Furoshiki-Wrapped Presents

 

Furoshiki, a Japanese word for "bath spread" originates back to the Edo period, where fabric squares were artfully wrapped around clothing while people were at a bath house. Eventually, they become a method for merchants to wrap goods for transport or for gifting purposes. The guys at Hickoree's Hard Goods recently caught our eye by offering this service in time for Valentine's Day. Decidedly more eco-friendly than gift wrap, it's also a nice way to give a fancy pocket square or rugged bandana—something the guys behind The Hill-Side know a thing or two about. Ward Long of Hickoree's talked to us about how they discovered the traditional Japanese art, and also taught us some relatively simple knots—ideal for last-minute Valentine's Day gifts. But of course, we know you didn't forget.

 
How did you guys discover furoshiki?

Chikako Ishii does all of the visual merchandising for our store, and she's full of surprises and crafty secrets. She thought that furoshiki wraps would be great for Valentine's Day gifts, so we started wrapping gifts for anyone that ordered a Hill-Side bandana along with some of our edible stuff or small accessories. We've been practicing out "tsutsumi" (wraps) and "musubi" (ties) all week, and posting our work on Vine and Instagram.

What kinds of gifts are usually wrapped in a furoshiki?

Different wraps are designed for different sized objects, and the specificity of the designs is a big part of their appeal. Over the weekend we've been wrapping orders for Mast Brothers chocolate bars, Quinn popcorn, Morris Kitchen ginger syrup and candles from FSC Barber and Apolis. No one's asked us to wrap up a slingshot yet, although I find them very romantic.

Can you teach us some of the easier knots?
Beginners: Otsukai
 

The "otsukai" or errand tsutsumi is probably the easiest to tackle, and works best with a flat bottom gift. Lay your bandana flat on the table like a diamond, and put your present in the center. Pull the bottom corner (B) to the top and tuck it under the gift. Then pull the top corner to the bottom (A), leaving the end loose beneath the wrap. Now grab the corners on the left and right (C and D), and tie them together on top with two overhand knots. Lastly, and most importantly, fuss with the knot on top until you feel like it looks just right. This could take a while.

Intermediate: Nimai
 

The "nimai" is like the "otsuaki," but with two bandanas and three knots. I'll explain with a striped bandana and a solid color. Lay the striped bandana on the table like a diamond, then pull the bottom corner towards the top but stopping two inches short. At this point, it should look a like a pirate hat. Lay the solid bandana on top so that it lines up with the fold. Now put your gift in the center of the solid bandana. Grab the top corner of the striped bandana (A) and the bottom corner of the solid bandana (G) and tie the together on top of the gift. Now you've got a knot on top and four loose ends. Take the top left corner (D) and the bottom right (H); tie them together on top of the first knot. Last, take the bottom left corner (F) and top right (B); tie them together right on top of the other two knots. Take a deep breath, and whisper "AGDHFB." You're done!

 

Published on

February 14, 2013

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