It may resemble a painting by Piet Mondrian, but it is actually a pojagi. Wrapping cloths and covers have been an indispensable household item in Korea since ancient times. Also called po, poja and pojaegi, they were, and still are, used for wrapping any number of things including clothes, bedding, and precious articles to store and protect them from dust, for covering tables and trays of food to protect them from flies and insects, and to wrap bundles and packages for easy carrying. One reason for the enduring popularity of pojagi is that they can be used for wrapping and storing large bundles, but when not in use can be folded up very small for easy storage.
Pojagi are usually very colorful and generally made of cotton, satin, silk or ramie. They are often decorated with geometric patterns made from scraps of cloth or with embroidered designs embodying a wish for long life, happiness or good fortune. They vary in size and thickness depending on their purpose. Some have ties whereas others do not. Those used to cover food are often lined with waxed paper.
In ancient times, pojagi were used by commoners and royalty alike. However, those used in common households were multi-purpose while those used within the court, were made for an express purpose.