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メリー・クリスマス with ふろしき
December 23, 2008 8:53 PM   Subscribe

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a not-for-profit company sponsored by the UK government, urges you to cut down on waste paper this holiday season and wrap your presents with furoshiki, the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth.

Furoshiki (風呂敷, literally "bath-spread") date back at least to the Edo period, and continue to be used for all occasions to this day. The Japanese government has also been encouraging the use of furoshiki through its recent "Mottainai Furoshiki" campaign. There are many ways to fold a furoshiki, and if you don't have one you can use a bandana or other square cloth instead of a proper furoshiki -- or simply make your own. Furoshiki are a great opportunity to be both creative and green this holiday season.
posted by armage (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Lovely stuff and glad to see they have a "make-your-own" version as shipping cloth halfway round the world which wouldn't be very green either.
Anyway, really only here to get into the hoary old Christmas cracker joke spirit and add:
"I know what you're getting for Christmas, Luke."
"How, O evil Lord Vader?"
"I have felt your presents."
posted by Abiezer at 9:23 PM on December 23, 2008


I want to give a furoshiki as a present but I don't know what to wrap it in.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:24 PM on December 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


I am increasingly considering that the central tenet of white culture is not "fuck you got mine", but "we are remarkably inefficient when it comes to putting things onto and into other things."
posted by goldfinches at 10:00 PM on December 23, 2008


huh, I have had a couple of mysterious square cloths from japan for years and years. now i know what they are!
posted by mwhybark at 10:29 PM on December 23, 2008


The diagrams on this page show how to fold a furoshiki into a makeshift purse, shopping bag, book carrier, etc. Apparently the Japanese have understood the importance of always knowing where your towel furoshiki is for hundreds of years.
posted by jedicus at 10:40 PM on December 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Of course the proper way to give someone a furoshiki is making sure it's wrapped with card to keep it's shape and then placed in a plastic envelope, which may then be placed in a plastic box and then wrapped in the paper of the store that it was purchased and then placed in a bag.

And if it's raining remember to put a plastic bag over the paper bag.
posted by gomichild at 10:54 PM on December 23, 2008 [10 favorites]


Thanks, jedicus -- that link should have been the "make your own" link. I need to check my posts better...
posted by armage at 11:01 PM on December 23, 2008


we are remarkably inefficient when it comes to putting things onto and into other things.

As gomichild notes, the Japanese are in fact generally twenty times less efficient, furoshiki notwithstanding.
posted by dydecker at 12:15 AM on December 24, 2008


I am increasingly considering that the central tenet of white culture is not "fuck you got mine", but "we are remarkably inefficient when it comes to putting things onto and into other things."

Thank you for your thoughtful remarks on the intersection of ethnicity, culture, and gift wrapping. They've really added a whole new dimension to the discussion that I would not have otherwise been able to tap into. I simply cannot favorite your comment enough times.
posted by Nonce at 1:48 AM on December 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thank you for your thoughtful remarks on the intersection of ethnicity, culture, and gift wrapping. They've really added a whole new dimension to the discussion that I would not have otherwise been able to tap into. I simply cannot favorite your comment enough times.

posted by Nonce at 9:48 AM on December 24

Eponysterical!
posted by fullerine at 2:52 AM on December 24, 2008


The furoshiki link to a video is nice, except the New Media Douchebag cameraperson has apparently never tried to follow a tutorial video that was shot with cinematography techniques from 24. By the end of it I was ready to rabbit punch the next person I saw holding a camcorder.

I love furoshiki, and origami. Thanks for the links!
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:58 AM on December 24, 2008


Yet more furoshiki diagrams.
posted by imh at 6:13 AM on December 24, 2008


Brilliant.

Just. Freaking. Brilliant.

I've done similar things with sheets of some of my own suminagashi, but it being paper, lacked the impact and extreme recyclability of using cloth.

Thanks, armage!
posted by aldus_manutius at 7:21 AM on December 24, 2008


too late, but my mom would love this
posted by MNDZ at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2008


The Japanese invented tissue paper, and they were able to create it in an environmentally friendly way by using mulberry bushes, which regrow quite quickly, and they used this paper for all sorts of things, including wrapping gifts. Too bad we can't do the same thing.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:05 AM on December 24, 2008


TONS, if not most, Asian cultures do similar wrapped-in-cloth things, but this is a particularly clever and pretty way to do it. Thanks!
posted by DenOfSizer at 10:16 AM on December 24, 2008


Actually, suburban culture has it's own equivalent - have you noticed how much stuff gets exchanged in those little patterned, colored paper bags? Y'know, the ones with tissue paper and such obscuring what's in the bag? What happens to those bags? People save them and put presents for other people in them next year. Brilliant!

As you can tell by my excited incredulity, this is a concept of which I have only recently been made aware.
posted by eclectist at 11:44 AM on December 24, 2008


this is beyond awesome. anybody who gives me a present should wrap it in one of these, or just give me the cloth! i am absolutely bag-mad these days!

also has anyone in the uk noticed you can get free unbleached cotton bags with logos these days? my favourite swag, above even pens.. well, maybe memory sticks are better!
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:22 PM on December 25, 2008


good point, eclectist. I hate those freakin' bags, because how damn lazy do you have to be to not even wrap a gift plus it makes people waste paper because they "wrap" something, like wine for a dinner party, that they would not otherwise have wrapped.... except that I have at least 10 of those bags in my closet, they were probably given to me on the second or third use, and I'll use them again...

Of course, I also carefully unwrap gifts so that I can resuse the paper. And I wrap gifts in magazine pages (big picture ads) and throw-away papers like the Auto Mark (for boys) and am generally really really cheap about wrapping.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 10:08 AM on December 26, 2008


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