Since long ago, traditional “furoshiki” cloth has been used in Japan to wrap and hold items. While no longer in its heyday, furoshiki still has many adoring fans using it as a trendy reusable shopping bag and more. In this article, we’ll dive into the history and appeal of furoshiki while introducing 10 fashionable furoshiki you can purchase for yourself. Each product is rated on quality, price, and design, allowing you to find a furoshiki that will stand the test of time and bring endless delight!
What Is a Furoshiki?
Furoshiki is a type of wrapping cloth said to have been used since the Muromachi period (1336-1573) more than 600 years ago. It was originally a cloth bearing one’s family crest used to wrap clothes and prevent them from getting mixed up before hopping in a public bath.
With the changing times, furoshiki came to be used for carrying packages and shopping. Being highly versatile, they can be used in all kinds of situations to securely cover and hold items of various shapes and sizes.
Recently, the Japanese market has seen the debut of stylish furoshiki emblazoned with beautiful Japanese patterns, transforming them into a bold fashion statement and eco-friendly way to carry shopping.
1. SQUARE RED | WASHINO PRINT FACTORY | HAND PRINTING
This furoshiki is made by Washino Print Factory, a long-established fabric store and producer in Kyoto. Washino specializes in the “tenasen” dyeing method, whereby dye is poured into a mold and infused with the fabric using a spatula. What makes tenasen particularly appealing is the depth of color it produces, a quality that cannot be replicated with inkjet printers.
Boasting a delightful geometric pattern pairing well with both Japanese and Western apparel, there’s no doubt this colorful furoshiki will help accentuate your style!
2. FUROSHIKI- Wrapping Cloth/Reversible [Cotton] (Sakura x Flax ornament: Brown/Marigold)
This furoshiki is from Sanyo Shoji, a Kyoto-based company that has been making furoshiki and other Japanese clothing accessories for 70 years. It boasts different patterns on each side with elegant, delicate colors giving it a stylish feel.
Made from 100% cotton, it has a suitable firmness while remaining soft to the touch. Able to be machine washed, you can use this furoshiki as much as you like!
3. HARLEQUIN (AMUNDSEN 70 CM) FUROSHIKI | ASAKURA SENPU
This furoshiki comes from Asakura Senpu, who have been in the business of dyeing for over 120 years! The company has gained a strong reputation for exceptional quality and their materials have even been used by world-class swimmers.
This furoshiki was engineered with a unique water repellent finish that’s so powerful that it can literally be used to carry water! Keep it in your bag as an umbrella replacement or backpack cover for sudden rain.
4. HANA (PLAIN WEAVE 96 CM) FUROSHIKI | ASAKURA SENPU
Like the above, this furoshiki was also made by Asakura Senpu. Measuring 96 cm x 96 cm, it is rather large for a furoshiki and can come in handy when wrapping large items or as a reusable bag when buying in large quantities. The gorgeous flower design also makes it suitable for wear as a stylish scarf and its high-quality make ensures the fabric will not deteriorate even if washed repeatedly 50 times!
You can also choose this furoshiki as gift wrapping (A) in the BECOS Store*, which we particularly recommend for an extra special present. After the recipient has opened the gift, they can use the wrapping as a regular furoshiki, giving them two presents in one!
*Furoshiki wrapping is unavailable for large products.
5. Furoshiki Japanese Traditional Fabric Wrapping Kotoima Colorful Snow Flower Handmade in Kyoto
This is a furoshiki made by Kyoto Asahiya, a store carrying all sorts of distinctly Japanese goods, such as furoshiki, kimono, and more. Coming in an easy-to-use size, you can keep it on you as a reusable bag when doing a little shopping. It was also made with environmentally friendly materials. It appears elegant and sophisticated with a simple design and green pastel color.
6. Japanese Cotton Grey Lotus Furoshiki – 105 cm, Unisex
Similar to the previous product, this is another furoshiki made by Kyoto Asahiya. Becoming somewhat of a fashion item, furoshiki with bright colors and festive designs have seemingly become the norm. However, this classy furoshiki bucks the trend with a subdued gray and simple floral pattern. If vivid, flashy colors aren’t your thing, this may be the furoshiki for you!
Measuring 105 cm x 105 cm, we particularly recommend using this furoshiki for wrapping large items. It also comes in a striped design.
7. KEMONODE TURQUOISE (L) | MORPHOSHERE | KYOTO YUZEN DYEING
This is a furoshiki dyed in the traditional technique of “yuzen-zome.” Developed during the Edo period (1603-1867), yuzen-zome is a dyeing method in which fabric is dyed in a variety of colors to create patterns. While yuzen-zome has been adopted throughout Japan, this product is made using the “Kyo-yuzen” method from Kyoto, which boasts a particularly long history compared to many of the others.
Most often used on kimono and obi (kimono sashes), a yuzen-zome furoshiki is a very rare and precious item. This particular design depicts animals and plants considered lucky in Japan. The perfect gift for someone who has it all!
8. Miyamoto Furoshiki: Okami-san’s Small Furoshiki – Plum 50 cm × 50 cm
This furoshiki is a part of the high-quality, Japan-made MIYAMOTO COLLECTION, which is most known for exceptionally gentle, 100% cotton towels. Similar to one of the products featured above, this furoshiki is also made using the tenasen dyeing method. The small plum blossom design is utterly adorable and, being made of cotton, it is super soft and feels great to touch!
Small in size at about 50 cm x 50 cm, it can be used to wrap a lunch box or as a drawstring pouch to pair with a kimono or yukata. Best of all, it’s extremely well priced!
9. Musubi Isa-Monyo Double-Sided Furoshiki 104 cm Plum Light Blue/Beige
This is a furoshiki by Musubi, a store specializing in furoshiki with branches in Kyoto and Tokyo. It was created using the “Isa-Monyo” technique in which fabric is dyed using pattern paper and resist dyeing paste. With this method, lines far sharper and clearer than freehand dyeing can be achieved.
This product has patterns on both the front and back, making it reversible and allowing it to be changed according to your mood and style. There are many other patterns available, so we’re sure you’ll find one that piques your interest!
10. Miyai Furoshiki Isetatsu Plum/Navy Blue 90 cm × 92 cm
This furoshiki is made by Isetatsu, a shop founded in 1864 specializing in chiyogami (a kind of square paper with patterns and figures) and omocha-e (woodblock-printed pictures designed as toys for children).
It boasts a cute and fashionable plum blossom design, which are regarded as auspicious symbols of perseverance and vitality due to the flowers blooming early in the cold winter season. Established as the color of spring during the Edo period (1603-1867), the image of Japan’s beloved plum blossoms will bring the essence of Japan into your own home!
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*These products may not be able to be shipped to certain countries. Please see the retailer’s website for more information.
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.