i once saw a young man outside the state library carrying his books in an old fashioned book strap. i thought - brilliant. so simple and practical. furoshiki do the same thing for me. printed fabric that can be folded to carry any sized package and many a bento. and tenugui are similar. a piece of printed cotton cloth used to dry, wipe, wear, fold as napkins, one japanese magazine even has patterns on how to make children's clothes from tenugui. (by the way, beams japan is also all over the book strap).
furoshiki and tenugui have been woven, printed, designed, used daily, cared for and admired in japan forever - something so traditional that is the ultimate in modern エコ (eco) design.
some good looking sites:
this and that japan's etsy has a selection of furoshiki books
cibi sells the most beautiful furoshiki and tenugui in melbourne
sousou has wonderful modern printed tenugui
in kyoto i bought beautiful tenugui from efish - so if you are ever in kyoto!
etsy maker mairuru (whose blog is crafty loveliness and whose paper bags and envelopes made from recycled japanese craft magazines are great)
rakuten bento furoshiki for traditional styles
and i think melbourne's ink and spindle printed fabric would make stunning furoshiki
'it's one of the symbols of traditional japanese culture, and puts an accent on taking care of things and avoiding waste.' Environment Minister Koike
all 4 tenugui and furoshiki books above via amazon japan
furoshiki folding ideas from the japan ministry of environment site: download here
mairuru quilted furoshiki
ichigo seijin tenugui
making childrens' dresses from tenugui