January 20, 2004

furoshiki

Furoshiki are the large cloth squares traditionally used to wrap and carry anything in Japan. They are often used for the small gifts, omiyage, presented to people as a gesture of courtesy or respect when you visit them.

In my travels across eBay (don't ask), I found this tremendously appealing book on furoshiki-tying (too late to buy it), and the seller reproduces a number of illustrations in the listing. You don't need to know any Japanese to follow the pictures which show ingenious and beautiful ways to wrap: a melon, two bottles of wine, or a mailing tube, among other possibilities. The fabric colors and combinations are beautiful - well worth checking out.

If you are interested in fabric and Japanese design, you may also want to look for Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in the Japanese Tradition, by Kumiko Sudo, a book about creating tiny bags and pouches for the presentation of small gifts. Scraps of silk or cotton and a little patience and you can create unexpectedly beautiful evening bags. The color and design combinations alone make this worth a second look - even if you don't plan to do any sewing. (Found via Currently, Erica Mulherin's blog.)

Posted by EGP at January 20, 2004 10:05 AM