Knot Wraps: everything you need to know
Gift giving makes everyone happy; you the giver, them, the receiver, but wait, okay so probably not the planet, unless... instead of gift wrap you use Knot Wrap!
In the UK alone it's estimated that the amount of wrapping paper we use and bin every Christmas would stretch from Earth to the Moon! That's why we love Knot Wraps; a lifetime-lasting, reusable, not to mention gorgeously glam wrapping alternative, said to be “22 times better for the environment than a box with traditional gift wrap, ribbon and shredded paper,” according to Lush’s ethical buyer, Maria Feast.
What is a Knot Wrap?
A Knot Wrap is a beautifully crafted piece of ornately decorated fabric that replaces the need for disposable wrapping paper or even a carrier bag! Inspired by furoshiki, an ancient Japanese tradition that uses techniques similar to origami, you can wrap almost anything regardless of its shape or size.
If you’re looking for a beautiful, bespoke gift then Knot Wrap couldn’t be easier. Pick out one or more products that you like and then simply choose a Knot Wrap in store, or add one to your basket online. Then you either present this gift, Knot Wrap and all, to your lucky recipient, or keep the pretty fabric for yourself. Traditionally in Japan furoshiki is returned to the gift giver and that’s what we call a win, win!
How easy is it to wrap things?
Knot Wrap is all about the art of folding and knotting fabric, with no cutting or tape to worry about. You don’t even have to worry if you make a mistake, because it's an easy fix - just unwrap and start again.
To get started just watch our instructional how-to video here. Then, if you have a specific item you want to wrap, or a certain design you had in mind, then check out our article on How to use Knot Wraps. Here you'll find a plentiful list of ideas, from how to wrap one bottle, to turning the fabric into a hairband! There are many videos for making different types of bags, and even a how-to on turning the cloth into a rose!
And don't panic if you need help IRL! Our expert team members can wrap your gift for you in store and can also share some hints and tips that'll help you when you're ready to use it next.
What else can I do with Knot Wrap?
Oh, so, so many things...
Bag it up
With a few simple twists and knots you can transform the fabric into the most fashionable and customisable bag you've ever owned. Is it a handbag, a fruit carrier, a coin purse, a bag for your lunch? There's no need to stick to just one look or style.
Upcycling is amazing; you take one thing and turn it into something with a totally different purpose. So in the case of a Knot Wrap, it could become: wall-art, a kite, a ball, a cushion, a place mat, even a cuddly toy!
An elegant scarf, a kitsch hair tie, a fancy handkerchief, a unique pocket square, a bright bag tie to distinguish yours from the others at baggage claim, even a natty cap for those requiring a bit of extra sun protection on a hot day. A Knot Wrap never goes out of style!
What are Knot Wraps made out of?
The materials for our wide and exciting collection of Knot Wraps are cotton from India, cotton from Fukushima, hand picked vintage/upcycled and recycled PET.
What is the history behind Knot Wraps?
Chiemi Kurosawa from the Lush Japan buying team says: “Before Knot Wraps, and even before furoshiki, these fabrics were a popular, very common type of packaging in Japan. The fabric is very light, and it’s also quite strong and washable. You can change its shape to anything.” Chiemi explains that one of the origin stories of furoshiki, meaning “bath spread,'' came about in the 1600s when people wrapped their clothes in pieces of fabric at bath houses. To begin with, the designs were all the same, which caused quite a few mix-ups when the wrong bundles of clothes were picked up. So people started to create their own designs and family symbols, and the patterns on the fabric began to diversify.
When did Lush start selling Knot Wraps?
It started with vintage scarves. Maria from the Lush buying team poured through bundles of vibrant fabrics, scrutinising them to see if they matched her tough criteria. No transparent scarves, no wool, no silk, no damage, no logos, and absolutely no hunting scenes - it turned out there were quite a lot of these around.
Finally, she found a supplier in the north of England that could handle the quantities needed and stocked up with 40,000 vintage wraps for Lush’s first venture into knot wrapping in 2009.
Next Lush began working with re-wrap, a non-profit organisation in India producing 100% organic cotton Knot Wraps. Later we also teamed up with an additional group in India, who produce organic cotton Knot Wraps, and in Japan, where the cotton comes from a project in Fukushima, which rejects pesticides and GMO seeds, and is helping to regenerate land and livelihoods in the region. Last but not least, we use Knot Wraps made from recycled plastic bottles known as 'Greenspun fabric'. The bottles are washed, crushed, and chipped, then melted and spun into yarn.
The designs our Knot Wraps have sported over the years are the result of dozens of artist collaborations, such as Arthouse Unlimited, a charity that represents and supports artists living with learning and physical difficulties.
What if I get bored of my Knot Wrap?
As long as Knot Wraps are used again and again, they can replace plenty of single-use items or pieces of disposable packaging, and become an essential piece of kit for the reduce, reuse, recycler. This is why we created the Knot Wrap Swap!
Under the Knot Wrap Swap scheme, you can swap a pre-loved, Lush branded wrap in exchange for 50% off a different Lush design of the same size or smaller. The wrap you want to trade must be in a resalable condition, so no rips, stains or discolouring, and has to include the original Lush label sewn on. You'll only be able to swap in store (not online) and only in certain countries, and certain exclusions (plus T&Cs) apply. For example Splashmaps and Climate Revolution Knot Wraps are excluded from being sold at 50% discount and are only sold at full price. However, customers who own one of these wraps can bring it back for 50% off any other wrap.
The wraps you exchange are all laundered and then resold, meaning more wraps can be passed forward, get more uses, and avoid ending up in landfill.
What's not to love?
So come join the knot wrapping revolution, because what's on the outside does matter. Give somebody an unforgettable two-in-one gift or just grab one for yourself, well, because they're awesome and you deserve it. You'll find our latest online collection here, plus many more varieties in stores!