One of the things that I enjoy the most about fiber arts is the cultural history. My family is predominately Celtic and German so as far as fiber arts are concerned, there isn't much in the way of fiber arts - not as there would be for Scandinavian or Islamic heritage at any rate. Living in this modern world, however, allows us the opportunity to look at other cultures and apply those arts to our own culture. Furoshiki are one such item.

Furoshiki are squared pieces of cloth popular in Japan. Used as gift-wrapping and everyday bags, these handy little squares are becoming popular again as people try to go green in daily life.

Here's an example of what you can do with a larger furoshiki.

What you need are two (2) bottles, I used wine bottles for the demonstration and one large furoshiki. The one used is 44" by 44" and is brocade.

The first thing to do is to open the fabric up and fold two of the corners in so that they meet each other near the center.
Next, place the two bottles on their sides with the tops facing towards the unfolded edges. Make certain to leave space between the bottles so that the have space to stand upright later. You can still adjust the bottles in later steps if needed.

Start rolling the bottles up in the fabric until you have a log.

Fold the two bottles together. One side of the log will be loose so make certain that the opening is folded towards the center.

With the extra material at the top, knot the two bottles together and form a handle for the bag.

You now have a lovely housewarming or hostess gift for the upcoming holidays.

I find that the heavier brocade material seems to hold the bottles better than thinner sari fabric. One thing to remember when purchasing furoshiki or fabric to make the items is to remember to use fabric that is thin enough to knot.

Do you have a favorite cultural art that isn't a part of your own ethnic heritage? Is there an art that you enjoy that isn't part of everyday life?


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