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The Quintessentially Essential Susan Tote

October 11, 2020

The Quintessentially Essential Susan Tote

My namesake shopping bag is now up on Mehera Shaw’s website—the iconic, if I do say so myself, over-the-shoulder, hand-block-printed, organic cotton, artisan-made, quintessentially essential Susan Tote for all your schlepping needs.

 

I own it in the Nambour Blues print, vining flowers on a cream background, that reminds me of the lush plant life in Santa Barbara. I love it for open-air market days downtown, where the late chef Julia Child used to browse for flowers, fruit and vegetables. The bag comes in other prints, too, and sells for $38.

 

The bucket design was inspired by a $2 Goodwill purchase that I took with me one year to Jaipur in Rajasthan, India, on a trip with my friend and Mehera Shaw’s owner Shari Keller. Both of us recognized that the Goodwill bag was a great size and shape, but needed a longer handle to make it easier to carry. Within days, the prototype had been cut and stitched, with a pocket for my phone on the inside and a snap closure.

 

Mehera Shaw Textiles, Ltd., is a small artisan-based printing and manufacturing company with the mission of creating well-designed, beautiful and sustainable clothing and homewares, while at the same time providing a reliable income for the people who make the products. The company is a guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organization. I’ve visited three times and am always enthralled by the artistry of the printing process.

 

Unfortunately, the coronavirus came along just after I left Jaipur in February. Prospects for returning to India anytime soon look bleak. But, until then, I have the Susan Tote to remind me of the beauty and artisans of Rajasthan.

Susan Tote Baf

By Susan Caba

Director of Development

Mehera Shaw




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Fit/Sizing/Care

FIT

Our styles are meant to give room to breath and move.  We use fine tailoring coupled with a relaxed, comfortable fit.

We use a fit guide for each of our styles to provide more information about the fit that was intended.

Slim Fit: a close fit to the body. Regular Fit: a comfortable, relaxed fit with room around the body. Generous Fit: a very loose fit (such as in our oversized blouses) with lots of room around the body for ease of movement.

SIZING

h4XS/ 36

h4S/ 38

h4M/40

h4L/ 42

h4XL/44

h4chest

h435.5 inches/ 90 cm

h437.5 inches/95 cm

h439.5 inches/ 100 cm

h441.5 inches/ 105 cm

h444.5 inches. 113 cm

h44cm extra from body

h4waist

h426 inches/ 66 cm

h428 inches/ 71 cm

h430 inches/ 76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h435 inches/ 89 cm

h4fitted

h4low waist

h428 inches/71 cm

h430 inches/76 cm

h432 inches/ 81 cm

h434 inches/ 86 cm

h437 inches/ 94 cm

h4fitted

h4hip

h437 inches/ 94 cm

h439 inches/ 99 cm

h441 inches/ 104 cm

h443 inches/ 109 cm

h446 inches/ 1

h44cm extra from body

WASHCARE

All garments have been washed several times during the printing/dyeing and manufacturing process.  

CARE for 100% cotton

We recommend cold water machine wash (up to 30 degrees celsius) with a bio detergent and either tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade for all of our 100% cotton garments/homewares (except for quilts).  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.  

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Cold water wash and low heat drying or line drying in the shade will increase the life of the garment, prolong the vibrancy of the colors and reduce energy use. Shrinkage on all cottons is minimal, approximately 3%.

Garments/homewares are dyed or printed using AZO free, low-impact, pigment or reactive dyes unless otherwise noted.  These dyes are color-fast, but care should still be taken to wash with like colors to retain the vibrancy of the colors.

CARE for 100% cotton quilts

For quilts with cotton fill, we recommend spot or light surface cleaning only with a damp cloth and mild detergent.  Eco-friendly dry cleaning is also recommended. 

CARE for herbal/vegetable dye items

Vegetable dyes are not colorfast and are specifically marked in the product description.  We strongly recommend that all vegetable dye products be washed once before use in a cold water wash with minimal detergent.  Wash separately. Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  Iron on reverse side.  Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Please keep in mind that indigo dye does continually fade over time.  This is the nature of true indigo dye and is not a defect, but rather a sign of the 'living' nature of the dye.

CARE for silk and cotton/silk

For our silk and cotton silk garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.

Dry cleaning using an eco-friendly service is also recommended.

CARE for linen and cotton/linen

For our linen and cotton linen garments/homewares, we also recommend gentle cycle machine wash cold water (up to 30 degrees celsius) or delicate hand washing to increase the life of the garment and reduce the environmental footprint from energy use, detergents and water wastage.  

Tumble dry on low heat or line dry in shade.  

Iron on reverse side of garment following fabric settings.

Do not use bleach or stain remover.