The Art of Fabric Wrapping - Furoshiki
Do you want to be more eco-friendly this Christmas? One easy change to make is how you wrap your gifts. It is estimated 83,000 tonnes of packaging is generated in Ireland each Christmas. Wrapping paper, while beautiful, often can't even be recycled. You could of course choose not to wrap your gifts, but then where is the element of surprise! It can be difficult to reuse paper wrapping paper as it isn't durable. Cloth however is durable. Furoshiki is a Japanese wrapping cloth used to cover gifts or other goods. The wrap itself is a gift too!
The fabric gift wrap can be of any colour or pattern, as long as it’s square in size and large enough to cover the object. Usually the fabric needs to be 3 times the size of the object to be wrapped. To begin, place the item in the middle of the fabric on a diagonal. Then, fold the top and bottom corners over the object and tie the other two corners in a knot. At that point, you can tuck them underneath what you just tied, or leave the corners to hang free.
When I first read about Furoshiki, I had visions of rummaging through the bins trying to retrieve the Furoshiki cloths if people didn't realise they are designed to be reused. Then I read a great little tip. When gifting with Furoshiki cloth, include instructions so the recipient knows how to wrap again in the future!
Furishiki cloth is a sustainable alternative to traditional wrapping paper, not only because it is reused, but also because it is ideally made from scrap fabrics . It is also very versatile, because a Furoshiki cloth is flexible and will conform to many different shapes easily.
A fun idea to keep the kids entertained is to give them fabric markers and let them decorate the fabric themselves. You could use old bedsheets that perhaps are beyond use. Ideally the edges would be hemmed, but you could also use a pinking shears to minimise the fray. Usually a Furoshiki wrap is about 36in x 36in but you can customise the size depending on what size the object is to wrap. If the fabric is too thick, the knots look bulky and messy. The key is to get a fabric thin enough to have neat knots, but thick enough to still be durable and not transparent. Give it a go and have an eco Christmas this year!
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