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It’s a wrap

We’ve talked about decking the halls with eco-friendly decorations this Christmas and had a look at a range of gifts, both handmade and bought, that are kinder to the environment. Today we explore the world of eco-friendly gift-wrapping.

My top choice for wrapping this year is the traditional Japanese Furoshiki. In Japan’s history, Furoshikis are decorative textiles that have been used to transport gifts, clothes and food, or to protect and decorate gifts. Furoshiki use had declined dramatically in Japan in the past 60 years with the rise of the plastic bag, until Japanese Environment Minister, Yuriko Koike decided to do something about it last year. Now the Furoshiki is in vogue once more.

You can use any square piece of fabric as a Furoshiki, the most popular sizes being 45cm or 68-72cm. A soft fabric that is easy to tie is your best bet, such as cotton, silk, rayon or nylon. Square scarves from a charity/thrift shop would be an ultra-green way to go about getting hold of your Christmas wrapping Furoshikis.

Here’s how to fold a Furoshiki:

For more ways to fold a Furoshiki, visit the Government of Japan’s Furoshiki page.

If you’d like some beautiful furoshiki fabrics (or take advantage of their premium wrapping service) visit the Fabric Wrapping Company

Another great wrapping idea is to re-use household bits and pieces for a personal touch:

Last years Christmas cards make great gift tags by cutting out the front of the card, punching a hole it it and adding a piece of string or embroidery cotton.
Use any containers that you already have on hand, like tins and boxes. Some are already decorative, if not, you can add your own decorations with paint or by glueing on little embellishments. Tie it all up with some raffia or pretty ribbon and you’re away.
Newspaper, either plain, dyed, or printed with potato print Christmas trees or stars is another easy way to recycle. Again finish it off with some raffia or that ribbon that curls when you pull a blade along it.
Use wallpaper remnants for smaller gifts or to make your own gift bags.

Where can you buy eco-friendly wrapping:

Don’t forget to save all the paper from gifts that you receive this year, as well as your Christmas cards to use them again next year.