The Daily Prosper
El furoshiki, una Navidad sin papel de regalo

Furoshiki, a Christmas without gift paper

This millenary technique consists of using a handkerchief or piece of square cloth to wrap all kinds of packages in a thousand ways. The system is both original and sustainable and will surprise those you love in these festivities.


No one is surprised that Japanese culture has an extreme level of specialisation in any sphere of life. We are speaking of a country capable of turning the simple act of tidying and organising your home into a truly global phenomenon of spiritual airs (yes, this goes for you, Marie Kondo!). The truth is that, as in many aspects, Japan observes a cult of minimalism and functionality from which western countries have much to learn.

Take for example Christmas, which is just around the corner. It is a time of sharing, yes, but also of spending and unsustainable excesses. Let's look at the absurdity of wrapping paper (beware, there are real works of art); we buy nice paper with which to dress our gifts, but this barely lasts a few seconds when it reaches the hands of the receiver, who destroys it almost immediately. What a waste! In fact, there are brands such as the cosmetic firm Lush that are already going for another type of packaging for the Christmas shopping season.

"If we focus only on spending on wrapping paper, Christmas is not exactly our most sustainable time"

What if there was a more sustainable way to wrap packets? What if the paper were a nice handkerchief that the person receiving could reuse with the same love as their gift? The solution lies in furoshiki, the Japanese technique of wrapping all kinds of objects in a cloth and that, with a little skill, will allow you to create such beautiful gifts that they will have nothing to envy the most sophisticated paper.

El furoshiki, una Navidad sin papel de regalo

Furoshiki is the technique of wrapping all kinds of objects of different shapes and sizes, using just a piece of cloth and a little skill


A very modern centenary technique

The word refers to a square piece of fabric that began to be used in Japan in public baths around the 8th century. With this a sort of hatillo was made with the clothes so that they did not get wet or were not mistaken for those of other users of the baths. Over time its use became dignified and it became the usual way to wrap presents.

Using a technique reminiscent of origami, this art allows us to wrap all kinds of objects using only folds and knots. No tape or ties, but no scissors or needle and thread either. The sophistication of this technique allows small objects to be artfully wrapped, but also boxes, books, bottles or spheres (either to give balls or a watermelon) and even comfortable handles to be created for carrying the gift.

"Using a technique reminiscent of origami, this art allows us to wrap all kinds of objects using only folds and knots"

Ideas for this Christmas

You can therefore turn a few small gifts into a cute bag, knotting the ends of the cloth to create two handles. Like libraries? If you are one of those who believes that a book is the best gift, we can wrap it by placing it in the centre of the cloth and forming a diamond. The top and bottom tips are folded to form a triangle that covers the top of the gift, and those on the sides are knotted leaving the resulting cloth triangle hanging gracefully below.

If you are one of those who gives good wines, you can also wrap a bottle. Place it vertically in the centre of the cloth. Make a knot with two ends that match the cap. You can make another knot leaving a section of cloth to create a handle or a nice bow. Roll the other two ends around the bottle and tie them in the front.

If you are generous as well as a wine lover, there is also a technique for wrapping two bottles. In this case you must lay them on the cloth creating a perpendicular line from one end to another of the handkerchief, yes, the bottoms of the bottles should touch each other. Then wrap them with the rest of the fabric. Finally, stand them up and tie the two ends (those that line up with the necks), to form a handle. And that's all!

You can find more ways to wrap on this link. This Christmas furoshiki is sure to surprise those you love as much as the gift.

By Cristina Díaz