Hello! I’m quite excited to share a review of the book Wrapping with Fabric from Tuttle Publishing along with Furoshiki cloths from Bento and Co.** You can find a 15% discount code off Furoshiki cloths from Bento and Co. at the end of this post.
**I purchased the cloths from Bento & Co. at a discount to share in this review. I received the book from Tuttle Publishing in exchange for this review.
Furoshiki is a traditional Japanese wrapping cloths that can be knotted into lots of different bags styles, home decor coverings, or even shared as a gift wrap. An option with Furoshiki that has been new to me are everyday type bags. I have been so intrigued with applying Furoshiki as packing cubes in a suitcase for travel, knotting a bag to use for knitting, and home decor coverings. I’ve been amazed at how versatile and quick Furoshiki is to make and use.
I also love that the cloths are machine washable. The versatility of one cloth being used in many different ways, it’s like taking the idea of a flexible wardrobe and applying that concept to the inside of your home.
I used the following Furoshiki cloths in this review: Double Sided Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth | Sakura Stripes Blue & Green, 50 cm, Polyester Double Sided Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth | Asanoha Nami Navy & Red, 50 cm, 100% Cotton Modern Girl 70cm Furoshiki | Leaf Green, 70 cm, 100% Cotton Large Hokusai Ukiyo-e Furoshiki 104cm | The Great Wave off Kanazawa, 104 cm, 100% Cotton Isa Monyo Patchwork Flowers Furoshiki 150cm, 150 cm, 100% Cotton
The Furoshiki cloths that I used for this review are quite lovely!! I intentionally picked multiple sizes to pair with different sized projects. For all but one cloth I picked 100% cotton as I enjoy natural materials. I also selected one cloths in a polyester to give it that fabric base a try. The cloths came beautifully folded and the packaging around the cloths were really special. I wanted to note that the shipping option for this order was $15 (shipped with tracking to me in the U.S. from Japan). I was shocked that shipping to me took one day to arrive to me. Yes, that’s right, one day! I couldn’t get over how quick the package came to me.
Book Review: Wrapping with Fabric from Tuttle Publishing
As you can see from the photos above, this book contains a lot of information. The beginning of the book walks through two knotting techniques that are used for all of the projects. In both the beginning and end of the book, the history of Furoshiki and the versatility of its applications are shared in detail. I love it when a book gives you the background and history in addition to practical applications and instructions.
For the next portion, I will walk through the sections in this book:
Twin Holder – Portable Open Bag with Mason Jars
I thought the Twin Holder project was really cute! I’m not sure how often I personally will be gifting two cans of a beverages to someone but I really enjoyed taking this idea to a different application. I love Ball and Mason jars so I followed the steps to make the Twin Holder with two open, wide mouth Mason jars.
I liked this idea as a portable, open, two compartment bag. I have a tiny crochet project in this one, just to try this idea out. I would use this application as well as a centerpiece on our dining room table. We have items on the table that I take off when I wipe down the table (salt and pepper shakers, cloth napkins, etc.). I love the idea of a cute and portable bag to hold the items in the center of our table but also be able to grab the handle and take off the items for cleaning. Regarding the cloth that I used for the project above, I love this one! The texture in the weave is so lovely. It reminds me of a handwoven linen fabric (but this one is 100% cotton).
Balloon Bag – Expandable Shopping Bag
For the Wave cloth, I enjoyed trying a Balloon bag as a small, expandable shopping bag application.
I like how this bag is constructed to look small but the bottom expands to hold a lot of items. I shared this idea as a shopping bag but it would also work well as a purse.
Book Wrapping – Journal and Pen Pouch Carrier
For the next project, I was quite intrigued with the double book type bag, shown in the photos below.
One idea I had for this project is to carry a Midori Traveler’s Journal that I use along with a pen pouch. I just started using a Midori Traveler’s Journal as a planner this year and I’m really enjoying it! I’ve been wanting to find a way to carry around just the journal and pen pouch together.
Single Yarn Ball Bag
The next idea was with one of the reversible 50cm cloths. This idea wasn’t in the book but I thought I’d share it as well. I’m currently knitting a sweater and I’m at the beginning of the Front panel portion of the pattern. I need a small bag to hold one ball of yarn. I did the ma-musubi knot with both corners of the fabric to make a quick pouch (to keep the yarn clean and prevent tangles). This little bag would be perfect to stick into a purse or other larger bag, to hold a single skein of yarn.
Extra Large Shoulder Sling Bag – Shoulder Bag B
This next bag was the first one I was drawn to when I started reading this book. I LOVED the idea of quickly having a large shoulder bag to use with travel. I picked the larger patchwork cloth for this project as I enjoy a patchwork look.
In times that we travel, I am notorious for having a lot smaller bags (knitting bags, a toiletry bag, a medical bag, etc.). I have been wanting to find ways to consolidate smaller bags into a larger bag to make travel easier to carry smaller bags together. I loved this project for this idea in mind. This Furoshiki cloth can be packed quick small when not in use or even be used as a packing cube in a suitcase and then be used as this Shoulder Bag for a trip to the beach (or for a day trip).
For this example I packed a few things in this bag (and wanted to note there is a lot more room to add more items then shown here). For this example I packed a sweater quantity of yarn in a smaller knitting bag, an iPad with charger, and my planner. I would definitely use this bag to hold multiple smaller bags as shown in the photo. I don’t know that I would use this bag for a lot of loose items as the top areas of the bag are open.
I didn’t demonstrate this bag, but I wanted to mentioned it from the book as a really cute idea. My kids are always on the hunt for bags so I thought this one is a handy application as well.
I thought this purse wrap was a really cute idea for people that like to change out their purses often. I love this concept of having the look of a different purse while still using the same purse base on the inside of the cloth. With the Furoshiki cloths being washable, it’s also a handy idea to be able to wash the outer fabric (when most likely your base purse isn’t machine washable).
This section was the most intriguing to me. I had no idea that Furoshiki spanned out into home decor projects as well.
Tissue Box Cover
Over the years, I have seen various ways you can cover and decorate tissue boxes in your home (stitching a cover with plastic canvas, knitting a cover, sewing a stiff rectangular cover, etc.). In the past, I haven’t gotten into covering the tissue boxes in our home. That said, I LOVE this idea as its so quick and easily changed! I love the idea of covering tissues boxes for a softer textile look in your home but not committing to the time or cost to make or purchase elaborate covers for them.
In the book example, a rectangular tissue box was covered. I followed the same instructions but instead covered a square tissue box that we had on hand. I loved this idea so much that I left this Furoshiki cloth on the tissue box have this now in our bedroom. This polyester cloth was more slippery to work with but I’m glad I tried it to compare. I like the strips of prints on this one and that it’s a reversible fabric as well.
Decorative pillows are something that I have wanted to come back to for our home. I LOVE the idea of using Furoshiki cloths for quick, no sew and easy to clean decorations. Where I’d love to go with this idea are Furoshiki pillow covers that include seasonal fabrics (fall/winter, spring, Christmas, etc.)
I loved this next idea as a plant cover!! The way the Furoshiki is wrapped makes this cloth look like a basket. I thought this idea would be so cute for succulents or herbs in your home.
Sizes and Uses
I loved this next section, sharing about the sizes of Furoshiki cloths, details behind the materials of the cloths, the prints and designs of the cloths, and more details with the history and uses.
The travel area has been a new application that I’ve really been enjoying learning about with Furoshiki. I love that a cloth can be easily packed and folded up in to be quite compact in a suitcase or backpack. Then when you’re out traveling and you need a small bag to carry items for the day, you’re covered. If you use a larger Furoshiki you can also use this cloth for a picnic blanket, you could use the cloth to make a larger backpack or you could use it on your lap as a blanket to keep you warm. Packing cubes are an idea shown in the photo below but I also like this concept as a show bag (within a suitcase or to carry shoes for your trip separately).
As far as which Furoshiki cloths I would recommend, I would say it depends on what size bags or applications you enjoy. Each of the projects in the book includes the size of the Furoshiki cloth, for reference.
I highly recommend this book! It’s very inspiring, the photos are helpful. I also quite enjoyed the Furoshiki cloths from Bento & Co. The price of the cloths are very reasonable and the express shipping was an exciting surprise. I highly recommend pairing a few cloths and the book together as a gift for a friend or to treat yourself. It’s definitely made me rethink how I am storing and decorating things around our home. As I’m currently pairing down items in our home, I love the idea of keeping things around that that have multiple purposes.
For 15% off Furoshiki cloths from Bento and Co. use discount code: oakbluedesigns. This offer only applies to Furoshiki cloths and expires September 5, 2021.