The Linen Wrap

 
 
Fictive Fingers Raga Linen Wrap
 
 
 

How it all started

Clothing of today is diverse - there’s something for everyone. But clothes are often short-lived and hurled into landfills as fast as new ones are being added to the racks. We sought lessons from history to understand why and how clothes were once cherished for years.

Clothes were much simpler in the past. Attention was given to the weaving of the fabric and because it was skillfully done by hand, clothes were really just a piece of cloth over the body like the tunics and sheath dresses worn by the ancient Egyptians. They wore it for work and leisure, perverse to how it is today with a style for different times of the day.

Similarly, the Japanese wore the Yukata, a casual summer kimono, that were made of cotton, linen or hemp. While its formal, silk counterparts are valued and framed for illustrating the history of Japan, the Yukata are repaired, reworked and passed down through generations.

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An entire bolt of fabric called a tan is used to make kimonos - two panels covering the body, another two panels forming the sleeves and smaller strips for the narrow front panels and collar. Proving that zero-waste design has existed for centuries, just not commonly practiced today.

What if we create a piece of clothing that honour the lessons from the past to add value to your modern life?

Something that puts you at ease in a busy world. That doesn’t get in the way of your movement throughout the day. You’d want to show up and even sleep in. You’d want to wear it for years and still feel like you’re wearing for the first time.

And so we did in 2015.

 
 

10 to 30% of fabric is often wasted during production

We don’t see fabric as is. Every inch represents the resources used - the soil, flax plant, water, energy to power fiber machinery. And since high-grade linen still requires a great deal of hand labour, we see the people - farmers, mill operators, quality inspectors. That even when there’s burnt edges, we make the best of it.

Unless designed for zero-waste production, fabric waste is part of producing clothes. When clothes are produced en masse, the bigger the production, both in number of pieces and sizing options, the bigger amount of waste gets generated.

Then when those clothes are not produced to stand the test of time, they quickly become unwanted by the people who buy them, destined to be thrown away.

 
 
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Comfortable in the heat

Throughout history linen has been the fabric of choice for its strength and comfort that comes naturally from the long fibres of the flax plant. Lasting for years and revealing its matured beauty over time.

We work with linen produced in various parts of Europe that offers the ideal climate and soil condition for the flax plant to thrive with minimal water use and maintenance.

All that so you can experience its natural moisture-wicking property that allows your body to cool down through perspiration without feeling damp. The hollow linen fibres let you feel pleasant in the heat and in cooler temperatures. It also contains lignan that prevents bacterial growth so your Linen Wrap can be worn several times without washing and remains odour-free.

 
When I first wore it out, I was incredibly impressed with quality of the linen, it felt cool when I was eating outside at a coffee shop - cool enough to keep it on without breaking into a sweat, and yet when I moved into air-conditioning for the rest of the day, it in turned kept me comfortable and warm.
— Joanna
 

Washed before printing

Linen is primarily a cellulose fiber. Its molecular structure allows it to form a physical bond with water and it gets more absorbent after each wash.

For a long-lasting print, washing before printing ensures the fabric holds on to our water-based ink better. Cold water, low energy cycle and no detergents - just sodium carbonate, a natural cleaning agent. As a result, your Linen Wrap is soft and ready-to-wear when you receive it.

 
It still feels and looks good after more than two years.
— Amilia Gani
 

Streamlined production

To support the zero-waste design of the Linen Wrap, we take pride in making your Linen Wrap only when you order. Unlike inventory-based companies that are in the guessing game of predicting demand and always end up generating waste with deadstock, the made-to-order model allow us to have an ever-changing material and colour palette while maintaining minimum waste.

We carefully design our prints in such a way that we can use the same screen for years. We also practice the reuse of waste water when washing our screens, reducing our water consumption significantly when compared to commercial screen printing practices.

Instead of running the raw edges of the fabric through a serger machine, we meticulously encase them to protect from the abrasion in the washing machine. Seamlessly using reinforcement stitching and topstitching high-stress areas to form a solid spine.

It takes more time to construct the Linen Wrap yet we only need a single spool of thread rather than a standard of 4 spools in a sewing sequence. Apart from our sewing machines, nothing works harder than our own hands.

It’s my utmost favorite piece and I treasure it enough to hand down to my future children.
— Lin Shafie
 
 
 
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About Raga

It started out as a sketch on a piece of paper and then hand-carved on a block to form a pattern that’s open to many interpretations. Some see it as the rattan ball used in Sepak Raga while others connect to personal encounters. Raga marks all of our best work.

 

Past Work