Products & Material
Questions and answers about products made of truck tarps.
Why is every bag unique?
Our bags are not “artificially” unique; they are that way right from the beginning on. They are truly unique items, because they are made from used truck tarps. Every tarp has its own story, its own look and its own state of use. Furthermore each bag is still cut by hand in Zurich, Switzerland, and gets its individual look depending on the color, the writing and design of the tarp. That’s why every single product will be one of a kind.
Why are you using recycled materials?
The basic idea was to make something useful from waste. Then, we started looking into truck tarpaulins because we didn’t know of any other material that was as tough. It was a mixture of intent and coincidence. The recycling idea is very important to us. But, we also want to offer functional, robust and stylish products — a bag that is fun to use in everyday life. The recycling gives it its unique character.
How tough are FREITAG bags?
Trucks are tough. Seeing as your FREITAG bag used to be one, «tough» is also the secret middle name of all FREITAG products. The materials and workmanship can hold up to years of serious daily use in the urban jungle. And if you’re nice to your FREITAG bag, it’ll be your perfect F-riend for life (or almost that long). Functional, reliable, undemanding, never boring and absolutely unique in the world. That’s FREITAG.
P.S. If you ever take a bag made by our calf- and crocodile-recycling competition for a walk in the rain, you will see exactly what we mean.
Is it possible that my new FREITAG bag is dirty?
No. If your FREITAG bag looks «dirty», it’s due to the natural ageing of the tarps, which are exposed for years to acid rain, ozone-hole sunlight, acrid exhaust fumes waiting in traffic jams at the Gotthard Pass, and greasy vapors at Europe’s truck stops. But your FREITAG bag is clean. All truck tarpaulins are washed at the F-actory. FREITAG has developed a special procedure to gently remove stains deep in the tarps’ pores while bringing out their natural beauty and original, bright colors once more.
Which is the best bag for school (ring binder)?
If you look for a school bag, we recommend our Dragnet (F12). The Dragnet fits 1-2 ring binders.
Is it normal for ma FREITAG bag to smell funny?
Yes, FREITAG bags can be identified by their very own smell from the big, wide world. Most bags lose their special scent quickly after a bit of use. To speed up the process, take your bag out on regular bike rides and walks in the fresh air.
Is it normal for my FREITAG bag to have scratches?
Only bores have no scars. In its previous life on a truck, every FREITAG bag has been around the block more than a few times and has had some pretty interesting experiences. Its spots and scuffs are witnesses of its eventful past and make it what it is. We call it patina. And this story continues as your bag now protects your precious loads from wind, rain, sun, other commuters and all types of urban obstacles. The tarps will keep ageing every day and proudly bear more marks and scratches. This transforms your FREITAG bag from a unique bag into YOUR unique bag.
What happens if my FREITAG bag stains?
Just like your new, white sofa won’t stay pristinely white for very long, your FREITAG bag will change color, too. The lighter the tarp that your FREITAG bag was cut from, the more traces of its environment it will display, e.g. from the clothes it comes into contact with, as many materials bleed colors. That is not your fault nor that of your bag, but rather a completely natural and scientifically based process. All you have to do is show a bit of love and care and clean it regularly.
How do I clean my bag?
There’s no exorbitantly expensive or highly-toxic special cleaner necessary for cleaning your FREITAG bag. H2O from the tap and some run-of-the-mill detergent that you trust dabbed on a soft cloth is all you need and will do the job perfectly. This will keep your bag happy, shiny and well protected. There are longstanding F-ans who swear that they clean their favorite bags regularly with a soft cloth and a bit of coffee creamer. (However, we can’t make it an official FREITAG Rejuvenation Committee recommendation for technical reasons, and because our mothers always told us not to play with our food.)
Can I put my FREITAG bag in the washing machine?
You can throw your FUNDAMENTALS product in a pillowcase and wash it at a maximum of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. (But please remember, dryers and irons are not suitable friends for your FREITAG bag). REFERENCE bags, however, don’t like washing machines due to their metal parts and inner lining.
Do the Mac® Sleeves only fit Macs?
No. They are custom made for Macs, but other laptops can be used as well.
Does FREITAG have different seasonal collections?
For the FREITAG FUNDAMENTALS and FREITAG REFERENCE products we do not have seasonal collections. But the colors vary according to the tarps we are able to buy. Our products are long life design classics.
Where does FREITAG get all its old truck tarps from?
As there is no market for old tarps, this is not so easy. We have specialized employees who look for tarps and organize their pick-up. We buy them from forwarding agencies and tarp manufacturers.We solely process used tarps (on an average, they are on a truck for about five years).
Does your new iPhone 7 fit in your old case, or does it leave a lot to be desired?
The new iPhone 7 models fit perfectly into our existing F334 SLEEVE for iPhone® 6/6s and F335 SLEEVE for iPhone® 6 Plus/6s Plus, as well as our multi-functional pouches F371 and F372. They’re all made from recycled truck tarp and ready to protect your iPhone. To make sure you don’t miss out on any future product optimizations, sign up for our newsletter – it’s as easy as pie.
PRODUCTS FROM F-ABRIC
What is F-ABRIC?
F-ABRIC is the new material developed by FREITAG: textiles from bast fibers (flax and hemp) and modal, which we have produced in Europe using a minimum of resources. They are durable and completely biodegradable.
Twenty years after Daniel and Markus Freitag reincarnated the first used truck tarps in the form of messenger bags, FREITAG is reviving a new, self developed material from forgotten fibers. The first products have now reached the stores.
By the way, bast is the name given to fibers produced from flax or hemp. Flax and linen are the same thing, just in different forms.
Why did you decide to do this?
FREITAG is a production company. Many of our 160 employees are occupied with making bags day in and day out. They need tough, comfortable and well-fitting clothing that ideally can also be worn when they go out to have a beer after work.
We couldn’t find anything for our F-Crew on the market that met our requirements in terms of durability and social & ecological production methods. So, we set off on an odyssey and returned with the new materiality, F-ABRIC.
Where is F-ABRIC available?
Our Store Locator always shows you exactly where F-ABRIC is already available. Since we have the textiles and all the other materials produced especially for us, it takes many months for the finished product to be ready. An initial production order supplies us with a very limited quantity of products.
How does F-ABRIC fit in with used truck tarps?
FREITAG is committed to the intelligent and sustainable use of materials. For more than 20 years, we have been taking used truck tarps and reincarnating them as bags. In other words, FREITAG is rooted in the belief that everything deserves a second chance at life, even something that is usually viewed as garbage.
Based on this principle, it has always been clear that if a new material were developed at FREITAG, the cycle would be given center stage. Consequently, we have developed a material that is completely biodegradable.
What is a closed biological cycle?
Our product philosophy follows nature’s never-ending cycle: The F abric cloth is made from 100% natural fibers and thus is 100% compostable. F-abric products don’t leave anything behind that wasn’t already part of the natural cycle. Accordingly, we only use European fibers and manufacture the products in Europe as well.
Are the raw materials organic or certified in some way?
Our materials are tested according to Oeko Tex® Standard 100 / Product Class I and are thus recommended for babies and toddlers, too. The plants used for our raw materials are very hardy. They are not certified organic but are guaranteed non-GMO.
But you dye your textiles, don't you? Isn't that toxic?
We use a minimum amount of chemicals during manufacturing, which is why we don’t bleach the materials. And we use reactive colors for dyeing. The finished product is tested according to the Oeko Tex® Standard 100 / Product Class I for babies and toddlers.
Aren't there already products like this on the market?
We couldn’t find well-fitting, tough clothing made of European grown and –produced raw materials anywhere that was also 100% compostable. The raw materials and manufacturing techniques are not new, but the conscientious commitment and combination is unique.
What is the difference between F-ABRIC and cotton when it is worn?
Bast fibers can absorb a great deal of moisture. You sweat less when wearing F-ABRIC, it doesn’t stick to your skin as much and it is odor neutral (which is why it takes longer to dry). Our material possesses excellent thermo-regulating qualities, which means you are never too hot or too cold when wearing it. Bast fibers are longer and more irregular than, for example, cotton or polyester. When trying on F ABRIC or wearing it for the first time, it may feel somewhat rougher than other materials. However, based on exhaustive test runs, we are now convinced that you will soon be addicted to its feel on your skin.
But doesn't linen lose its shape?
Manufacturing our Broken Twill in a very dense and unusual weave for linen makes it very tough. We have found the right mix of linen combined with hemp and modal for all of our textiles. The material changes when you wear it – it breathes and adapts to the wearer. All of the pieces of clothing become looser when worn. That’s why our clothes feel a bit stiff when you first try them on. Our advice is to buy FREITAG clothes in a size that feels slightly tight, as they will then become very comfortable when you wear them. Our materials also age differently than normal denim cloth – a process that we are very pleased with. And our natural fibers can be washed at just 86 degrees F – they don’t need it any hotter. As a bonus, all of the materials have been prewashed and preshrunk to minimize shrinking during the first wash.
Why choose compostable instead of something that simply lasts forever?
Of course, we want F-ABRIC products to be worn as long as possible. However, it’s comforting to know that thanks to our compostable textiles, all of the resources used will eventually be part of a cycle once again. Plus, when material is worn, particles of it rub off and enter our airways, so the more natural the better. And with clothes, there is the added fact that natural materials that are right up against your skin feel better.