Have you ever heard of a "furoshiki"? Basically it is a square of soft fabric - like a large bandanna - that can be used in many ways for carrying items.
I have used this in various ways over the years, after learning of it during the 4 years I lived in Japan. Daily, I use one to wrap my lunch. I simply set my lunch items in the middle of a large cotton square, and tie up the opposite corners, leaving a little bit of slack for a handle. When I get to the cafeteria, I can open it up and make a placemat, and then when lunch is over I can fold it up and tuck it in my pocket. It is easy to throw in the wash if it gets soiled, and very lightweight. When I used to have to go to the laundromat, I would bundle my laundry in a very large square, leaving enough slack to sling it over my shoulder. The cloth could be thrown right in the wash with everything else, and then I would spread it out, fold the laundry into it, and carry everything home.
I have made them for people and used them as giftwrap, so the wrapping was something useful to them also.
The link below shows tying diagrams for carrying everything from watermelons to wine bottles - all with just a square of cloth.
By Regina from Rochester, NY
That's really cool! To think that I could have one to match my outfits if I wanted! Or color coded for different uses -
How big of squares would I need for the different purposes? Thanks ! (07/19/2007)
There is no one set size for furoshiki, they can range from hand sized to larger than bed-sheets. The most common sizes are 45cm and 68-72cm.
I just use large bandannas for my lunch - about 18 inch squares I would estimate, and the laundry one was about a 3 foot square. (07/20/2007)
Sounds like the lunch sack "Opie" on the old Andy Griffith Show used to carry on a stick when he went fishin'. How small the world really is. (07/20/2007)
In Africa, we called it a kanga, and one of the great uses for it was as a bathrobe, and another one was to carry a child in one. You tie it over one shoulder, drop the baby into it, and the weight of the baby is shared by a hip and the opposite shoulder. Good biomechanics for the spine. Thanks! (07/20/2007)
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