Just as origami can transform a slip of paper into a beautiful flower or elegant crane with a few folds, I love using fabric to add a special touch to gifts.
Known as furoshiki, this method of wrapping fabric into various shapes dates back to Edo period, when villagers would wrap their clothes and belongings in towels when walking to and from the public baths. It's also a brilliant way to carry multiple wine bottles, spontaneous purchases and even heavier things like books and laptops. It's become more popular in recent years as an eco-friendly alternative to glossy wrapping papers and ribons which typically get discarded after a single use.
It also reflects the deeply ingrained tradition of mottainai, or regret for and avoidance of, excessive waste in any form. Once you start learning a few variations, you'll be surprised how useful and versatile furoshiki wrapping can be. It's pretty, practical and a fun cocktail party trick to boot.
Chief Treasure Hunter