Furoshiki is a distinctive Japanese wrapping cloth used to wrap just about anything. Though it was first used during the Nara period (710-794), the name comes from the Edo period (1603-1868), it means “bathing spread”. Back then, it was used to bundle clothes when at the sento (public bath). Modern furoshiki are made from silk, chirimen, cotton, rayon, nylon as well as other materials. They are often decorated with traditional or modern designs. Furoshiki comes in different lengths, the most common being 45 centimeters and 68-72 centimeters. Furoshiki can be used for gift wrapping, shopping bags, bottle wraps, handbags and even as clothing. As of late, furoshiki has been promoted as a more ecologic alternative to plastic bags.
Ready made furoshiki goes for about $15-100 U.S. dollars. However, custom made furoshiki ranges in a more expensive range from $200 to 300. Furoshiki’s can be on the more expensive side of Japanese gifts as the many uses of this product dictate the market.
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