How to be awesome at furoshiki

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

An increased focus on the environment means many of us are planning to give green gifts this year. And that concept can extend beyond the presents and into the wrapping. Furoshiki is an ancient Japanese custom that was originally used to bundle clothes and carry small articles, but it's evolved into a way to protect and decorate gifts.

1. Choose your fabric

Almost any type of fabric will work, as long as it's of a light enough weight to be folded and tied easily.

Cotton is sturdier and works well with heavier gifts, such as bottles of wine and books. Silk and similar synthetics are much more delicate fabrics that work well for smaller gifts, such as jewelry or DVDs.

Often, a decorative scarf is the perfect size for a smaller gift - plus, it can easily be reused by the gift receiver.

2. Cut to size

Because the cloth is going to be tied, a generous cut is necessary. About 28 to 30 inches will work for most gifts.

3. How to wrap two bottles of wine

Spread your cloth flat, pattern side down, with a corner pointing toward you. Lay both bottles in the center of the cloth horizontally, facing out. Leave about five inches of space between them.

Fold the bottom corner up over the bottles. Roll the bottles upward, wrapping them in the cloth. Stand both bottles up, bending the roll in half. Tie corners at the top.

4. How to wrap a box

Spread your cloth flat, pattern side down, with a corner pointing toward you. Bring two opposite corners together over the top of the box and tie in a knot. Repeat with remaining corners.

For additional ideas and wrapping techniques, click to