Furoshiki 101: Finding the Best Size
WHAT IS FUROSHIKI?
Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese cultural art dating back to the Nara period (AD 710 to 794). Furoshiki is a Japanese fabric that is square in shape, traditionally made with cotton and printed with Japanese motifs on both sides. Furoshiki can also be used as an action verb: to Furoshiki means to wrap an object in the Furoshiki style.
One of the most popular ways to use Furoshiki is as a tote bag. It is washable, collapsible, and durable.
Furoshiki is typically used to transport and carry a bundle of things, to wrap gifts to save on the use of paper, wrapping a bento box, and serving as a tablecloth or picnic blanket (47” Yohaba 四巾). Today, Furoshiki has evolved and now comes in other fabric options to best fit modern day usage. At Sutai Bu, our Furoshikis are made with Tencel/Lyocell, a biodegradable material that is durable and moisture wicking, and is soft enough that you will want to wear it as a scarf or even a face mask.
HOW TO USE FUROSHIKI?
There are no set rules to Furoshiki. With the rich history of Furoshiki, a handful of Furoshiki styles were developed over a long period of time by the Japanese. A quick reference below from the Japanese Ministry of the Environment provides you an overview and quick guide on a few Furoshiki wrapping techniques.
Source: Japanese Ministry of the Environment
As the world continues to evolve, the Furoshiki culture remains an influential piece of Japanese cultural art that is widely known among the Japanese and eco-conscious communities. The fundamental wrapping techniques have stayed in style and evergreen all these years - isn’t that impressive?
At Sutai Bu, we see the environmental benefits of using Furoshiki as plastic alternatives. We want to continue to find ways to update and promote this beautiful cultural art of fabric wrapping for modern day society to enjoy. Check out our blog to learn more about specific Furoshiki wrapping techniques through our fun step-by-step tutorials.
WHAT SIZE IS A FUROSHIKI?
Traditionally, Furoshiki cloths come in various sizes. Each of them even has a special name! Can you guess why there are different sized cloth? The answer is straightforward as you may have guessed - it is for wrapping different size objects. There are a total of 10 standard Furoshiki sizes, and an additional size, which was recently adopted and named after the English word “handkerchief”.
The most commonly used Furoshiki sizes are:
18” (~48cm) – Chief チ一フ
20” (~52cm) – Shakuyonhaba 尺四巾
27” (~68cm) – Futahaba 二巾
In fact, there’s a standard formula the Japanese uses. You will want the diagonal length of the cloth to be 3 times the longest length of the object you plan to wrap.
Let’s use wrapping a jar of jam as an example. Depending on the kind of jar, which as you know you can find all sorts of shapes these days, you will want to find the length of the longest side of the object. For this example, it will be the height of the jar.
Keep in mind, Furoshiki embraces a fluid creative process, so there are no set rules that you must follow. Every wrapping style’s sizing requirement varies a little bit.
You can pick up a few Furoshiki wrapping techniques, such as this one, where you design your own Furoshiki to wrap this style from this video we have put together.
To save you time, you can use our Furoshiki sizing reference calculator below, or find it under our Furoshiki product page.
GOT QUESTIONS REGARDING FUROSHIKI?
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