Recently, I went to a free class run in Bern by Live Green, to learn the Japanese art of Furoshiki. I love a good course/class and jumped at the chance to learn about this versatile technique/skill.
Furoshiki is a brilliant, no waste option for wrapping and carrying things. The fabrics come in different sizes, to be used for different purposes. Our teacher, Ye, said most Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Koren) households used to have one or more and they were used for everything. But her husband Mike noted that, unfortunately, this is a tradition of the past and plastic products have taken over. He said in Japan it is currently experiencing a revival with the Zero Waste movement, which is great to hear.
Of course I fell in love with the sturdy, cotton fabrics, and bought … um … 4! Oops, how did that happen? Well, they’re all different sizes so I feel justified in my purchases ;). Two have the most lovely double-sided screen print and the other two are just one sided.
In the photo above, you can see the large 100x100cm red and green wrap and the small 45x45cm purple and teal wrap.
Below are the one-sided ones. The striped 70x70cm is my new go-to birthday wrapping, and the 90x90cm red flowers are … just wow! Love, love, love!
Ye and Mike showed us the myriad ways the fabrics can be used, all tied with the special Furoshiki knot, which holds strong but is easily undone when needed. Learn more about the knot, which is basically a square knot, in their instructional video here.
Read about the many uses for Furoshiki here. My personal favourite is the way to wrap and carry bottles. Excuse the terrible photo, my strength left me when trying to hold the parcel up high! And I have a lot of wrapping practice to do, but you get the general idea.
You could make your own Furoshiki, too. The material just has to be strong, and square in shape. I thought about making my own but I love these designs (and it’s great to help out a new business).
The thought of no more wrapping paper, sticky tape and ribbon fills me with joy! Who wouldn’t want to receive a present wrapped in such amazing colours? The only tough part will be asking for the material back (which Ye assures me is totally acceptable protocol).
Of course, the material can be used to make bags to carry things too. I have enough reusable bags now, so wrapping paper will be my main use, but it’s always nice to know these additions to my “zero waste handbag” contents are so versatile.
It’s been lovely to learn more about Furoshiki and Live Green, and to meet the founders and support their work. Their goals and ideals are very much in line with mine. Reduce the waste we make, refuse the things we don’t need, reuse what we already have. Let’s see what the future holds – maybe a collaboration? On what, I am unsure, but you never know your luck in the big city!
Enough waffle, I’m off to wrap and carry anything within reach 😉
Wishing you a wonderful day.