Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for July, 2012

Review: Dickies x Palmer Trading 1953 Jean

July 27th, 2012

Dickies 1922 has been, yet again, very generous to us. This time our care package contained a pair of denim designed in collaboration with New York’s Palmer Trading Co.

I’m loving these jeans since they use a stout 13.5 ounce Cone denim and don’t bother with using selvage, which – let’s be frank – is largely decorative. When’s the last time your jeans gave out by unraveling at the side seam?

Great contrast stitching but nothing unnecessary or fancy. Rivet reinforcements where they’re needed. Laser-sharp sewing throughout.

The fit is said to be spot-on 1953. I do love the relatively high waist, though I wouldn’t say no to a bit more room in the thigh for my biker legs. Compare to these gents from a 1950 Ward’s catalog, who seem like they’re rocking a slightly straighter cut.

I gave these a wash and air-dry, and they didn’t shrink more than half an inch in the waist. Excellent – I definitely think that Sanforizing denim is a good thing. Washability is part of practicality in my book!
My only complaint is the intense vanity sizing – my waist measures 34″, but I had to get a pair of size 30s. I know that’s par for the course for many denim brands, so it’s less a complaint regarding these jeans than with (cough) a well-entrenched status quo. But I keep hoping that someone will take a stand and make their pants true to size! Seems odd to use a rational system irrationally. In the meantime, call Palmer, check measurements, and snag a pair soon – limited quantities!

Laserdisc Summer

July 25th, 2012


Friend and photog Rick G. invented the idea for summer of film: a season dedicated to shooting traditional 35mm or medium format film cameras. Following Rick’s model, SOF participants stow their digital devices and document summer activity exclusively on roll film. My own experiment with SOF was a semi-failure. Lacking the instant gratification of a digital point and shoot, I took my snaps but mostly stockpiled unprocessed rolls of SOF work. In a few years, if pro labs still exist, I’ll develop the remaining inventory for a follies like review of the summer of 2011.

In keeping with the obsolete media theme of SOF, but making the experiment more sustainable, I’m launching laserdisc summer for 2012. Over the years, I’ve amassed a large collection of discs – via ebay and the closure of a beloved local video institution, Flicks and Pics. In theory, I will be watching all my media this summer via laserdisc (enjoying the delightful, five second pause for the player to flip the disc from side A to B). Here are some highlights of my summer program (not pictured – Terminator 2 and Out of the Past):













Shopping from eBay – Abercrombie & Fitch

July 20th, 2012

Whenever we get an email from Jesse over at Put This On we know something good is on the way. Last time, it was a link to an eBay auction for an old Abercrombie & Fitch duffel, which we promptly bid on and won.

We’re not totally convinced of the value of the super-sausage form, but it sure is easy to load.

The vintage Talon zipper is really amazing – looks like some of the wildly premium (and expensive) Riri military issue zippers that we’ve seen while working on our own line of bags.

Note the selvage lines on either side – like LL Bean does today with their totes, Abercrombie was using the full width of the fabric. Also check out the original 1948 catalog entry – it’s a #318 Talon Fastener Duffle bag.

Premium Purples

July 18th, 2012
Classic Dana Designs Bomb Pack from eBay (Mine is also purple, but a slightly different colorway)
I always think of the Dana Designs packs which were called “Blurple” – a cheerful hue lurking somewhere between blue and purple – as being my favorite color ever for technical baggage. Since those aren’t available aside from eBay, here’s a wide range of purple goods that have been catching my eye recently.
Gorgeous Skookum crew neck sweater. Japan-only, of course.

A towel that I shall never get to use.

Japan-only Filson Black Label jacket

Purple sweatshirt

Custom Chacos!

I know, I know. Couldn’t resist.

Japan-only Crescent Down Works vest

Japan-only Brady bag

Archival Campus Day

July 16th, 2012











With apologies to my home institution, the University of Washington wins the award for the best documented, most stylish and frolicsome campus day (a day for university students to perform grounds maintenance, wear shawl collar sweaters and pose for photos). For more evidence that past was better (or at least better dressed), visit the UW historical campus photographs page. Not pictured: tub racing, high diving and countless refreshment breaks.

New Release: Archival Striped Tee for Women

July 12th, 2012

Our popular Archival tee shirts are now available for women. These tees are made from the same high quality US-made fabric, with the same popular features as our men’s tees:

Sturdy and soft 7 oz. cotton jersey
Chain-stitched jersey neck tape
Cover-stitched collar and sleeve seams
Double needle sewn hems

We’ve added two details on our women’s model: reinforced 2″ side vents for freedom of movement and a proportional neckline using narrow rib trim.

Our tees are built to withstand the rigors of daily use and regular washing without stretching or developing the small pin holes typical of lighter weight garments. These tees will last season to season, maintaining their color, their shape and their quality.

Color: Natural / Navy / Red stripe

Limited quantities available. Try one and send us your thoughts. We hope to introduce more heritage clothing for women in the future.

Archival Game Bags

July 9th, 2012



The UK makes some of the best game bags in the world. I don’t hunt but I love this style of bag for urban portage. Like the original bike messenger bag, the game bag has a dedicated use function which keeps its design simple and free of useless complications. Most game bags only have one large carrying pocket, come in a single color and are made from best quality materials: proofed canvas, bridle leather, brass fittings and heavy duty cotton web. You won’t find organizer pockets, security zipper closures, carrying handles or plastic hardware on a classic game bag. My favorite feature, of course, that is the hand knotted game net. Originally designed for carrying bloody fowl, the net game pocket doubles as easy access point for frequently accessed (or damp) items. If Archival could locate a US source for hand knotted cotton net, we might consider integrating this feature into a future bag design. Here a few examples of UK game bags with net pockets:

Quality Gunslip

Unidentified vintage bag

Holland & Holland “luxe” game bag

Chapman Solway 16

Brady Sandringham

Vintage Brady Meadow

Rebadged Barbour bags

King of kings – discontinued Brady Scot (20″ width)

Game net protects bacon cargo from thieving Weimaraner

Shopping from ebay – Jack Taylor Tourist

July 6th, 2012

I’ve admired handbuilt, all steel, Jack Taylor bicycles for years. Fellow Oregon Randonneur Joel Metz rides a stunning yellow JT and friend Jack Fortune owns the prettiest bicycle in my flickr photostream. If you live in the UK, here’s a chance to bid on your own Jack Taylor – a handsome, fully outfitted touring machine from 1968.