Home Crochet baby clothesFuroshiki: Packaging Gifts with Cloth and Wipes | manual

Furoshiki: Packaging Gifts with Cloth and Wipes | manual

  • Furoshiki technology
    • Furoshiki | Cloth in detail
  • To pack gifts | 3 different Furoshiki instructions
    • Instructions | Otsukai tsutsumi
    • Instructions | Yottsu Musubi
    • Instructions | I'm tsutsumi
  • Furoshiki | Further uses

Japan is known for its creative inventiveness with its own charm. For many applications, there are different techniques that make even the simplest everyday objects something special. Furoshiki is also one of them. For this type of gift packaging a special cloth is used, which bears the same name as the technique and is an integral part of the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun.

Clean, tidy and fashionable Japanese-style gifts "> Furoshiki technique

The technique has been known since the Nara period (710 to 794 AD) and is still used today as a traditional way of packaging, especially on special occasions such as birthdays or professional success. The former bath towels are now a popular souvenir and are increasingly used as an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic or paper packaging. How to pack gifts with Furoshiki is explained in this article.

Furoshiki | Cloth in detail

The most important aspect of the technique is the cloth itself, because the term also describes the cloth. Wipes are generally referred to which have the following properties.

  • Size: 45 cm x 45 cm
  • Fabric: silk, cotton, crepe, rayon
  • patterned
  • serged or with hem

At the present time, numerous wipes made of nylon and other synthetic fibers are used, which have similar binding properties as the other fabrics. Likewise, not only towels are used in the above dimensions. These are the most common. The possible sizes vary from 30 centimeters x 30 centimeters to 100 centimeters x 100 centimeters. But it always has to be a square, otherwise the individual techniques can no longer be effectively implemented.

As in the origami, the size must therefore be precisely tuned to implement the instructions. But that's also the big advantage of Furoshiki . You do not have to use wipes that have the typical Japanese style. You can use European, American, African, actually all the patterns you like. Even cartoons or sayings are possible.

Important in the selection are the following points:

  • Pattern is selected according to the occasion
  • high quality
  • can be reused
  • washable

The shawls will be presented together with the gift and will continue to be used thereafter. That's what makes them so effective, and if you're packaging presents in this way, the recipient will be happy to receive packaging that will last for years to come. So think carefully what kind of cloth you want to use as a gift box.

Each purpose is different and requires different patterns and colors. Fortunately, in the private sector, the rules are not as strict as, for example, a gift for the co-worker or in-laws. It always works well if you choose patterns that really please the recipient.

Note: If you're going on a holiday in Japan and want to pick one out of the wide variety of scarves, it helps to master the correct pronunciation of the word, so store owners can help you immediately. In Japanese, the first "i" in "shiki" is spoken almost mute, the rest is very similar to the German.

To pack gifts | 3 different Furoshiki instructions

As soon as you have selected matching shawls, you can also go for the gift wrapping . Unique to the technology is the large number of packaging methods that are dependent on the type of gift and have been used in the same way for centuries.

If you want to learn how to wrap wine bottles, shoeboxes, or a book decoratively, take a look at the following three guides. These cover a wide range of packaging options that allow you to design a whole range of items in an appealing way. Overall, there are 14 classic techniques that are fun to try out.

Instructions | Otsukai tsutsumi

Otsukai tsutsumi is one of the basic variants of how Furoshiki is used. It is suitable for objects in cuboid form, which make up about a quarter of the size of the cloth. Otsukai tsutsumi makes it possible to pack a gift in a few easy steps so that it then has a handy carrying handle.

For this reason, Otsukai tsutsumi is not only used for gifts, but also for the Japanese lunchboxes (bento). The carrying handle can be easily loosened and tied again in the same way. The following guide will help you to apply Otsukai tsutsumi.

Proceed as follows:

Step 1: Spread the cloth in front of you. It is not with the long side to you, but with a corner. This makes it easier to turn pages in the following steps and allows Otsukai tsutsumi to be implemented with as few moves as possible.

Step 2: Place the item in the center of the cloth. The corners of the gift do not point to them, but to the sides of the cloth.

Fold now the bottom corner over the gift, so that it is completely covered.

The corner should not be too far, but only something about the object.

Step 3: Next, hit the opposite corner completely over the object.

The corner should now survive and form a rectangle in the middle.

This provides the necessary support so that the gift does not simply slip out of the cloth and break.

Step 4: Now take the two free corners in your hands and knot them in the middle with two loops.

Cross the two free ends together.

Tighten the two ends once in the upper direction and once in the lower direction.

Then tie a knot for attachment.

Tighten the two ends well taut so that the knot sits centrally and centrally.

Fix it in the middle to create a central carrying handle.

Simply slip the exposed corner underneath the gift when you place it on the birthday table, for example.

When you carry gift, always present the free corner that points outwards when raising the gift. This is how your finished packaged gift looks with the first Furoshiki variant.

So the look is placed on the nicely wrapped gift, without being intrusive. The practical carrying handle is presented in the following picture.

Otsukai tsutsumi is so popular because you can really pack, transport and present a large number of objects. The free corner provides a special charm and can even be set even more strongly by two-tone shawls. Especially for Furoshiki beginners, this method is recommended because you can pack typical gift boxes exactly and without much effort.

Instructions | Yottsu Musubi

Yottsu musubi or Yottsu tsutsumi is a more decorative variant of Otsukai tsutsumi and is ideal for square gifts or items. For this method, the object can be quiet slightly larger than a quarter of the cloth, since it is bound in a completely different way. Yottsu musubi means "4-sheet packaging", Yottsu tsutsumi "4-sheet packaging". It is so called because the four corners of the cloth are clearly visible after binding and, depending on the presentation, remind of a flower, which is often served on festive occasions.

Proceed as follows:

Step 1: Place the cloth diagonally in front of you so that one of the corners points in your direction. Smooth the cloth and place the item directly in the middle. So far, the guide is similar to the steps in the Otsukai tsutsumi guide, which will make it easy for you.

Step 2: Now pick up two corners to the left and right of the gift.

And then cross them again.

Tie them together in a double loop right in the middle.

Run the node or loop as shown in the following pictures.

Make sure that the two sides are the same length, because only in the end is it possible to present the petals appealingly.

This is how your finished loop looks like.

Step 3: In the next step, repeat the loop again and tie the remaining two free corners together just above the previously bound loop.

This is also double-bound to strengthen the handle and allow the petals that make up the technique.

Tie your second loop tight again.

The second loop is also in the middle and therefore directly above the first loop.

Step 4: Once you've tied the corners, pull the corners apart so that the visible knots look like petals. Take your time here, because the prettier the flowers are, the more the recipient will be happy about the packaging.

Especially with Yottsu musubi it is recommended to use a two-colored cloth. In this way, you can tie colorful flowers, which set a colorful contrast and make the gift to something very special.

Instructions | I'm tsutsumi

Finally, Bin tsutsumi will explain it to you. This Furoshiki technique makes it easy to pack bottles of all kinds safely. Especially wine bottles are packed with bin tsutsumi in Japan, as they can then be safely transported, especially if they are tied well. For this purpose, it is advisable to select the size of the cloth based on the bottle. For a normal wine bottle it is therefore recommended to use a 70 cm x 70 cm cloth . Likewise, you need an inconspicuous rubber band or a cord for fixation.

Then proceed as follows:

Step 1: The cloth is placed again with the corner to you and the bottle directly in the middle.

Fold one of the corners to the bottle and lift that part of the cloth.

Gather the folded-in cloth at close intervals.

And fix this part with a rubber band at the bottleneck.

Step 2: Repeat step 1 with the opposite corner.

Rip up a portion of the cloth the way you just did.

Now you should only see the bottle cap while the rest of the bottle is already packed.

Step 3: Now take the two free corners in your hand and guide them behind the neck of the bottle. There they are crossed once.

Step 4: Pass the ends in front of the bottle.

Tie two loops or a double knot again.

It creates a nice knot or a nice loop on the bottleneck.

Now the cloth is stuck and you can remove the rubber or cord. The Furoshiki cloth is held over the knots in place. Done is the bin tsutsumi method.

Furoshiki | Further uses

If you do not want to use your newly purchased cloths exclusively as packaging material, you will find many other applications . Japanese use the towels in everyday life for more than you might guess. The following list gives you an overview of the application possibilities that are immediately possible with the cloth and can be used effectively.


You can easily use one of the larger sheets as a tablecloth because they can be washed at any time. After use, they are simply cleaned and can be reused afterwards. The thickness of the cloths is particularly suitable for moments such as afternoon tea or a breakfast on Sunday morning. You can even use these for your children in restaurants or cafes.

picnic cloth

Similar to a tablecloth, the benefit of being a picnic cloth is to mention. For example, if you're on the road and want to eat your snack in the city ​​park, the cloth is made for it. At the same time it also looks good, which will appeal to many people who want to enjoy the day in a relaxed way.

clothing bag

You can fold bags out of the cloths to carry in these garments or to pack individual pieces. This makes it easier, for example, to carry a delicate blouse or newly acquired sandals for which you do not have a bag at the moment.

Shopping bag

As effective as a garment bag, the Japanese cloths can be used for shopping. With just a few steps, you have created a bag that you can lay around your shoulders and make purchases. It is enough to knot two of the corners together and to guide one knot through the other to get a carrying handle.


Classic neck and headscarves are excellent to implement with the towels. Just put it on and wear it. Even outfit combinations are possible.

You see, Furoshiki are versatile. They are particularly easy to use, if you let a little flow your creativity . This will reveal further uses.

Note: Very popular are Furoshiki as an alternative to plastic bags because they are reusable, durable and fashionable. Especially for small purchases, they are ideal and comfortable to wear.

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