Furoshiki are traditional Japanese clothes that are used to transport food, clothes, or gifts. Both attractive and reusable, the technique is being increasingly popular among shoppers as a sustainable alternative to paper.
The practice of using furoshiki became widespread during Japan's Edo period (1603-1868) when people used to bundle their clothes in the fabric while visiting public baths.
The particular custom was generally seen among the older people in but in 2020, younger generations are getting on board as well.
According to The Guardian, over the past three months, the website Etsy has seen a 41% year-on-year rise in searches for fabric gift wrap, while searches for eco-friendly wrapping are up by 78%.
The cloths are easy to use: gifts are placed in the centre of the fabric, which is then tucked around the object and fastened with a knot. And, clothes are far more malleable than paper so, one can wrap almost anything without giving it unwanted awkward shapes.
Another perk about fabric wrapping is that it is a present in itself! The receiver not only gets to enjoy a present but one that's beautifully wrapped in a cloth they can later utilize themselves.
A recent report by the Crafts Council, a development agency in the UK, found that people's passion for artisan objects is greater than ever. And, fabric wrapping is often handmade and it arguably offers more scope for creativity than standard wrapping paper as it can be folded as creatively as the imagination allows.
And sure, there are other green options for wrapping presents as well. For example, using old newspapers create quite a vintage vibe. But undoubtedly, a fabric wrap should have the most longevity, as long as the people involved have a clear idea about the concept.