What is Furoshiki? Why is it important?

The term Furoshiki, comes from “furo” (bath) and “Shiki” means (spread). Originally, it was used in the Nara period (710–794) for the users to protect valuable goods. Since the Japanese have created and mastered the art of folding fabrics to wrap and transport items, it has become a popular practice in the last few years. It is versatile among various cultures around the world.

Moreover, furoshiki is an environmentally friendly way to carry various things conveniently such as bottles, food, and household necessities. It’s a unique and modern alternative to holiday gift-wrapping.

What is Furoshiki?

Furoshiki is simply a piece of cloth or fabric in a square shape that is used for gift wrapping, transporting items, it works as a fashion accessory, and also can be used as home decor. Furoshiki refers both to the cloth and to the craft itself. It usually has an elegant and decorative design. Furoshiki is trendy and popular with cultures around the world as it has transformed the art of gift-giving.

A Brief History of the Craft

Earlier this craft was used to wrap various goods and treasures that Japanese people found in the temples. In the Heian period, it was known as koro mo Utsumi, and it was mostly used for wrapping clothes.

During the Muromachi period, it is believed that Ashikaga Yoshimitsu installed a large bathhouse in his residence and invited feudal lords to stay and use the facility, they were given furoshiki cloth to wrap their Japanese kimonos shirts and other personal belongings so that nothing would get mix up.

In 2006, the Japanese Minister of the Environment Yuriko Koike promoted furoshiki to increase environmental awareness among people and encourage people to avoid the use of plastic for wrapping. Furoshiki is an elegant cloth, which can be used for packaging and home decor. Today, it is also commonly used by Japanese schoolchildren to carry lunch boxes.

How to use Furoshiki?

This cloth comes in a wide variety of sizes, fabrics, colors. Generally, the most common being 45 x 45 centimetres (17 x 17 inches) and 70 x 70 centimetres (28 x 28 inches).  Most importantly, the requirement is that the cloth must be square in shape.

On the other hand, for some gifts, the cloth will be as small as the palm of your hand. It depends on the size of the object you’re going to wrap. The gift wrapper can fully enhance and customize the look of the gift. The gift giver needs to select the furoshiki fabric, pattern and size according to the gift he/she is giving.


Furoshiki is simply a cloth used for wrapping clothes, gifts, jewellery, boxes, bottles and can be used as home decor. Some shops also use it to wrap and display their products. You can also get these beautiful fabrics for your loved ones.

Check NOVMTL, our online store for more designs of furoshiki, and other items such as kimono, yukata Japanese socks, handmade accessories etc.
Share this:

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published