The ultimate guide to furoshiki
The ancient art of fabric gift wrapping

Publication Date

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25 Minutes

History & Culture

The Japanese have been packing personal belongings with furoshiki (風呂敷) since ancient times. At a later point, they also started using furoshiki as informal gift wrappings. Very formal gifts were and still are covered with fukusa fukusa, but their use is declining, and furoshiki are becoming more and more popular as eco-friendly gift packaging, not just in Japan.

Furoshiki are squares of fabric that can be used to wrap just about anything. While regular bags have a fixed amount of space, and paper wrappings can only hardly be placed around round or oddly shaped objects, a furoshiki is highly versatile and can be adapted to fit the exact needs of the specific object being wrapped.


In Japanese gift-giving culture, it is customary to show special care not only to the present but also to the way a gift is wrapped, the gift wrapping (tsutsumu 包む) itself, and the emotions behind the gift. Since a lot of thought and time were put into selecting the perfect gift for that special someone, it deserves an equally thoughtful presentation, according to the Japanese. This is similar to a baby who's growing in their mother's womb, which is represented by the Japanese character tsutsumi (包).

Giving someone an unwrapped item is considered extremely impolite. Even a tip given to a maid taking care of a room at a Japanese inn, for example, is wrapped in a small envelope. Wrapping gifts with furoshiki implies respect towards the recipient and adds elegance and special meaning to the present.


Baths have been part of Japanese culture for centuries. People who didn't have bathrooms in their houses used to go to take a bath outside and wrapped everything they needed for the bath in a big, square cloth, which they would also spread out on the changing room floor to stand on while undressing and dressing. This is how the name "furoshiki" arose. When you break the word "furoshiki" into its parts, the first two letters, "furo" (風呂), mean bath, and the last one, "shiki" (敷), means to spread out.

furoshiki History

The custom of using furoshiki dates back to the Nara 奈良時代 period (710 to 794). Baths were not widespread back then. They were only present in Buddhist temples (bathing was a serious occasion to purify one's body and soul at that time) and were only used by priests; however, sick people were occasionally allowed access to the bathhouses. Back then, furoshiki were used to wrap the sacred items of priests but weren't called "furoshiki" just yet. A long time had passed, and the word changed a couple of times before the custom was known by that name. But if narrowly defined, they date back more than 1,200 years.

In the latter half of the Heian 平安時代 period (794 to 1185), the book of traditional criterion knowledge (Masasuke Shozoku Sho) was established. In this book, the original expression for fabric wrappings, "hiratsusumi" (平裹 or 平包), which meant "flat wrap," began appearing. This expression was also used in the copy of Ban Dainagon Emaki (The Tale of Great Minister Ban) in the latter half of the 12th century. Back then, "furoshiki" were used for the nobility to store their clothes and as a means for merchants to carry their goods.

In the Jōhei 承平 period (931 to 938), in the middle of the Heian era, the dictionary, also known as "wamyo ruijusho," was published and refers to the furoshiki as "koromotsutumi," (衣包) meaning cloth wrap.

In the Kamakura 鎌倉時代 period (1185 to 1333), wealthy merchants and members of the upper class soon also included baths in their residences, but still, no one was referring to them as "furoshiki."

In the Muromachi 室町時代 period (1336 to 1573), bathhouses were on the rise. One great steam bath was built by Shogun Ashikaga. The invited lords used silk cloth with their family crests printed to keep their clothes separate from others while taking a bath and to hold them after finishing their bath. Even at that point in time, no one was referring to them as "furoshiki."

The word "furoshiki" only came about during the Edo 江戸時代 period (1603 to 1868), when public bathhouses (sentō 銭湯) became widespread and popular since urban culture flourished because of a stable social infrastructure. The bath—which was expensive entertainment for only a few influential people—came to reach the general public. It was proper manners to take a bath wearing Byakue costumes, so people needed to get changed before and after the bath and keep their belongings separate. With the dramatic rise of these baths and, thus, the use of furoshiki, the name was changed. The oldest known use of the word "furoshiki" dates back to 1616. In the Sunpuowakemonochou-odouguchou (the relic distribution book of Tokugawa Ieyasu), it has been called “kokura cotton furoshiki.

THE RISE OF THE furoshiki

While entering the Meiji 明治 period (1868 to 1912), the feudal system was over, and four social classes got equality. Everyone could now have family names and family crests.

Industrial development became a national policy, and due to the industrial revolution and technological innovations, manufacturing shifted from hand-weaving to machine weaving. The scale of the production system expanded from wholesale-based domestic manufacturing to factory-based machine manufacturing, resulting in a drastic increase in productivity. The scope of production could be increased considerably, and furoshiki, therefore, could be offered much cheaper.

The demand for furoshiki, which at that time were often monogrammed with family crests, increased. Furoshiki grew in popularity and developed as an essential item at that time. People began using furoshiki to wrap almost anything, just as with today's bags. It wasn't until much later that furoshiki became popular as an elegant wrapping for gifts.

THE FALL OF THE furoshiki

After the Second World War, with advances in production technology, the production volume increased further, and as people's lifestyles became more and more westernized, it became common to use plastic bags.

Plastic Bags

Supermarkets and department stores offered plastic bags free of charge, and opportunities to use furoshiki in everyday life steadily decreased.


Due to the increasing ecological awareness in recent years, furoshiki have made a comeback. In 2006, the Japanese government started a campaign to promote furoshiki to reduce waste.

To spread the resurgence in the art form even further, the Japanese Minister of the Environment, Yuriko Koike, created a furoshiki named "mottainai furoshiki" to promote its use even further, with "mottainai" meaning that it's a shame for something to go to waste without having made use of its full potential.

Mottainai furoshiki Mottainai furoshiki

We love this idea because this is exactly why we are building up to this beautiful tradition.


Cotton or silk was used to make traditional furoshiki. Depending on the weave, there were different designs such as chirimen (silk crepe), tsumugi (pongee)—usually provided with the family crest, and ro (silk gauze), which is also used for summer kimonos (Japanese costumes).

The modern furoshiki are made from a variety of materials, including silk, cotton, and synthetic fibers (viscose, polyester, rayon, nylon, and acetate fiber) with designs depending on the use.

Recycled Cotton

Our COVERs are fairly produced with recycled cotton to pay extra attention to the environment. If you want to know why we chose recycled cotton for production, you can read our blog post The Eco-Conscious Choice: Why Our COVERs Use Recycled Cotton.


Traditionally, both the color and the printed design on the furoshiki were meaningful. Just as in Western countries, it's also important in Japan to choose the correct cloth for the specific occasion. Many of the patterns used for furoshiki are traditional auspicious omen motifs of Japanese culture derived from Kacho-Fugetsu (traditional themes of natural beauty and Japanese aesthetics).

Traditional Japanese Pattern Traditional Japanese Pattern Traditional Japanese Pattern Traditional Japanese Pattern Traditional Japanese Pattern Traditional Japanese Pattern Traditional Japanese Pattern Traditional Japanese Pattern

However, there is also the arabesque pattern, which shows a thief shouldering stolen goods (also often seen in cartoons) and is traditionally seen as an auspicious omen motif and as a symbol of longevity, fertility, and family prosperity. The origins of the arabesque pattern can be traced back to ancient Egypt, from where it came to Japan via the Silk Road. According to legend, a thief broke into a house empty-handed and first looked for a large furoshiki to wrap and transport the stolen goods. In the Edo 江戸時代 period (1603 to 1868), it was then established as a pattern for furoshiki. Furoshiki of this type were produced in large quantities from the Meiji 明治時代 period (1868 to 1912) to the Showa 昭和時代 period (1926 to 1989).

Today the patterns have become more diverse. They are available in fine patterns (komon) with stripes and checks as well as in plain colors.


In Japanese culture, the color red represents authority and wealth. Shu-iro (empire red) was, therefore, best suited for congratulations at happy and auspicious events and, thus, perfect for a wedding gift. Yellow, being a bright, astringent color, was also suitable for happy events. Purple was worn by high-ranking people because this elegant color represents longevity. Purple was also used to express gratitude through gifts for funerals and any other occasion. The plain shades of brown had a calming and classy taste and expressed the modest characteristics of Edo residents. Dark green, rikyu (dull, yellowish-green or wasabi-colored), as well as blue and indigo were also often used for sad and condolence occasions (funerals) but were normally also used for daily errands. Enji-iro (crimson) and uguisu (light green color) were very popular colors in the Edo period and considered traditional Japanese, and were, therefore, mainstream.

Color Symbolism in Japanese Culture

Colors are still important in Japanese culture and should be taken into account when choosing gift wrap.

Red (aka 赤) symbolizes strong positive emotions, such as life, energy, and vitality, so this type of wrapping signifies that a gift is for a favorable or fortunate occasion.

Purple (murasakino 紫の) stands for privilege, wealth, and nobility.

Blue (ao 青) is a soothing color that represents everyday life, purity, and cleanliness. It is also regarded as a feminine color.

Green (midori 緑) is a positive color and represents fertility, eternal life, youthfulness, and freshness. Olive green is said to symbolize dignity.

Pink (pinku ピンク) is well-liked by both males and females and is viewed as a happy, positive color.

Yellow (ki 黄) symbolizes courage, beauty, and refinement, aristocracy, and cheerfulness.

Orange (orenji オレンジ) symbolizes happiness and love.

White (shiroi 白い) traditionally represents purity and cleanliness and is seen as a blessed color. It can symbolize death and rebirth. It is a common color for brides and at funerals.

Similar to Western culture, black (kuro 黒) is the color of mystery and night. It is sometimes seen as an unlucky color. In more modern times, it can be seen as a sign of formality when associated with black tie events.

Red and white together represent celebration and happiness, linking power and rebirth.

Red and black together represent sexuality.

Our gift wraps are currently available in six color combinations with wonderful meanings. With each additional season, however, more color combinations and patterns will be established.


There are many rules and customs associated with Japanese gift wrapping. The gift is viewed as a form of communication between the giver and the receiver. The chosen gift wrapping serves an important role in shaping the message associated with the gift. The wrapping is not only meant to hide the gift but to also accentuate it and communicate the message behind it.

The color of the gift wrap (as mentioned above) is one way to communicate feelings toward the person being gifted, but there are a couple of other methods that can be used to send messages. Providing an odd number of pleats (asymmetry) in your wrapping symbolizes joy and is considered more visually appealing in Japanese culture. Combining two different materials symbolizes Yin and Yang and represents the interconnected and interdependent forces of the natural world.


A traditional furoshiki in ancient times was not perfectly square—the height (take 丈) was slightly larger than the width (haba 幅). This is because the cloth used to be cut from kimonos without generating waste. Furoshiki were, therefore, offered in many different sizes. The kimono fabric was previously processed with sashiko (an old needlework technique) to increase its strength and resistance. Traditional furoshiki even had a string attached to them. Nowadays, most furoshiki are square, and strings are not part of the furoshiki anymore.

Furoshiki today are still determined by the measuring unit haba. The word "haba" is also often found in the name of a fabric. For example, a furoshiki in its basic size (one haba) is called "hitohaba." Until the early Meiji 明治時代 period (1868 to 1912), one haba corresponded to one shaku 笏 (Japanese measure) of a kujirajaku (yardstick used in kimono making) and was 35.9 cm | 14.1" (9 sun 寸 and 5 bu 分 in kujirajaku). Today, it corresponds to a length of 37.9 cm (14.9") or 1.25 shaku. But even today, more than 100 years after the reform, many kimono shops still use kohaba (narrow width), which is one shaku or haba of the traditional gofukujaku system. In addition, kimonos are now also produced in the new standard cloth width (namihaba), and so are furoshiki.


A furoshiki in its basic size (35.9 cm | 14.1" or 37.9 cm | 14.9") is called a "hitohaba." Then comes the futahaba (double width) with a side length of 71.8 cm (28.3") or 75.8 cm (29.8"), which are also called "nishyakuhaba." Next up are the milhaba with a side length of 107.7 cm (42.4") or 113.6 cm (44.7"). This is followed by yohaba with a side length of 143.6 cm (56.5") or 151.5 cm (59.7"), twice the size of futahaba. The following furoshiki size is called "itsuhaba" and has a side length of 179.5 cm (70.7") or 189.4 cm (74.6"). The last in the group are called "nanahabas" and have a side length of 215.4 cm (84.8") or 227.3 cm (89.5").

There were also other dimensions according to which furoshiki were made.

By cutting a tan into five equal-sized pieces and sewing them together, ittanburoshiki also called "muhaba," were created, and they have a side length of 204 cm (80.3") or 207 cm (81.5"), roughly the size of two tatami mats. A tan 反 (a unit for measuring textiles) corresponds to the width and length of fabric. Its actual size differs depending on the time, shaku size, and type of textiles. In ancient times, a tan (measured with kujirajaku) corresponded to the size of 9 sun and 5 bu (37.9 cm | 14.9") for menpu (cotton fabric).

In addition, squares with a side length of 45.4 cm (17.9") were added to the furoshiki sizes. These are called "chuhaba". Squares with a side length of 90.8 cm (35.8") are called "nishihaba."

Later, other sizes were added. For example, shakuyonhabas with a side length of around 52 cm (20.5") found their way into the furoshiki. The same goes for cloths called "chief" with a length of 48 cm (18.9").

Meassurements of traditional furoshiki

Futahaba and chuhaba were traditionally used for congratulations, expressions of condolences, or wedding gifts, and nishihaba was used for shopping and yohaba was used for moving. Today, futahaba, chuhaba, and nishihaba are the most common sizes. Muhaba are used, for example, as a tablecloth, wall decoration, or as a bed cover.


To cover a wide range of possibilities (from gifts starting at engagement ring sizes to gifts reaching larger sizes like a PlayStation) our COVERs are currently available in seven sizes. We have based our cloths on the traditional sizes of furoshiki but have not adopted them one-to-one in order to compensate for the differences in measurements between individual sizes and make it a little easier when measuring with the metric system. As a result, we offer the COVERs in the following sizes:

Meassurements of our COVERs with examples

If you want to get some more examples of products fitting within the different sizes, please check our size guide.


The art of wrapping with furoshiki follows a creative process with no set rules to follow. However, just as with wrapping paper, having a little more space is always better than not having enough.

As a simple rule of thumb for wrapping a gift in fabric, choosing a cloth with a diagonal length approximately three times the longest length of the item to be wrapped is often recommended.

In our tests using the traditional knotting technique, we obtained different results, finding a more suitable benchmark. In our experiments, the object that needs to be packed should be about a quarter (and at most one-third) of the diagonal length of the furoshiki. This largely depends on the width and height of the item to be packaged, but also on the selected binding technique.

furoshiki's diagonal line

In our blog, you will find - alongside various traditional tying techniques - creative, space-saving variants such as the slim-fit method. This way, you can wrap your gift nicely even if the wrapping cloth is a little too small or big to be tied with the traditional knot technique.


There are hundreds of ways furoshiki can be tied and tailored to the specific shape of the object being wrapped without ruining its appearance. The best thing is that it's wrapped in just seconds, and you don't even need a table, scissors, sticky tape, or ribbons to hold it together or make it look beautiful. This is why wrapping with fabrics is not only more eco-friendly but even quicker than paper wrapping.

Main Japanese Gift-Wrapping Techniques

There are two main Japanese gift-wrapping techniques: tsutsumi (for wrapping with cloth) and origata (for wrapping with paper).

Tsutsumi (包み, つつみ) means bundle, parcel, package, or bale and originates from the word "tsutsumu" (包む), which means to wrap, cover, or conceal, and stands for the Japanese gift-giving culture in general. The unique aspect of both tsutsumi and origata techniques is that the material is never cut. Instead, it is pleated, folded, and tied. The intent with these wrapping styles is not to conceal the gift but to enhance its shape and give some clue to the contents, allowing the gift itself to be exposed. High-quality tea leaves, for example, are often given as presents in Japan. When wrapping black tea (known as "ko-cha", or "red tea"), red paper is inserted in a slit on the top of the package to provide a glimpse of what is inside.

The Main Tsutsumi Techniques

There are 14 tsutsumi techniques that we will list with drawings. If you would like to know how to wrap them in detail, please visit our blog with all the wrapping techniques explained in videos with drawings and detailed instructions.

Otsukai Tsutsumi

The otsukai tsutsumi wrapping technique is one you have surely seen before. It's the main technique used for wrapping since it is super easy to achieve and looks stunning.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Otsukai Tsutsumi

Kakushi Tsutsumi

The kakushi tsutsumi wrapping technique is basically identical to the one shown above, with just a little twist at the end. It has an envelope look but is secured so it does not unravel unwillingly.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Kakushi Tsutsumi

Yotsu Musubi

The yotsu musubi wrapping technique is most likely the second one you have seen before. It's essentially just two knots, and you're done – but it looks amazing. In Korea, it's known as "lotus."

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Yotsu Tsutsumi

Hira Tsutsumi

In Japan, the hira tsutumi wrapping technique is mostly used for envelopes, but you can also use it for larger objects. The Japanese refer to such cloths as "kinpū fukusa," but other cultures use them as well. In Korea, they are known as "yemulbo," and in Turkey, as "zarf bohça."

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Hira Tsutsumi

Entou Tsutsumi & Sao Tsutsumi

The entou tsutsumi & sao tsutsumi wrapping techniques are basically identical. That's why we're combining them here. You can use them for any kind of object, as long as you leave enough space to fold the cloth around.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Entou Tsutsumi & Sao Tsutsumi

Bin Tsutsumi

The bin tsutsumi wrapping technique is mostly used to wrap bottles or roundly shaped objects, but as with all folding techniques, your creativity knows no limits.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Bin Tsutsumi

Bin Tsutsumi 2

Sometimes you may want to give more than just one bottle. Here's the right wrapping style for such cases:

How to Fold the Bin Tsutsumi 2

Hon Tsutsumi

This folding style is mainly used to wrap two books of the same size as a present, but you can also use it to carry your books around.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Hon Tsutsumi

Futatsu Tsutsumi

The futatsu tsutsumi looks hard to achieve but give it a go. You'll notice that it's really not that hard, and as a bonus, you'll be rewarded with two bows.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Futatsu Tsutsumi

Kousa Tsutsumi

The result of the kousa tsutsumi style looks pretty much identical to the one shown above, but the technique is different. We're intrigued to hear which one's your favorite.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Kousa Tsutsumi

Tesage Bukuro

The next guidelines will show how to bind different kinds of bags with one cloth. They can be used for wrapping gifts as well but are mainly used to carry items, such as groceries. We will start with the tesage bukuro.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Tesage Bukuro

Suika Tsutsumi

The suika tsutsumi is basically identical to the tesage bukuro style, with just one tiny twist.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Suika Tsutsumi

Katakake Fukuro

Last but not least there's the katakake fukuro bag knotting technique. Another example of how quickly you can bind a bag with just one cloth that you can carry with you all the time.

Here is how it's done:

How to Fold the Katakake Fukuro

(Japanese) Tying Techniques

For the wrappings to stay put, you will need to knot them. The various tying techniques are called "musubi." Musubi 結 is the Japanese word for "knot." Interestingly, the word "musubi" can also be translated to "tying" or "connection," since it is the i-form of the word "musubu" (結ぶ), meaning "to fasten," "to tie," or "to connect." To tie is, therefore, something special. The knot reflects the relationships or souls that are tied together, like in a marriage (kekko, 結婚), which in Japanese is composed of the kanji musubi (knot) on the left and the kanji (relationship) on the right. According to the Japanese, things are tied so that the soul inside cannot escape before the knot is loosened.

To wrap a cloth, you will only need a few of the existing knots. By combining various types of musubi techniques, different results can be achieved.

Hitostu-musubi (Single Knot, Half Knot)

The hitostu-musubi (つ結び ) is also called the "overhand knot / single knot," and "half knot." It is one of the most fundamental knots and forms the basis of many others, like the square knot as an example. It is the simplest of the stopper knots and is tied with one end around its own standing part to prevent the end of a rope from unraveling (single knot). Especially when used alone, it is very secure and should be used if the knot is intended to be permanent. By joining two ends, it becomes a trefoil knot (a true knot in the mathematical sense) and is used when reefing, furling, and tying up parcels, shoestrings, and the like (half knot).

How to Tie the Single Knot (Just One End)
How to Tie the Single Knot (Hitostu-musubi)
  1. 1 - Hold just one end of the furoshiki.
  2. 2 - Form a loop.
  3. 3 - And pass the end through it.
  4. 4 - Tighten.
How to Tie the Half Knot (Joining Two Ends)
How to Tie the Half Knot (Hitostu-musubi)
  1. 1 - Cross the left side (end) over the right side (end) and tuck under, forming a half knot.
  2. 2 - Tighten.

Ma-musubi (Square Knot)

The ma-musubi (ふろしき), also called "square knot," "reef knot," and sometimes even "hercules knot," originates from its common use to reef sails. Furthermore, it is a common way of tying furoshiki that are used as a kind of bag for carrying items since this knot will not loosen when used for such occasions. There is even a special technique needed to open the knot again (which is very easy when sticking to this technique).

Attention: The name "square knot" is also used for completely different [other] knots, such as the mathematical concept of [the] square knot, or the friendship knot, which earns its name by being flat and drawing a square on one face and a cross on the other face.

How to Tie the Square Knot
How to Tie the Square Knot (Ma-musubi)
  1. 1 - Cross the left side (end) over the right side (end) and tuck under forming a half knot.
  2. 2 - Tighten.
  3. 3 - Cross the right side (end) over the left side (end).
  4. 4 - And tuck under forming a second half knot.
  5. 5 - Tighten it (the ends are only lightly tied at first to make sure the shape is as imagined. After adjusting and confirming the shape, the knot is tightened and can’t be easily adjusted anymore).

Vertical Square Knot

The vertical square knot is a variation of the square knot. The two ends are not placed horizontally to the knot but vertically, like the name suggests. The procedure is almost the same.

How to Tie the Vertical Square Knot
How to Tie the Vertical Square Knot (Ma-musubi)
  1. 1 - Cross the left side (end) over the right side (end) and tuck under forming a half knot.
  2. 2 - Tighten.
  3. 3 - Cross the right side (end) over the left side (end).
  4. 4 - And tuck under forming a second half knot.
  5. 5 - Tighten with the two ends laying in the opposite direction to the fabric (vertically).

Tate-musubi (Granny Knot)

The tate-musubi (縦結び, たてむすび) is also called the granny knot because it is the natural knot tied by women or countrymen, and is use in everyday life.

As a binding knot, it is considered inferior to the square knot (ma-musubi), which it superficially resembles, since the granny knot consists of two identical half knots tied on top of each other. Therefore, it is easier to open and, thus, ideal to use for normal gift wrappings that are not intended to be carried around, since it will be easier to uncover the gift. In case the gift will be carried around, use a square knot instead since the tate-musubi can loosen more easily, and the items could fall out of the wrapping.

How to Tie the Granny Knot
How to Tie the Granny Knot (Tate-musubi)
  1. 1 - Cross the left side (end) over the right side (end) and tuck under forming a half knot.
  2. 2 - Tighten.
  3. 3 - Cross the left side (end) over the right side (end).
  4. 4 - And tuck under forming a second half knot.
  5. 5 - Tighten.

We have put together several video tutorials on how to wrap with a fabric cloth. From the easiest way to the more advanced styles, you can check them out on our blog.

Wrapping Japanese Style

It’s been said that the Japanese first still their mind and then focus on the person the gift is intended for while picking, folding, and tying the fabric. Naturally, they may find themselves slipping into a meditative state.

We hope you are enjoying wrapping the Japanese style—not only resulting in beautifully wrapped presents but also a relaxed state of mind.


While wrapping, pay attention to the edges and corners, because these will be key features once you have folded and tied your creation, and will create exciting effects.

Edges and Corners of a COVER

The edges of our COVERs are red to make them look even more special and stand out, as well as to resemble our logo. We chose red since it stands for love and passion, and it is common to use red ribbons and bows for gift wrapping. Furthermore, the corners are rounded to make the folded result look even more beautiful.


As already mentioned, there are hundreds of ways you can fold a furoshiki, but there are even more ways to decorate them. Although they already look perfect without any decoration, you can use almost anything to give your gift a personal touch. You can use flowers or leaves, feathers, tomekos, or even jewelry. Your creativity knows no limits.

For more ideas, check out our blog or follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and Facebook.


Usually, the cloths are tied with single or double knots. Another Japanese tradition is to tie them with a tomeko. Tomekos are available in different shapes and designs and are usually made from plywood disks. While threading the ends of the cloth through the openings, the cloth will automatically be tied, in addition to being decorated at the same time.


If you want to give your gift an even more personal touch, you can customize a natural tomeko with names or decorations. This way, you can, for example, tell the gifts apart at Christmas if you use a cloth in the same color.


In ancient times, the giver was presenting the gift to the receiver, unveiled it for them, and then kept the cloth for the next use. In more recent times, the wrapping has been part of the gift. The recipient can unfold their gifts themselves, keep the cloth, and use it for another gift-giving occasion.

If you find it difficult to part with things, you can simply rent the COVERs. This way, saying goodbye may not be that difficult, and the message of the environmentally friendly gift wrapping can spread with every movement and let fabric wrappings flourish.

COVER Intelligence

Moreover, our COVERs have integrated intelligence. If you give them away, they will take you with them on their journey, telling you how many people they have made happy, where they are going, how many trees they have saved, and how much trash and CO2 they have reduced. This way, you're not only having fun the one time you're wrapping and giving the present away but every time someone else is doing the same.


Furoshiki are super versatile. There are not just many ways to wrap or decorate them, but also loads of ways to use them.

Although we think the fabric already has great value when traveling around the world as a gift wrap, making loads of people and our planet happy, we don’t want to deprive you of the traditional ways the furoshiki were and are still being used.

The reusable super talents can be used for the following, among other things:

  • Bento (lunch box) or picnic hamper, which after unpacking can also be used as a napkin, tablecloth, or blanket
  • Bread box
  • Tablecloth
  • Reusable shopping bag or decorative handbag
  • Scarf, belt, or bandana
  • Weekender (wrapping clothes when traveling)
  • Makeup pouches
  • Tissue box cover
  • Book cover
  • Flower wrap
  • Household decor
  • Toy or wool tidy
  • Wall art (with or without frame)

Since the pandemic, they have often been found as mouth covers.

You can find more ideas on our blog.


The oldest still-existing furoshiki is in safekeeping at the Shōsō-in (正倉院), the treasure house that belongs to the Tōdai-ji temple in Nara, Japan. It was made around the eighth century but remains in a well-preserved state until today. Back in time, it was intended to cover special things such as monks' stoles (kesa けさ) and attire for their traditional dance (bugaku 舞楽).

Interestingly, the Shōsō-in Imperial treasures consist of the letters "ka" (裹) and "kou" (幌), both meaning "wrap."


It is said that the residents of Edo (now known as Tokyo), where fires were common during the Edo 江戸時代 period (1603 to 1868), made a habit of spreading out a muhaba-sized furoshiki underneath their bedding in order to prepare themselves to quickly throw their belongings on the bedding to escape a fire.


Before the name "furoshiki" was widely spread, the tradition of gift wrapping was known as "tsutsumu" (包む), which means to wrap. The word "tsutsushimu" (慎む), which means "suppressing one’s feelings," can be literally translated to "wrap one's feelings" and, therefore, suggests its close relation to the Japanese (wrapping) culture. In Japan, it is considered more important to keep your feelings to yourself than speaking out.

The term "furoshiki" is also used for banter and criticism.

While the term "oburoshiki" refers to a large furoshiki, the term "spreading oburoshiki" is used when one is trying to make fun of or criticize incredibly exaggerated plans or stories, or when making impossible plans or making exaggerated statements. In contrast, situations in which things, plans, or stories move towards a solution are sometimes referred to as "folding furoshiki."


Many people think fabric wrapping is unique to Japanese culture, but it has in fact been a tradition in many countries, including in Korea, where a (patchwork) wrapping cloth named "bojagi" has been used for centuries. We have added a picture of a very old example below.


If you want to know more about the Korean way to wrap presents, you can read our blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Bojagi - The Korean Art of Fabric Wrapping - And What It Can Teach You About Life..

Fabric gift wrapping also took place in Turkey. Their reusable gift wrap is called "bohça." In our blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Bohça – Emotions Wrapped in Fabric, you will find out what makes this eco-friendly Turkish tradition so special.

Another tradition comes from Egypt. Here, cloths were processed with (bees) wax in order to pack things and even make them more durable (e.g., food). These cloths can also be reused innumerable times and are, therefore, much more environmentally friendly than cling film or aluminum foil. Beeswax is also said to have antibacterial properties. The Egyptians also used the cloths soaked with wax (and sometimes resin) for embalming. Due to the antibacterial effect of the wax, the dead body did not decompose.


If you want to join the reuse revolution with eco-friendly fabric gift wrappings, visit our online store.

Our gift wraps, made of recycled cotton, can be used time and time again to delight and enhance the act of giving and are, as a result, the very best alternative to single-use, throw-away paper wrappings.