Searching for an eco-pleasant substitute for wrapping paper? Look at furoshiki : NPR

Furoshiki, the Japanese custom of wrapping objects in cloth to cover or transportation them, is turning out to be extra well-liked as a more eco-welcoming way to wrap offers devoid of wasting paper.


Considerably of the paper that wraps vacation items is not recyclable. Except you choose to help save and reuse it, it probably winds up in a landfill. An eco-friendlier selection is an historic custom from Japan that’s obtaining some renewed focus. From KCRW, this is Megan Jamerson.

MEGAN JAMERSON, BYLINE: At a workshop in Los Angeles, Tomoko Dyen retains up a piece of material. She’s about to show furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping issues in fabric.

TOMOKO DYEN: So let us start how to wrap it.

JAMERSON: The word furoshiki refers to both the wrapping design and the fabric alone. That cloth is usually sq. and a few instances the width of the product becoming wrapped. Dyen orients the cloth like a diamond on the table in front of her, then picks up a 6-inch cardboard box.

DYEN: And then you place this in the center.

JAMERSON: The wrapping technique from right here is sort of like what you would do with wrapping paper. But rather of Scotch tape and plastic ribbon to hold the folds in spot, the fabric finishes are tied in a square knot or bow tie on leading.

DYEN: I mean, possibly way, it’s kind of very, but…

JAMERSON: Dyen is from Tokyo but phone calls LA household. She informed the workshop that in Japan, furoshiki has prolonged been regarded as aged-fashioned. But it really is finding popular yet again. It dates back again hundreds of decades in Japan. The phrase does not indicate present wrap or nearly anything like it.

IRENE TSUKADA SIMONIAN: Furo of furoshiki is bathtub. Shiki is a sheet.

JAMERSON: Sure, a tub sheet. Irene Tsukada Simonian owns a reward shop in LA’s Minor Tokyo exactly where she sells furoshiki fabric. She suggests back again in the working day, only the wealthiest Japanese had their individual bathtubs at residence, so most individuals went to a public tub.

SIMONIAN: And you introduced the furoshiki with you. And you would use the cloth to set down, and you would stand on it. And then you would wrap your possess clothing with it whilst you bathed.

JAMERSON: And you utilized the fabric to bundle your toiletries and have them to and from the bathhouse. Considering that then, it really is developed into a way to carry daily merchandise, foodstuff and to wrap items, says Hana van der Steur. Her mom is Japanese, and she grew up looking at her use furoshiki for distinct points. Now she runs the reward store at a craft museum in LA, where she sells imported furoshiki fabric from Japan.

HANA VAN DER STEUR: So it is, you know, sort of like the anti-plastic bag. It’s reusable.

JAMERSON: A assortment of furoshiki are on display screen at the present shop, together with patterns with flowers, cats and otters. Japanese furoshiki cloth is normally made from cotton or silk and has a hemmed edge. Van der Steur suggests that ordinarily, the fabric is returned to the gift giver to use once again and once more. And you really don’t have to obtain new furoshiki cloth. You can recycle any cloth, even outdated dresses.

VAN DER STEUR: You can just use any square piece of cloth. Just minimize it to dimensions. If you want, you can – you know, you can get extravagant. You can hem it. But you don’t even have to do that. Occasionally the uncooked edge is sort of pleasant.

JAMERSON: Again at the furoshiki workshop, individuals say this is a good way to steer clear of not just wrapping paper but also small plastic carrying luggage.


JAMERSON: Kristen de la Tori (ph) arrived to the workshop with a plan to wrap her vacation items this way. But now she states she’ll carry furoshiki in her purse and use them when she buys a few smaller goods at the retail outlet.

KRISTEN DE LA TORI: So I’m definitely enthusiastic about form of the – either upcycling items or, you know, recycling.

JAMERSON: And avoiding squander during the holidays is the variety of present anyone can give to the earth. For NPR Information, I am Megan Jamerson in Los Angeles.


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