Our Story

Frankitas came about after I had my three children. I wanted to be both, mum and have my brand that resonates very much with my fascination for traditional art. Using traditional textile was something I was very passionate about. They remind me of my Indonesian heritage and taking me back to the 9 years of my childhood in a Javanese village, Indonesia. There is something warm and communal about it, and it was something that I want to emulate in Frankitas.

And that’s how Frankitas was born.

While we take pride in high quality finishing, and attention to detail in our bags (100% made in Malaysia), we also want to share the spirit behind each piece, which is beautifully and meticulously handwoven by men and women mostly in villages of Indonesia, Malaysia, Uzbekistan and Cambodia- some, victims of landmines as well as Polio.

We strive to be ethical in our business processes and the partners we work with so that there is a value of fairness as well as a fair distribution of wealth in our supply chain.

Ultimately, we want to build a sustainable community of weavers in Asia and preserve their tradition and heritage.

Currently, our focus is communal collaboration, but primarily focusing on synergies that bring more community-based impact. We are pleased to be working closely with the Fugee School (a school that was created 10 years ago to provide free high quality education for the refugee children in Kuala Lumpur) and Fugeelah (a lifestyle brand created by the fugee school to financially sustain the school as well as provide livelihood for the children) by assisting them with our time and space as well as management input for them to grow.

This is a big part of our ethos.

Our Heroes

Wonderland of the Woven

Frankitas aims to build a working community by creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged crafters in remote areas so that they may continue to create traditional works of art.

To achieve this, Frankitas purchases textiles at fair prices either directly from the weavers or through NGO’s that represent them. Supporting skilled artisans from Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, India, and Central Asia, Frankitas uses traditional textile motifs such as Ikat, Batik, Songket, Tenun and Rangrang. These elements are synonymous in the signature statement of a Frankitas and will always remain its ethos.

Our textiles are hand woven using age old traditional methods of weaving and tie dying. Some of our hand-woven fabrics can take up 5 to 22 days to create, depending on the complexity of the motifs as well as the number of colours used.

Ikat

IKAT is one of the most eco-friendly, hand-woven fabrics using either organic cotton or silk. The word ikat means to bind or to tie. Today, Ikat is used to describe both the ancient hand-loomed technique and the vibrant textiles produced. In the past, Ikat weavings were used in ceremonial dress and to decorate the entrances of homes to symbolize wealth and prestige.

Today, this traditional craft is kept alive in rural settings by passionate craft communities - this is their livelihood- some in remote areas - who want to pass on these skills to their next generation. However it is our collective responsibility to continuously support and buy at fair prices

With hope and pride they work to instruct and create complex and unique pieces that ‘stand alone’ in our highly industrialized, mass-production society.

Batik

BATIK is one of the most widely known textiles, that uses hand done wax- resist dying method. Since 13th century South East Asia, Batik holds a special place as a cultural symbol of clothing worn as a sarong by both men and women. Frankitas commonly uses batiks from Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

Songket

SONGKET comes from the old musi word sungkit, which means “to hook”. It is a hand-woven fabric, in silk and cotton that belongs to the brocade family of textiles of Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. This work of art is intricately patterned with gold or silver threads, once only worn by royalties. The metallic threads stand out against the background cloth to create a shimmering effect, with its combination of distinctive gold or silver thread woven into black silk.

Tenun Rangrang

TENUN RANGRANG is beautiful and extremely colourful hand woven textile from the island of Bali and Lombok, with its signature diamonds and chevron motifs. Rangrang literately means “holes” in Balinese because of small holes on the surface of the fabric that create the motif.

Meet Franki

Hello, my name is Francisca Turner Shaik, or Franki, in short. Franki is also the namesake behind Frankitas- ‘Franki’ short for Francisca and ‘tas’ meaning bag in Indonesian.

 I started Frankitas in 2014 after I had my 3 children in Malaysia with an aim to not only produce beautiful unique pieces for you, but also an aim to build a sustainable community of weavers in Asia and beyond - to preserve the art of tradition and heritage - as well as impacting different marginalized communities by working alongside them. This is an important element to me, merely because I was a product of the saying “it takes a village to raise a child.” It was my Indonesian grandparents and the entire village in West Java, Indonesia that raised me for 9 years. I learnt from an early age that when you look after your community, the community will look after you too in many folds. 

I am also a strong believer in a community driven business whereby our supply chain can positively impact the lives of others as well as the environment. This is one of the reasons why we work with either directly with the weavers in rural and remote communities or with organisation that represents - ensuring their livelihood is looked after fairly.

I think the future of any business must be a sustainable one. It is the only way.