Here is the perfect book for those of you with a cupboard full of fabric remnants.
Furoshiki: The art of wrapping with fabric (2011) by Kumiko Nakayama-Geraerts introduces a traditional Japanese craft. A furoshiki is a cleverly knotted piece of cloth, about one metre square, used to carry or wrap things. According to the author, the practice dates back as far as the Nara period (710-794) but became firmly established in later centuries when the population was nomadic.
In Japanese culture, furoshiki is also linked to the ceremonial nature of gift giving; the wrapping and the presentation are symbolically as important as the gift.
Today, the custom is enjoying a revival in Japan promoted by the Minister of the Environment because it is an eco-friendly craft that helps keep packaging out of land fills. It’s trendy: Google “furoshiki”, you will find an amazing number of sites embracing the custom. Check out this demonstration on youtube from a famous furoshiki store in Kyoto.
The whole concept is easy and fun. The basic four knots used have been mastered by anyone who has learned to tie shoe laces. The preferred method of hemming the fabric is by hand rather than machine. There are folds for carrying and folds for wrapping. Learn to make knapsacks and carriers for bottles and books. Wrap an apple into a rabbit-shape.
Did I mention stylish? The summer issue of Marie Claire Maison features an article on Furoshiki: “Baluchons nippons” on page 121. This lovely magazine is available at the Central Library. The back issues have been sprung from reference captivity and are now available for borrowing.
Friday: Crafts to dye for