The Arris Tote—our first foray into soft goods—has been in the works since we launched Craighill. Almost five years ago, we set out to make a simple, beautiful, durable, and functional daily carry bag that would be appropriate for toting a laptop to work, grabbing groceries from the store, or stashing towels on the way to the beach. After wear-testing the first sample for the past four years, we can say with confidence that it excels on all fronts.To develop the Arris, we started with a slightly crispy, water-repellent Japanese nylon. It’s a fabric that feels simultaneously technical and warm, which can be a tricky balance. Next we moved to the interior lining, which is a simple, resilient black cotton. Between the exterior and interior lining is a layer of spacer mesh, which is a superior fill compared to typical cotton batting—it provides stiffness, consistency and some volume while remaining very lightweight.
After sourcing these materials, we sent the two fabrics and spacer mesh to an industrial quilting facility in Missouri on July 29, 2016. We only produced sample yardage, 10 yards of each color, for a total yield of about 30 bags.From the outset we knew we wanted to quilt the material because it adds structure and visual contrast, and facilitates interesting construction possibilities. The quilted lines act like corrugation, providing a bit of flexibility in one direction and rigidity in the perpendicular direction. As a result, the Arris Tote remains structured and upright despite its soft, lightweight materials.
For the handles we selected a rubber coated nylon webbing, which gives the bag additional structure and volume. The handle length was carefully dialed in so you can carry it over your shoulder, or hold it by your side without it dragging on the ground.
After painstakingly producing the first sample, the project collected dust for years. We loved the bag, but as we began to build momentum as a business, it was always a project that got pushed to the back burner. When Covid hit, we started taking inventory of these types of projects, and trying to think creatively about how to stay productive and push projects over the finish line. We reached out to our friend Kyle at d’emploi (pictured here), who is an extremely talented bag maker based in our same neighborhood in Brooklyn, and made a plan to finish the production. So here we are, nearly five years later, and the Arris Tote is ready for lift off. The quantity is extremely small, and since acquiring the initial yardage, the small Japanese mill we sourced it from has unfortunately shut down. So even if we decide to produce more of these in the future, the Arris Mark I will remain forever unique and scarce.
We’re very pleased to be able to share the Arris Tote. Grab one for yourself here.