Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘bags’

Archival Review: Camera Accessories

May 18th, 2011

As a follow up to my post on film cameras, here are a few archival accessories to complete your kit.



Custom straps and leather cases by Luigi (image courtesy Martin Sequerah).

Waxed cotton camera satchel by Strawfoot bags (image and review via Wood & Faulk)

Diminuitive Avea gadget pockets and pouches by Billingham

Economical Gnome custom bag for the GRiii (waxed canvas and truck tarping)
Synthetic exception. Durable neoprene SLR camera cover by Zing


Domke pouches in dry finish and waxed canvas. Made in USA


Calumet protective wrap. Great, less structured approach to transporting equipment

Ona waxed cotton camera bag insert. Designed for non-camera bags


My Billingham insert and camera bag. Too much leather trim for my taste but made from best quality materials. I’ve moved the insert over to my Archival Field Bag

Beautiful mono tubular Tiltall tripods. Still made in USA. I found mine at a thrift store. Great info page on the history of Tiltall here

Archival Field Trip: Hub and Bespoke

January 31st, 2011

Last weekend we paid a visit to Hub and Bespoke in the Fremont district of Seattle, Washington. Unique among bike shops, there are no bicycles for sale at this stylish cycle boutique — just clothing and accessories . Co-owner Juliette, who has a background in product design and home textiles, stocks the shop with brands like Outlier, Nau, Ibex, Dellar and Vittoria. Her goal is to sell pants, sweaters and – yes – dresses that transition from bicycle to boardroom – pieces for men and women that are both functional and fashionable. You won’t find skorts with sewn-in chamois or high-tech “plastic” jerseys. Wool is the preferred fabric. One of her featured items is men’s wool trousers and knickers designed and constructed by Seattle seamstress Katharine Andrews. Juliette and her business partner Aldan are fans of Archival Clothing and we had a great time chatting with the two of them. We left a couple of bags at the store, and as you can see (below), they look quite at home there.

Custom covers for riding helmet style cycling helmets

Locally made cycling trousers and knickers from Telaio
Rain capes & Shaun Dellar caps

Vittoria 1976 Series shoes (spd compatible)



Brooks leather accessories

Archival favorite, Ibex thin woolies

A.C. bags on display

Difficult-to-source, knitback gloves

Business partner and great gent, Aldan

House musette

Field Bag Round-Up

November 16th, 2010


As I type, our sewing contractors are working on our first run of Archival Clothing Field Bags. Just like last time, we’ll preface the introduction of a new product with a round-up of existing bags.



We’ve always loved Brady Bags, and this small trout bag has served Lesli faithfully for years. We like the heavy laminated duck, the fine quality webbing, and the convenient pocketing. The side-mounted shoulder strap also ensures a comfortable, close carry.



We really are Filson devotees, but we’ve found their Field Bag series to be challenging. This example has been used heavily by the Archival family for 15 years. Though it’s built like a truck from top notch materials, we’ve found a few drawbacks. Abundant use of heavy twill, bridle leather and brass mean that the bag is heavy and bulky, even when unpacked. We prefer webbing shoulder straps to leather, as web is softer and more comfortable (and negates the need for a separate strap pad). Attaching the straps on the back panel means that the bag tends to flop downwards rather than hug the user’s back. And a panel of extra fabric around the bag’s opening keeps rain out, but also makes it harder to load and unload your gear.


One of our favorite bags, this Hunting World Safari Today is comfortable and convenient (there are two pockets on the inside). Of course, it’s no longer available, and it doesn’t fit laptops or much more than a half-day’s worth of gear.


Though we love the hand-knotted fishing net on this old Chapman game bag, we had to admit that its utility is limited in daily use, as fingers get caught and small objects vanish instantly. We’ll keep this one around for hunting squirrels, but we left the net off of our own Field Bag.


So surrounded by examples, both material and visual, we set off to design a workhorse shoulder bag that would equally serve an urban professional or a dedicated fisherman. Our requirements:

– Unquestionably durable construction
– A strap configuration that provides for a comfortable carry
– Useful pocketing while keeping the layout as minimal as possible
– Plenty of room for laptops
– Protection from the elements
– No features or finish that compromise function or unduly raise price (i.e. abundant leather trim)
– As with all of our products, domestic materials and manufacture to the best of our ability.


Results to be announced soon!



Archival Update: Rucksacks Available

May 24th, 2010


We’re happy to present our latest bag model: the Rucksack. Made in Springfield, Oregon, USA, from 22-ounce Waxwear waxed cotton twill, brass hardware, military-spec cotton webbing, and Horween Chromexcel leather. Practical and free of complications, we’re confident that our Rucksack will equal or exceed any other rucksack available in function, durability, comfort, and long-term value.


1 – Lightly padded back panel provides overall structure and protection from awkward cargo. Pack rides closely and load does not sag.
2 – Shoulder straps attach into side seam, curving straps around body for comfort.
3 – Twin outer bellows pockets are easy to access and are nicely sized for smaller personal items.
4 – Single Horween Chromexcel leather strap is light, durable, and convenient.
5 – Dimension is taller and narrower. Loads carry best in this configuration.
6 – Drawstring around top opening keeps load secure and further prevents bag flopping.
7 – Two inch wide webbing shoulder straps are perfectly comfortable for loads up to 25 or 30 pounds.
8 – Convenient locker loop.
9 – Double-layered bottom ensures a long life.
10 – Fully finished inside and out. Seams fully bound in our own waxed canvas bias tape. Stress points are bar-tacked or riveted. Snaps and rivets are reinforced with leather washers.

A limited number of our Rucksacks, in Ranger Tan or Black, are available immediately. The cost is $240 + $16 shipping (in the lower 48). Act quickly, as there are few bags remaining. Please email info@archivalclothing.com to reserve your bag, or to inquire about international shipping.




Archival Field Trip: PDX March 2010

March 24th, 2010


Quick trip up to Portland to meet Patrick Long (Chester Wallace) and check in with our friend Jordan over at Winn Perry. We’ve been admiring Patrick’s bags from afar and wanted to share information on supply sources and manufacturing processes. Patrick toured us around his Hawthorne area studio where we works on both Chester Wallace products and original freelance illustrations. Patrick was a total delight. We’d ask him a question and then, before he could respond, we’d get distracted by something in his studio (a sample book or a photo). We’re hoping he’ll visit us in Eugene so we can finish our conversations. A favorite moment was when Patrick showed us a Chester Wallace bag prototype he had sewn 20 years ago. I love seeing historical evidence of dedication to a single design, concept or project.

Afterwards, Patrick directed us to a top notch taco cart on SE Division. In the middle of our meal, he reappeared by bike bearing two macaroon cookies he had baked that morning.

Additional visual notes from our visit to Winn Perry and the not-to-be-missed Clogmaster.










Chester Wallace studio

















Guest Baggage: Millican (UK)

March 6th, 2010

Millican Dalton (“Professor of Adventure”)

Field testing a Millican rucksack

Archival blueprints

In this guest entry, Jorrit Jorritsma, co-founder of UK outdoor bag company Home of Millican, writes about the challenges of launching a new line of bags. Like Archival Clothing, Millican’s bags are based on historical examples and proven utility designs made with weatherproofed organic cotton canvas, brushed cotton linings and vegetable tanned leathers. In an earlier email to me, Jorrit described his bags as “made to last…ensuring that they’ll become classics of the future.” –LL

A Sustainable Adventure by Jorrit Jorritsma.

As a big fan of this website, I’m fascinated by the subject of vintage travel bags and classic designs. With my wife, Nicky, I’m lucky enough to be running my own company of sustainable travel & outdoor bags from our base in the Lake District, Great Britain.

SO HOW DOES ONE CREATE A FUTURE CLASSIC?

A simple answer to this question would be with passion and a lot of attention to detail. However, the reality is of course a little more complex! My love affair with vintage travel bags began when I discovered Maritime Museums in my late teens. I got lost in the romance behind the leather cases and wooden chests of a bygone era. They represented far-away places and people, undiscovered trading routes and, above all, adventure. And to me, they still do… Three years ago, I was immersed in comfortable corporate life, working in the fashion trade and traveling between offices in London, New York and Hong Kong. Then I decided to give it all up. After a year of family focus, learning new skills and traveling Great Britain in a camper van, Nicky and I started our own company, Millican.

The idea was simple – combine my passion for vintage travel bags, the outdoor and all things functional with our joint passion for a more sustainable life. Together we would create a modern brand of bags reflecting timeless values. Designing our products, we began by taking lessons from classic bags of the past. Our thinking was such bags were based on proven utility shapes and materials which still appealed to our tastes. So why fix something if it ain’t broke? Main requirement was to figure out how we could combine classic designs with modern technology to drive product sustainability. We could let the bags’ timeless styling take care of itself.


Archival inspiration: Dalton Millican


CHALLENGES

So what were our key challenges in this process? Well, I’m not a designer though, like many a keen customer, I know when I like what I see. Drawing inspiration from vintage material, we worked with a skilled bag designer to create blueprints. After that, the list goes something like this: Source materials – prizing function and quality first, then finding sustainable alternatives. A one-liner here, but in reality taking us nearly 5 months. Find manufacturing partners – especially ones prepared to work with us on a small scale, with new materials, a tight eye on costs, and a strongly ethical focus. Working to deadlines – we had a maximum of twelve months to bring our first collection to market, having booked a handful of country fairs and horse trial events at which to sell. Making commitments – placing our first orders without having received any market feedback. One of the scarier moments! Practicing patience – knowing that we wouldn’t get everything 100% right first time round …


Rucksack


Wash bag

Cooler Bag

FRIENDS

For anyone looking to follow in our footsteps, we’d also advise on the importance of attention to detail. Critical. We went through nine rounds of sampling before we were confident of our products. We got our materials and designs independently tested. And we got our products past our most critical supporters, our friends in the Lakes. How’s that? You might say. If they’re your friends, how can you vouch for their independent objectivity? Based in England’s Adventure Capital, Keswick, our friends are surrounded by dozens of retail outlets marketing technical outdoor gear. So they’re well versed in what’s on the market, as well as what any lover of the great outdoors requires in this kind of landscape.


PEOPLE & PLANET

It was also critical to us to make production choices with people and planet in mind. Wherever we can, we have made more sustainable choices, using organic and recycled materials. In some cases, we regrettably found that current sustainable alternatives were too expensive or not of the right quality yet. However, we developed relationships with these suppliers and will continue to watch the development of these alternatives until they are right for us. We’ve met some amazing people along the way, from afar afield as the Far East and as local as down the road from us in the Lakes. They’re people who believe in the same values as we do.


When we were looking for a bag maker, we found our partner Henry. Henry’s dad originally started their business in Hong Kong. Today, they remain a small family business, now located in mainland China. We love the family element and Henry’s passion for food, tea and quality of life. We like the fact that he farms and feeds his team and other workers from surrounding factories with high-quality vegetables. Our relationship with him isn’t just based on commerce.

Having said that, it’s sometimes hard to retain perspective. We are only talking about bags, after all. Which is why we check in with our friends on a regular basis. With their Cumbrian humour, they tend to keep us firmly grounded.

WHERE NEXT

So where have we got to in the genesis of our business? Well, we were in development for twelve months. Then we went to market last summer. We’re now in our fifth month of selling. Customer feedback so far has been fantastic. At this summer’s country events, customers scribbled responses and product ideas in small notebooks on our stand. The result is that we now have fifteen new product ideas ready to develop next.

It’s quite a thought that one day, a future website might carry details of our vintage designs, citing them like Lesli does in this Archival Clothing website.

In the meantime, we’re just keeping our noses to the grindstone. There’s a long way to go and doubtless many mountains to climb. But we’re loving the adventure.

Adventure is where it started all those years ago and why I left corporate life to start again. Today, we’re following the wise words of a Dutch uncle of mine – “The first forty years are about quantity, the second forty are all about quality”.

We’ll keep you posted on how the adventure continues. And you’re more than welcome to join us in The Cave, our blog detailed below.


Jorrit Jorritsma,

Co-Founder, Millican

www.homeofmillican.com/cave



Archival Preview: Flap Musette

February 8th, 2010







It’s coming soon. We’ve already sold out of our first sample run of our Flap Musettes, so we’ll be having a new, bigger run sewn and ready to ship in about two weeks. Expect a web store interface and more colorways, to boot! Interested parties may email lesli@archivalclothing.com for more information or to be added to our mailing list.

The Flap Musette is designed to combine the simplicity of the cycling musette with the durability and use value of a field bag. Slightly bigger than our standard Musette, it has a snapped flap closure, adjustable strap, double-layer bottom, and two inside pockets. The strap adjusts from 42 to 52 inches, accommodating most users. Our first fifty special-edition musettes have a hand-punched serial number on the leather tab. The Flap Musette is available in 10-ounce waxed cotton canvas and also in 22-ounce waxed cotton twill for more demanding conditions. Dimensions: 13″ x 10″ x 2″.

Archival Clothing bags are made of stout, closely woven waxed cotton and military-grade cotton webbing. All edges are bound in waxed cotton tape and all stress points are bar-tacked. Solid brass hardware is used throughout. Handsewn in Oregon, these bags are practical and free of complications.

Note that we will also have a new production run of our basic musette available in ranger tan, yellow and navy blue.

Here’s a recap of our overarching musette project.

Pricing

$110 for 10 oz waxed cotton musette in navy, dark olive or 22 oz ranger tan twill

$50 for plain musette (navy, field tan and yellow)

Available in the future from the Archival Clothing web shop and select stockists

Archival Review: Cycling Musettes

May 11th, 2009



Classic Rivendell Musettes

I’ve been using cycling musettes on and off the bike for over decade. Musettes were originally designed as feed bags for cyclists during road races. If you search for musettes online, you’ll also find references to WWII canvas, military fieldbags (“musette bags”) and other types of canvas shoulder bags.

Foremost, I love the cycling style musette’s low-volume, low profile carrying capacity. A good musette design should have a purse-like essence without excess hardware or trim. I prefer versions made out of lightweight cotton or waxed cotton that can easily be stowed when not in use. A musette should always be rectangular in shape.
Everybody’s favorite musette seems to be the one sold by Rivendell Bicycle Works during the early days of the company. The Riv version came in both waxed cotton and untreated canvas (some were made out of Filson fabrics, I believe). The Riv musette had a main cargo pocket and two front divided pockets. Since the bag was designed for cycling, it came with a secondary sway or waist strap to prevent the bag from sliding around while riding (I always removed this strap).


Two traditional musettes
Here’s a quick visual inventory of bags w/musette-like profiles:

Barbour Creel Bag (courtesy Reference Library)

Gilles Berthoud Musette
Gas Mask Bag

Chapman field bag

Brady carry-all (strap free)

Archival Review: Cycling Musettes

May 8th, 2009




Classic Rivendell Musettes

I’ve been using cycling musettes on and off the bike for over decade.

Musettes were originally designed as feed bags for cyclists during road races. If you search for musettes online, you’ll also find references to WWII canvas, military fieldbags (“musette bags”) and other types of canvas shoulder bags.
Foremost, I love the cycling style musette’s low-volume, low profile carrying capacity. A good musette design should have a purse-like essence without excess hardware or trim. I prefer versions made out of lightweight cotton or waxed cotton that can easily be stowed when not in use. A musette should always be rectangular in shape.
Everybody’s favorite musette seems to be the one sold by Rivendell Bicycle Works during the early days of the company. The Riv version came in both waxed cotton and untreated canvas (some were made out of Filson fabrics, I believe). The Riv musette had a main cargo pocket and two front divided pockets. Since the bag was designed for cycling, it came with a secondary sway or waist strap to prevent the bag from sliding around while riding (I always removed this strap).


Two traditional musettes
Here’s a quick visual inventory of bags w/musette-like profiles:

Barbour Creel Bag (courtesy Reference Library)

Gilles Berthoud Musette
Gas Mask Bag

Chapman field bag

Brady carry-all (strap free)