June 18, 2011

Gift Wrap To Re Use

Fukoshiro is the Japanese practice of making the outside of a gift look just as good as the inside. In Japan, gift wrapping is known as tsutsumi and is considered as important as the gift itself.

Of course, in America we can certainly sympathize as we dress up our own gifts for birthdays and holidays with bows and ribbons, but traditionally furoshiki uses fabric as wrapping paper. The level of detail is also impressive and a great deal of care is taken in selecting the right types of fabric and sewing it all together.

The history of fukoshiro comes from the word itself translated, which is bath spread. Originally, fukoshiro was used to carry bathing items to a public bathhouse, but later this was expanded to carrying groceries and to hold purchases meant for gifts. It many ways, the modern day American equivalent would be a tote bag.

So what kind of materials can Japanese gift wrapping be made out of? Really any type of material works, but usually cotton, nylon, or silk is used. The pattern of the fabric will depend on your tastes and the occasion. You may want to choose a children's fabric theme for a more festive birthday, or a Christmas print for the holiday seasons. Even denim can be used as an elaborate gift wrap, if that is to your liking.

While going out of style when plastic bags came into existence, fukoshiro is still used to carry items as a reusable bag, because it is environmentally friendly and eliminates trash.

So how can you make your own fabric gift wrapping? All you really need is a sewing machine, and then you can hand piece of fabric together yourself. You may want to check out your local fabric store in order to find thrifty deals.

Scarves or handkerchiefs can also make excellent material for fukoshiro for smaller gifts. You use it in much the same way that you would as paper, but it looks much more formal and is much more festive. Anyone receiving gifts in fabric wrapping paper would certainly be impressed with the amount of effort that they took to create. So if you are interested in practicing Japanese fukoshiro, get down to your local fabric store and start crafting. Anyone who receives a gift from you will love the outside just as much as they love what is on the inside.

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