Tuesday, September 7, 2010

{Being Green} The Fabric Gift Wrap

The Fabric Gift Wrap
{image via Chewing the Cud}

After reusing wrapping paper, newspapers, brown paper bags and colourful magazine adds, I adopted the fabric gift wrap in 2009 and have been applying the concept ever since. I figured I should do my part in spreading this trend when it popped up in this month's issue of RealSimple (I absolutely LOVE this magazine).

The Concept: Use fabric to wrap presents - no more pricey gift bags and non-recyclable shiny wrapping paper. Easy peasy!

What you need: A square piece of fabric large enough for your gift.

A bit of history: This trend may very well come to us via Japan where fabric wraps are a cultural staple; they are called furoshiki (meaning "bath spread"). The word comes from historical use of transporting clothes while at the public bath houses but the concept dates back long before the Edo period (1603-1868) when fabric wraps were called hirazutsumi meaning "flat folding bundle". The term furoshiki now extends to all fabric wrappings. Applying the principals of origami to fabric, you obtain the perfect wrap to transport gifts, lunch boxes, grocery shopping or even home decor.

Here is a great Youtube video showing multiple ways to wrap with fabric.

Your Options: 1- Chewing the Cud
RealSimple introduced this wonderful new online brand/company which produces many eco-conscious products such as their stunning selection of organic cotton fabric wraps which are on sale for 12$ (click here).
Great for a wedding or a very special gift, but with the number of gifts I wrap from Christmas and during the August-September birthday rush, this is not an economical viable option. (I am however saving up for the I Weelie Like You fabric wrap - I'm in love!)

2- Thrift store/Garage sale scarves

Going with the reduce and reuse strategy, hitting up your local thrift store, or even your Grandma's closet, you can find jewels for a fraction of the price. This summer during the Repentigny's (my home town) garage sale weekend, I bought 10 gorgeous satin scarves from the nicest old lady for 50 cents each! What a bargain!

Which ever option you choose, fabric wrapping is the way to go to reduce the amount of wrapping that ends up in the landfill.
If you are web savvy enough to be reading this, then you can certainly check out more creative ways of tying your fabric wrapped parcels readily available through Google Images and Youtube. I particularly enjoyed this jem - a gift wrapped in a shirt and embellished with a brooch. {Image via Countryliving}

The only thing left to discuss, is whether or not it's okay to ask for the fabric wrapping back. Is the wrapping part of the gift or not?
What do you think?

Take Care!

"9 Problem-Solvers of the Month." RealSimple. September 2010: 60

"Furoshiki". Wikipedia. Aug.22.2010. {Online} http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Furoshiki


  1. Using a fabric gift wrap is indeed a great idea, well I started using such kind of gift wrap when one of my friends had given me gift that is beautifully wrap in a cloth gift bag last year.

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