A History of Mizuhiki
The best thing about the holiday season (besides spending time with friends and family, of course) is the giving and receiving of gifts. What better way to show your appreciation for a loved one than gifting them something they haven’t stopped talking about for months? The other really cool part about gifting is how you present a gift—deciding what beautiful paper it will be wrapped in and if it will be topped with any splendor can be half the fun of gifting! In Japan, where presentation is everything, gifts are often topped with symbolic and traditional mizuhiki cords—colorful threads tied in knots to decorate gifts that add a personal, beautiful touch to an already sentimental action. These mizuhiki cords are colorful, unique, made from washi (Japanese paper) and look beautiful on pretty much any gift. The history of mizuhiki cords make them traditionally significant: in 607 AD, a gift decorated with a red and white knot was given to the Japanese emperor to symbolize “safe journey.” The symbolism and beauty of the knot was so admired by the Japanese people at the time that they created a tradition of presenting a gift box encased by what is now known as the mizuhiki knot. Fast forward to present day and the decorative knot is an essential component when formally exchanging gifts in Japan.
How-To Create Mizuhiki Cords
Because we want everyone to experience the beauty in making and receiving a gift with elegant mizuhiki cords, we’ve simplified the steps to create one below:
(Pro-tip: The more strands you use, the more intricate the knot, but the more difficult it is to tie.)
- Stretch out yours cords to make sure they’re easy to tie.
- Place one end of the strand over the other end to make a simple loop.
- Take the front end and bend it over to make a pretzel shape.
- Once you’ve made a pretzel, take a bottom end and place it over and then under to intertwine the cords.
- Lastly, pull the ends away from each other to tighten the knot to the desired size and shape!