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What is  Furoshiki

Furoshiki is a square of cloth for wrapping. The word Furo means bath and the word Siki means something to lay under something.

Wrapping cloth ,Kyoto shopping

The first documents which was mentioned about Furoshiki, was during the Muromachi period (1336-1573). A bath of at that time was not a bath tab which normally Japanese uses everyday. It was more like a Turkish steam bath and the word of Furoshiki appears there. It says use the Furoshiki cloth to carry the spare clothes and lay Furoshiki to the floor not to burn his/her foot. After the bath, use the Furoshiki to carry the used clothes. The Furoshiki was spread out into Japanese culture which is able to pack different thing to carry. As same as Origami, there are many special way to fix thing with a cloth to carry, even three bottles of wine can able to pack as not hitting each other with 1 square meter cloth. Furoshiki itself to has more durability, embroiled other different material was tried. It says a large Furoshiki has 2 square meters. In the modern history, Furoshiki became not so common for Japanese. However recently to avoid trash by the environmental reasons, people restarted to paying attention of traditional way to wrap things tool Furoshiki. Furoshiki has beautiful patterns and pictures; it is popular for gift and souvenir.

Good manner for a gift

When you pack a gift for somebody with Furoshiki, the Furoshiki should be collect as it is yours. There is no way not to wrap the gift as it is really offending against good manners. There are two way to collect your important Furoshiki. Hand over with Furoshiki and wait a return gift with your Furoshiki. Or the second one is to open the gift in front of the person and collect your Furoshiki. Which way should be the good manner? Normally, it is offending against good manner if you open the gift (given or received) in front of the person. But you should not wait expecting a return gift. Actually it says both ways. There is no correct manner and seems like it is depends on the relation with the person and the situation.

Japanese Wrapping Gift furoshiki


  • Design:The designs for Furoshiki were used the family crest of each person or patterns of beauty of the nature in many cases. Actually, the variations of design and techniques of Furoshiki cloth making are more complicated these days such as modernized patterns and symbolized patterns.
  • Traditional tone:The colors of cloth had some rules in the history. For example, vermillion color was for auspicious occasion, to show the respect use purple, mourning with deep blue, traditional color of Japan dark red, and etc. these were the main stream however it still increasing the variation depends on the situation.
  • Texture and material:The traditional materials ffor Furoshiki were silk and cotton cloth. Or Chirimen processed and others, each of the materials shows unique textures. Lately there are Furoshiki of Rayon, Polyester, and Acetate artificial fibers also available as the opportunity for Furoshiki.

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