• Dee

How to wrap gifts with fabric - a step by step guide with pictures

Here we're going to learn how to wrap gifts with fabric!

The art of wrapping goods in fabric can be traced back in Japanese history to around 710 B.C. This ancient tradition, called Furoshiki was originally used to separate individuals’ belongings at the public bath houses and stop them from being mixed up.

Furoshiki literally translates to “bath (furo) spread (shiki)” and it refers to the square piece of cloth or fabric that was used to bundle up bathers’ possessions.

Furoshiki then became popular with merchants who would wrap up their clothes, food or precious goods ready for transportation to and from markets.

Today, this ancient tradition has now evolved into a new age practice of an environmentally friendly alternative to gift wrapping. Read on to find our step-by-step guide to a simple but effective way to use Furoshiki to create beautifully wrapped gifts.

How to tie a simple Furoshiki wrapped gift

Materials needed:

  • Gift to be wrapped

  • A square piece of fabric*

There are no set rules to Furoshiki which makes it even easier! But a simple guide of measurements will help you figure out the size of fabric that is best for wrapping your item.

*You want the diagonal length of the fabric you choose to be 3 times longer than the length of the item you are wrapping.

That may seem big, but it allows for sturdy knots to be tied to keep your gift together.

Now on to the wrapping!

Step 1.

To begin with, take your piece of square cloth or fabric and place it right side down on a table. Place your gift on top in the centre of the fabric, diagonally at an angle.

Step 2.

Take a corner of fabric and fold it over the gift diagonally.

Step 3.

Take the opposite corner of fabric and fold it over the gift in the other direction to cover it.

Step 4.

Holding the gift in place, neatly fold the fabric on the right side of the gift to enclose the item and gather the loose fabric on top.

Step 5.

Repeat step 4 now on the left side of the gift. You should have two corners of fabric, one in each hand, with the gift fully enclosed in the fabric. Now tie a double knot in the fabric to secure the gift tight as you can see in the image above.

Step 6.

Time to decorate! Add finishing touches to your Furoshiki wrapped gift to make it even more beautiful and seasonal. You can use dried flowers and plants, feathers, twine, dried fruit or even spices to finish off your gift and make it extra special for your family or friends.

Ready for gifting! Congratulations, you have just tied your very first Furoshiki!

Ready for more challenging folds? Then check out this brilliant infographic below from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment for different ways to wrap a range of gifts from boxes to bottles!

Want more eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas? Then check out my blog post on 11 Sustainable Gift-Wrapping Ideas For Any Budget