Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with the word 'origami' which is a paper-folding technique originating from Japan but very few might have heard of 'furoshiki'. Personally, I had never heard of it until a few people from the Town Council came to demonstrate how to make full use of it (they were trying to encourage more people to recycle and reduce the use of plastic bags). Furoshiki is actually a type of traditional wrapping cloth used by the Japanese to transport goods or gifts in the olden days. This piece of cloth is so versatile that we can transform it into almost anything. A few simple wrapping and tying and we can have a bag, purse, bottle carriers et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I was quite amazed (I shouldn't actually since Malay mothers in the past used to carry their babies around and fashion make-shifts 'buaian' using batik cloths) to see how a simple piece of cloth can be transformed into something creative and beautiful. I used to make small boxes from old greeting cards to accommodate small items which were always lying around on my dresser. I learned to make these boxes from a friend more than 15 years ago (thank you so much Kak Ting). I was quite intrigued by the small, cute boxes that he gave to his guests when he had his Hari Raya open house. In these small boxes, he would put small tokens of appreciation (usually fridge magnets) to thank the guests who had come to visit him. The boxes and the gifts were inexpensive but the thought that he had for his guests was definitely priceless. I still have a few of those boxes left. In fact, I have ventured into other things. I even transformed an old cardboard file into a box to store my old bling bling (yes, I DID wear tons of jewelry and accessories when I was younger but I wear only one ring nowadays).

p/s Suggestion : Fashion-conscious ladies should make their own furoshiki out of their old Hermès and Ferragamo scarves instead of letting the moths have a field day with them. I'm sure they will look trés hobo chic carrying these furoshikis around!