Furoshiki design

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space-to-think was commissioned by Samsonite Japan to design a limited edition novelty ‘furoshiki’* (90 x 90 cm traditional wrapping cloth) to be presented alongside the launch of their new line of limited edition Cabin Size suitcases launched in May.

Using three colours on chirimen (traditional Japanese crepe cloth), we wanted the design to compliment and add a little burst of colour to the Cabin Size suitcase range (beige, apricot, brown) – something a little retro and fun, that would appeal to customers of a 30-60 year old age group.

As Samsonite is all about travel, it seemed obvious to me that the idea behind this furoshiki design would be ‘movement’. Keeping in mind the multi-purpose function of furoshiki, an important aspect of the design was to create something that worked as a beautiful pattern when folded, but when the furoshiki was spread out in full, the image worked in it’s entirety. By using repeated shapes and patterns rushing across the fabric, I wanted to create a sense of movement and direction in the imagery. In addition to that, the swallow being a true traveler – fast, agile and migratory – leant itself perfectly to the overall concept. See some sketches for the project here.

I was very excited to be invited to work on this project, especially as I have a passion for traditional Japanese textiles … and it was very enjoyable to have the opportunity to work with Kyoko, at Samsonite in Tokyo. I look forward to future creative collaborations!

* Furoshiki
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment promotes the use of furoshiki as an eco friendly, alternative way to wrap gifts and to carry things around. The name ‘furoshiki’ translates as ‘bath spread’ as it was once most used for wrapping people’s clothes at the Public Bath houses. They are also used for bundling up or gift-wrapping all sorts of things from lunch boxes or books, to watermelons and bottles of wine!

15 Responses to “Furoshiki design”


  1. 1 whatkatesaw July 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    beautiful!!! love the colours, love furoshiki!!! congratulations!!!

  2. 3 mihotanaka July 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Wowwww… This is the project you were telling us about. Congratulations! Lots of Furoshiki and ECO bags out there in Japan now, but your one must stand out. Is this printed traditional way?

    • 4 lucindanewtondunn July 28, 2009 at 9:23 am

      Miho, yes this is printed the traditional way I believe. Do you think there is a big market for Furoshiki in Japan at the moment?
      And how are you? I’ve been thinking of you recently. Sorry to have been so out of touch.

  3. 5 dimitri July 27, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    This is beautiful, I wan’t one, where can I buy this?

  4. 6 lucindanewtondunn July 28, 2009 at 9:22 am

    Dimitri, you would have to buy a Samsonite Cabin Size suitcase from Japan to receive one of these furoshiki as a free gift!! If I have enough spare ones, I’ll send one to you guys : )

  5. 7 erika July 28, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Wow!
    Soooo nice & cool!
    I really love it!!

  6. 9 jun July 28, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    This is great! I’ve never seen such a cool furoshiki!!
    I notice that the Japanese market try to sell traditional/new-desined furoshiki as the eco-product, I thought about buying one before I leave Japan, but I didn’t like none of them. I’m sure Samsonite sells lots of suitcases because of your furoshiki :-)

  7. 11 Jimmy Ho July 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Hi I am the owner of furoshiki.com, we would be interested in carrying this. Please email us. Thank you

  8. 12 Jeremy December 23, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Hey Lucinda,
    love this, both the design, how it works, and the idea of using reusable cloths for containing things – the Japanese are so brilliant around packaging.
    Glad you liked the book,
    Jeremy

    • 13 lucindanewtondunn December 23, 2009 at 9:11 am

      Thank you Jeremy! Yes the Japanese are great at packaging. I’m working on a new line of ‘furoshiki’ with a friend in Tokyo, so watch this space!

  9. 14 ilse acke September 24, 2010 at 2:35 am

    I really like this drawing and the colours…
    I’m a handweaver, making scarves, and for a while I have been looking for some interesting gift-wrapping… This would be a great idea! (I don’t like putting them in paper for some strange reason :-)


  1. 1 Work, in progress « spacetothink’s Blog Trackback on October 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm

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