Before Japan became a consumerist society, lavishing furiously in plastic bags to carry all sorts of objects, it was tradition to use silk or cotton wrapping cloth, called furoshiki. It is thought that the use of this transportation system was first used at the public baths, during the Edo period, when people would carry their clothes folded and wrapped up in a bundle.
As time went by, this tradition was lost and polluting disposable packages, like plastic bags, took on. The art of furoshiki saw itself confined to decorative wrapping of gifts and other objects, but, on the other hand, it gained new possibilities. Other kinds of fabrics started being used and a purely aesthetic dimension was explored. Recently, environmental awareness gave a new breath to the art of wrapping, as the fabrics are a reusable material.
Nowadays, furoshiki are used creatively in the place of disposable packages. You can use them in all kinds of situations, inclusively to carry your food after a visit to a take-away restaurant or to carry your portable computer.