from the combination of Furo 'bath' and Shiki 'to spread' referencing its origins to wrap clothing when one went to a public bath house. Traditionally they have been made from silk or cotton and the best traditional makers (many in Kyoto) still make from these materials. Increasingly Furoshiki are being made with even more eco-friendly fabrics such as bamboo, linen, organic cottons or recycled PET that has been digitally printed. Or using upcycled fabric such as our Upcycled Furoshiki Spring range.
Furoshiki can be single or double sided, with some ingeniously woven to have a single piece of cloth but different colours in each side. It's a lovely surprise when you unwrap to see a different colour inside - adding even more magic to the gift. It also encourages reuse as you can make the wrap feel different each time - even to the same recipient. It's why we make all our ribbon wraps double sided.
But I digress - back to fabrics.
Call me a classist (not really - have you seen our leopard print wrap??), but in most cases my preference is still cotton. Ideally organic. Cotton Furoshiki wraps beautifully enabling lovely crisp and easy folds. And good bunny ears if you can do it! Cotton is also one of the most durable and easy care materials and will last many years of wrapping, bento carrying or even stashing things in luggage.
Furoshiki can actually be made out of any material, so can be great as a DIY project. The easiest of all is you can use an existing scarf or find some fun ones in a charity shop. Or you can make your own, hemming them so you can use them for years to come. Whether you source some gorgeous prints from the likes of The Fabric Fox or Liberty or upcycle some surplus curtains, here's what you need to consider when making your own Furoshiki
- Is the material see-through? You may want to keep the gift a surprise
- Is the material hardy enough to wrap with? The lightest of fabrics and silks aren't suitable as they may be damaged with repeated use
- Is the material light enough? Heavy materials such as upholstery fabrics are just too heavy to wrap with (trust me - it's no fun wrestling a heavy brocade into a knot!)
- Who is the wrapping for? Do you want to go for particular colours, prints or styles that you know they will love?
- Will the wrap be used for children's gifts? Make it washable. All our children's wraps are made from cotton or linen for this reason.
- Do you have enough flat material? Check our Furoshiki size guide to help determine what size you need. As a rule of thumb 70cm x 70cm is the most versatile. Note, you can always make a patchwork Furoshiki if you have smaller pieces available, although you will need to be careful it doesn't get too bulky.
We hope this is a helpful starter guide. Sing out if you have any questions or suggestions.