How to Make a Furoshiki Bag for your Grocery Shopping

Did you know that in the 17-19th century, furoshiki were widely used in Japan to wrap and carry items? While the rise of plastic bags have essentially replaced the use of furoshiki in modern days, we want to revive this traditional, environmentally-conscious alternative and show how creative and versatile a simple piece of cloth can be. Not to mention, imagine your groceries uniquely wrapped in bright colours and patterns :) It certainly puts a spring in our step!


What is furoshiki?

A furoshiki is an almost square piece of cloth that is traditionally used to wrap, carry or protect items. It is folded in a manner similar to origami to create beautiful gift-wrapping and bags. For more information on the Japanese cultural background, check our history of furoshiki page.



Please also note that during these irregular times in 2020, we do not encourage people to go out in public more than necessary. However, we do understand the need to go out to buy essential items.


We were recently inspired by a customer who works for the NHS, who mentioned she was drawn to how easily you can wash furoshiki between each use.


The photos in this blog were taken on our walk back from our grocery errands as well. It’s a beautiful time in the Cotswolds - the blossoms are in full bloom!


Now, let’s get started!


Here are six beautiful ways to use furoshiki to carry your groceries:


1. Backpack


Furoshiki used: Yukki’s using a very large furoshiki (this one is 119cm) to create her backpack! It’s useful for carrying all manner of items, but especially an extra hoodie in case it gets cold!


Note! A smaller furoshiki, such as our 104cm furoshiki, will make a slightly smaller backpack. This is a very cute way for a child to carry their favourite soft toy! :)


The backpack is incredibly simple to make!

- Lay your large furoshiki out in a diamond shape, reverse-side up.

- Gather up the left-hand side. Hold the end in your hand and tie a simple knot where the fabric reaches your elbow.

- Repeat on the right-hand side, making sure that the ends of your knots are the same length.

- Now, take the top and bottom corners, and tie a nice big simple knot

until it feels secure.

- Tie the two knots on the left side of your bag together, to make a handle for your left arm.

- Repeat on the right side, so that you have a handle for your right arm.

- Now you can put your belongings inside, and can carry it on your back! Perfect!





2. Leaf Bag


Furoshiki used:

Cathy’s used a large 104cm furoshiki to make this quick and easy Leaf Bag!


It’s useful for carrying lots of shopping items, including a baguette!


- Fold your large 104cm furoshiki into a triangle shape, so that the reverse-side is uppermost.

- Hold the left bottom corner in your left hand, and gather the fabric to your elbow, and here tie a single knot.

- Repeat on the right-hand side. Both knot ends should be the same length.

- Lay the ends of the knots so that they are folded over and pointing inwards.

-Now turn your bag inside out, and put your hand inside to gently push the base of the bag down.

-Tie the two top corners together, to create the bag handle.

- You can carry your Leaf Bag on your shoulder, or you can wear it across your chest, like Cathy does in the photo :)


3. Bottle wrap


Furoshiki used:

For this lovely bottle wrap we've used our 90cm Yumeji Takehisa Furoshiki Camellia Gray


This furoshiki wrap is perfect for carrying two bottles safely back from the shop. The fabric snugly protects each bottle, and the handle makes it easy to carry!


- Lay out your large furoshiki so that it is in a diamond-shape, reverse-side up.

- Place your two bottles upright, and side-by-side, in the centre.

- Now, tip over your bottles, so that they are still central, but now lying on their sides. One will point to the right, and the other will point to the left. There should be a small gap between them, in the centre of your furoshiki.

- Take the bottom corner of your furoshiki and lay it over your horizontal bottles, tucking them in neatly, then roll the bottles up in the two sides of the fabric.

- Take the two long ends of the rolled up furoshiki in both hands, stand the wrapped bottles together, so they're upright, and tie a single knot. Pull the ends so that the knot is nicely secure on top of the wrapped bottles.

- Now, with the two long ends, tie a small, secure, reef knot, so that you have a little handle to carry them with.

Perfect! You're ready to go!


4. Odekake bag

Furoshiki used:

Here Yukki has made a tote bag using our 104cm Isa Monyo Reversible Furoshiki in Knot Blue/Orange


The Odekake Bag is made in the same way as the Leaf Bag, but the handle is tied in a different way!


- Fold your large 104cm furoshiki into a triangle shape, so that the reverse-side is uppermost.

- Hold the left bottom corner in your left hand, and gather the fabric to your elbow, and here tie a single knot.

- Repeat on the right-hand side. Both knot ends should be the same length.

- Lay the ends of the knots so that they are folded over and pointing inwards.

- Now turn your bag inside out, and put your hand inside to gently push the base of the bag down.

- Take the two top corners, and make a single knot, pulling the ends out so that the bag secures part way down.

- Tie a small reef knot at the top of the long ends, to create a handle. The bag will now securely carry your items!


5. Watermelon bag

Furoshiki used:

- 48cm Isa Monyo Reversible Japanese Apricot Blue/Beige


This is the cutest little bag, perfect for carrying loose fruit, or a loaf of bread, back from the shop. (Don't forget, a larger furoshiki can be tied the same way, but it will enable you to carry more!) Here we're using it to carry a bowl of grapes!


- Lay out your furoshiki in a square shape, reverse-side uppermost.

- Take the bottom two corners and tie them together, gently pulling the ends so that the knot isn't too loose or too tight!

- Repeat on the other side.

- Now thread one of the knots through the little hole that you will find at the base of the second knot. By gently pulling this end, you will have a handle!


6. Book bag

Furoshiki used:

Yukki has created a book bag using our 70cm Modern Girl Furoshiki Stripe Multi


The book bag furoshiki is a really lovely bag - it swings in your hands while you walk! :)

It securely transports two books or something of similar size. You could carry shoes in this way, too!


You can find out how to make a book bag wrap by following the illustrations below, or by clicking here!



Was this helpful?

We hope this gave you some ideas on how to use furoshiki. We always love to see your photos, so please send us your photos if you have tried any of these wraps!




Email: cathy@zusetsu.com

   

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Zusetsu - An English company passionate about contemporary textiles originating from the traditional, creative heritage of Kyoto.

Registered office address: Zusetsu Ltd., Castle Nurseries, Chipping Campden, Glos., GL55 6JT United Kingdom

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