How to master Furoshiki wrapping to make your Christmas presents look amazing

If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your Christmas presents this season, it could be time to master Furoshiki wrapping.

The Japanese art of fabric wrapping not only makes your gifts look incredible, it’s also much more sustainable and better for the planet than buying endless rolls of wrapping paper.

And the good news is, it’s easier than might think.

But, if you have no idea where to start – maybe you have never even heard the word Furoshiki until this moment – here is a handy step-by-step guide to start you on your new wrapping journey.

Delight your loved ones with beautiful gifts, and keep the planet happy by reducing your Christmas waste.

Step-by-step guide to Furoshiki wrapping

Before you start

It’s important to remember that fabric wrapping is really forgiving so don’t worry about it being perfect – just give it a try and if it doesn’t work, you can unwrap and try again.

Step one

Find a scarf or piece of fabric that you’d like to use.

The rule of thumb is that you want fabric that is three times the longest dimension of your gift (along its diagonal line).

Top tip: The most versatile sizes which you should be able to use for any gift is 50cm² for medium gifts (i.e. a candle) and 70cm² which can comfortably wrap a jumper or a few books.

Step two

Place the scarf in a diamond shape in front of you.

This is the number one tip which makes Furoshiki much easier than you think.

Ensure it’s all smoothed out before placing your gift in the centre of the scarf.

Step three

Begin by taking the point closest to you, up and over the gift.

If the point of the scarf goes further than the gift, tuck in the excess underneath the gift. 

Step four

Roll your gift up in the scarf. Each time you roll the gift, smooth the ends so they lay neatly out to the side.

This ensures you end up with a nicely rolled tube of fabric around your gift. 

When you’ve finished rolling, make sure the final point of fabric is sitting neatly against the gift.

Step five

One side at a time, pinch the corners of the fabric, right at the top of the scarf.

Slide your hand underneath and grip the fabric in your fist. It’s important to remember that the closer you hold your fist containing the fabric against the main gift, the tighter and neater your final wrap will be.

Once you’ve completed one side, attempt the other in the same fashion.

Step six

Bring the two ends together and knot them in the centre of the gift.

Now is the time to add a sprig of foliage, a candy cane or bauble as decoration if you wish.

With or without the added decoration, knot again and voila.

Hacks for perfect wrapping

  • What to do if you have too much fabric?
    It is better to go slightly over-sized than under-sized with your fabric. You can always continue to roll as you wrap if you find you have too much to work with. Besides, excess fabric makes for a gorgeous, oversized bow!
  • And if you are wrapping a small gift?
    If you are wrapping a very small gift in quite a large scarf, start by placing the gift closer to you, you’ll find it easier to wrap. Continue to smooth out the ends on the side as you roll to ensure it’s still tightly wrapped.
  • What to do if you don’t have enough fabric?
    If your wrap is a little too small, continue to place the scarf at a diagonal angle on the laid-out scarf. This time try folding in each of the corners so they overlap on the top. You can try to wrap some string or ribbon around the fabric as you would normally, which will hold the fabric in place making it into a parcel, rather than rolling the fabric in the traditional way.
  • How to embellish your Furoshiki?
    If you want to embellish your fabric wrapped gift with ribbon or string, slide it under the knot and wrap it around the present, fastening underneath the gift. To minimise a bulky bow, trim the ribbon to desired size.
  • Don’t worry if it doesn’t look right on your first try
    The great thing about using fabric is that you can tie and re-tie until you are happy with the results. Simply remember that in the Japanese culture there is a prevalent philosophy known as Wabi-sabi, or an appreciation of beauty in things that are perfectly imperfect, and all is transient.
  • How to tie the perfect bow
    The secret to tying the perfect bow is to always make the first loop using the lower part of the ribbon. Then loop the top ribbon over and swoop below the first loop before finishing as normal.

Canary Wharf Group has partnered with The Fabric Wrapping Co. to launch a free pop-up gift wrapping service to shoppers from Saturday 19th to Wednesday 23rd December.

The initiative is part of Canary Wharf’s ongoing sustainability efforts and aims to encourage consumers to be more mindful this Christmas.

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