Forget paper packages tied up with string - why not try knot-wrapping your favourite thing? Give a modern touch to an ancient tradition and use our sunny new knot wraps to exquisitely wrap gifts, braid your hair, package your lunch, form a handbag…there are so many options.
When knot wrapping not only looks beautiful but also reduces paper waste and encourages upcycling, what's not to love? All credit goes to the Japanese, where the custom (known regionally as ‘Furoshiki) is said to date back to the Naro Period (710-784). Japanese nobles were said to favour this innovative way of packaging before it was adopted for use by merchants transporting goods. Gradually, in the following centuries it became a widespread tradition gaining popularity in the Sento (public baths) as a means of protecting one’s clothing. The word Furoshiki actually derives from this custom, translating as ‘bath spread.’
In 2006, the Japanese Minister of the Environment, Yuriko Koike, created a Furoshiki named “Mottainai Furoshiki” to promote the use of fabric wrapping in an era increasingly filled with paper and plastic bag waste. Speaking at the time, she said that ‘it would be wonderful if this symbol of traditional Japanese culture could provide an opportunity for us to reconsider the possibilities of a sound-material cycle society,’ and expressed her wish to circulate this custom to the entire world. The sourcing as well as use of knot wraps can also do a great deal of good for the planet, and using fabrics made from recycled bottles helps to reduce landfill and encourage reuse. Working with Re-Wrap, a women’s cooperative in Mysore, India, also offers women the opportunity to earn a wage putting their traditional hand sewing skills to modern designs.
As summer gets into full swing, why not use one of these bright new designs to carry a towel down to the beach, provide an impromptu picnic blanket or transform into a bag when you hit the shops? There's something for everyone.
Jelly And Ice cream is a playful, organic cotton knot wrap design made by Re-Wrap and perfect for days out at the beach. The fabric itself features rich scoops of ice cream melting in the heat, heaped with hundreds and thousands and fresh cherries in a zany pop design. A couple of ‘Lush’ wafers ensures that this design looks good enough to eat.
Want to feel as Pretty As A Picture? Wrap gifts or your favourite things in this silky greenspun knot wrap which gives a summer twist to the idea of a Christmas wreath. This fabric bouquet commemorates the exotic foliage seen in Kew Gardens to give a contemporary summery twist to a Christmas classic.
Greenspun Coral Sea knot is an underwater design filled with striking coral patterns, perfect for protecting your summer reading or reserving deck chairs by the Poole. Pick up this sunny sea-bed knot wrap for your holidays!
If you fancy paying homage to the 90s, not packing your holiday suitcase, look no further than Throwing Shapes knot wrap which evokes the style and bright colours of shell-suit fashions. Bright, incandescent hues and dusky shapes make this patterned fabric great for gift-wrapping, or tying your hair back when you’ve been dancing the night away.
Bright Bouquet is a gorgeous watercolour study printed on a yellow background and made with Greenspun fabric. This arty offering feels beautifully silky to the touch and makes a beautiful, floral, fabric gift-wrap.
Finally, vibrant Psychedelic Summer knot wrap is back by popular demand this spring. Featuring the design talents of Oliver Hibert (who has previously created artwork for The Flaming Lips), this brilliantly patterned knot wrap uses evocative colour and bold design to give Japanese pattern a surreal twist. The fabric extends to 1.2 metres, making it larger than the others (which measure 70cm) and perfect for picnic weather!
In light of shocking quantities of paper and plastic waste created everyday, using these humble knot wraps helps to cultivate a more sustainable culture of gift-wrapping. Get hands on, and keep this ancient (and rather beautiful) tradition alive.