The Linen Tote

 
 
Fictive Fingers Raga Linen Tote

The Linen Tote

SGD120

Designed for comfort on your shoulder and constructed to last while carrying your daily load for years. Made by our two pairs of hands without an inch of 100% European linen wasted and printed with water-based, nontoxic ink. But wait, there’s more.

 
 
 

How it all started

Linen is said to be stronger than cotton of the same weight but we wanted to know just how much more durable the fabric can be. We started the test by selecting some of the toughest, hard-wearing cotton and made them into totes.

Not just any regular tote but one that features time-tested construction techniques that seamlessly form a companion that can carry your daily load without adding to it. The straps sit comfortably on your shoulder instead of cutting into it and the body gives enough room for all your everyday essentials.

Hundreds of these totes weaved into the lives in many parts of the world since 2014 and after several years, we got in touch again. Some carried the tote almost every day to work while others fold it into their luggages for travelling. From students to working adults, single to mother-of-two, the tote witnessed many life transitions and remained a favourite.

Flat without base in 2014

Flat without base in 2014

With base and pocket in 2016

With base and pocket in 2016

But the linen totes that we started making in 2016 got the nod for withstanding wear and tear more gracefully. Despite the linen totes being lighter, the load is better supported by the fabric so less stress is being put on the stitching and reinforcements.

It can be carried for years and still feel like you’re carrying for the first time.

 
 
 
 
 
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Wash less, use often

Whatever the load, the linen softens with each use, remains free of odour without the need for regular wash and reveals its matured beauty over time. This photo is of two totes — the front has been heavily used for 3 years and the back for only several months. Much softer and still looks good.

The Raga print act as an indicator of just how much wear and tear the tote can still hold up, usually a lot more than you think.

 
 
 
My Raga grid tote (from 2016) is my favourite go-to work bag and it holds up beautifully.
— Shin
 
 
 

The zero-waste approach

We took an entire year off from production to evaluate the impact of our totes. They’ve checked most of our quality standards except for one: zero-waste. Although minimal, there were still scraps after cutting the pockets which we’d then distribute through printing parties and fabric scrap bundles.

Our zero-waste approach began with us piecing together a Bumi tote without pockets using fabric too small to be made into The Linen Wrap and those with unexpected defects so measurements of the tote varied slightly.

We went on to redesign the well-loved tote from 2016 to make it even stronger without an inch of fabric is wasted. That means fitting every piece of the puzzle without compromising the look and utility of the tote. In fact, the unobtrusive zero-waste details make it truly one of a kind.

 
 
 
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The Natural Linen Tote

We love raw linen and you will too when you have this tote in your hands. Natural fibers, linen and cotton alike, go through a bleaching process to allow dyes to be absorbed and produce the wide array of coloured fabric. This process removes the natural hue, random specks to create a white, blank canvas and depending on the intensity of the process, it’d also loosen the stiffness of the fiber.

The Natural Linen Tote not only gives a beautiful hue with light specks but a solid, structured body that’s soft to touch. Featuring a generous pocket that fits your important things like keys, passport or your pocket diary. A 48cm by 48cm body with comfortable straps measuring 25cm from your shoulder.

 
 
 
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The Black Linen Tote

This softer, supple counterpart is for you if to you, black is everything. Classic, goes with everything and magically doesn’t get dirty. We selected a two-toned black linen that will not lose its charm after years of wear and tear while most black fabric tend to fade unpleasantly over time.

The Black Linen Tote will have the sought-after, lived-in look the more you carry it out. Featuring a slightly smaller pocket that fits your important things like keys, cards or your mobile phone. A 48cm by 48cm body with comfortable straps measuring 25cm from your shoulder.

 
 
 
 

Made differently

To support the zero-waste design of the Linen Tote, we take pride in making it only when you order. Instead of taking part in the guessing game of predicting demand, our made-to-order model allows us to focus on thoughtful design and craftsmanship without the unnecessary waste. We don’t make to stock up inventory shelves, we make the Linen Tote for you.

Just so you know, we don’t run the raw edges of the fabric through a serger machine. We seamlessly add more reinforcement stitching and top stitching high-stress areas to form a solid spine. It takes more time yet we only need a single spool of 100% cotton thread in our entire sewing sequence.

In case you’re wondering, 100% linen threads are rare but we hope to get our hands on them someday.

 
 
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Pre-order the Linen Tote and join us for the retreat on September 7

Can’t make it? Pre-order now to be among the first to receive end September.

 

We’re using our new interactive order page and only accepting local orders via direct transfer.

 
 
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About Raga

Started out as a sketch and then hand-carved on a block to form a pattern open to interpretation. Some see it as the rattan ball being tossed in the air during a game of Sepak Raga while others connect to personal encounters. Raga marks all of our best work.

 

Past Work