The earliest recorded presentation of wrapped gifts was in ancient China in 2nd century BC, where red paper was used to bring good luck to the recipient.
This remained a well-kept secret for hundreds of years, until the ancient Egyptians caught on and everybody jumped on the beautifully wrapped bandwagon.
In Japan, a Furoshiki (a delicate piece of cloth – which is still in use today) was used to wrap and carry personal belongings to the public swimming baths and was eventually used to wrap and conceal special offerings.
In upper class Victorian England, presents were wrapped loosely in a piece of cloth or a handkerchief.
Up until the 1930’s people began to wrap offerings in heavy manilla paper or tissue and used a piece of string or wax (due to the fact that sticky tape had only just been invented and wasn’t widespread yet) to seal the wrapping and protect against inquisitive eyes.
Wrapping paper is now widely available in a variety of colours, with exquisite designs and finishes.
Gift Hampers / Baskets
Gift baskets play a big part in the gift-giving legacy. The biblical story of baby Moses being found in a basket by the River Nile contributes to the tradition of presenting new mothers with baskets filled with baby clothes, toys and food items.
Many people believe in the story of Eostre (the ancient goddess of spring and fertility) bearing the gift of a basket filled with plants to be the original Easter basket tradition.
Today gift baskets and hampers aren’t just reserved for seasonal occasions and make great gifts for loved ones at any time of the year.
“Woodland Quaker Home (Wolverhampton) made a last minute request via their colleague Anita Kumari to have hampers gift wrapped in time for their resident’s Christmas party. These were completed as a gesture of goodwill and were very well received”. (see Testimonial).
Decorated Wrapping Paper
Gift wrapping or ‘gift dressing” was made more popular in the 1900s, when disposable wrapping paper was inadvertently created by the Hall Brothers (Better known as the world-wide brand Hallmark Cards Inc.) During the busy Christmas period of 1918 the Hall brothers ran out of their standard white, red and green tissue paper and in their haste, decided to use the fancy French paper (used to line envelopes) instead; selling it for 10cents a sheet. The paper sold out, proving an instant hit with the shoppers and confirming a market for wrapping paper. This prompted the Hall brothers to start selling their own version of printed and decorative wrapping paper, for every occasion.
In the spirit of giving, I too have jumped on the pre-decorated bandwagon by having my own design printed on wrapping paper which is available in standard 80gsm or premium 100gsm paper complete with a ready to use vintage gold bow.
Gift Wrapping Workshops
Learn the art of gift wrapping and techniques to give your presents a ‘presence’. Please ring for more information.