Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘centralia knitting mills’

Restock – Archival Zip Cardigan

October 21st, 2014

Zip Cardigan-10
Zip Cardigan-14
Zip Cardigan

Zip Cardigan-3
Zip Cardigan-16
Zip Cardigan-12

For 2014, we’ve restocked our Archival Zip Cardigan in three colorways: navy, olive and new black. Our Zip Cardigans are made by our friends at Centralia Knitting Mills. Knitted from 4-ply worsted wool on circular knitting machines from the 1930s, the fabric is remarkably sturdy, warm, and pill resistant. We love them fall, winter, and spring, worn either under an overcoat or, on more mild days, as outerwear in their own right. This historical sweater design features a low rib knit shawl collar, a two-way brass zipper, and knitted cuffs. Double-knitted elbows reinforce that wear point without an unsightly external patch. Pocket bags are trimmed with multi-weave wool. For more information, visit our Archival Web Shop.

Restock – Archival Zip Cardigan

April 5th, 2013
We have just taken delivery of a small reorder of our Archival Zip Cardigans in Navy and Olive.  Knitted from 4-ply worsted wool on circular knitting machines from the 1930s, the fabric is sturdy, warm, and pill resistant. This historical sweater design features a low rib knit shawl collar, a two-way brass zipper, and knitted cuffs. Double thickness elbows reinforce that wear point without an unsightly external patch. Pocket bags are trimmed with multi-weave wool. 

The fit is trim and athletic – on the slim side of regular.   Sizes available from XS to XL.  

Made for us by our friends at Centralia Knitting Mills

  
   

Archival Down Vests by Crescent Down Works

October 30th, 2012

I really love down vests, so it was a treat to work with one of the finest down garment makers in the country on a really special project. Here’s our take on a classic work/hunting vest, done with a lightweight waxed cotton shell, a nylon lining for easy layering, and a worsted wool rib collar, knitted by Washington’s Centralia Knitting Mills. Made in Seattle, WA by Crescent Down Works.

The waxed cotton shell is weather-resistant and durable, much more so than the thin nylon typically used in backpacker’s down vests. The collar is cozy but not so big you can’t throw a jacket on over. The handwarmer pockets are stuffed with down so that your hands really stay warm. There’s an inside pocket for the phone, or matches, or playing cards.

I’m very proud of this vest – it’s handsome, durable, and functional clothing made in the Northwest – and that’s what Archival’s all about! Exclusive to Wilderness Workshop and our own web store. Very limited quantities  

We visited Crescent Down Works a few months ago, be sure to check out the report from that trip.

Archival Update: Stripe Cardigan

December 7th, 2011
Archival Stripe Cardigan

We have a few remaining Archival Stripe Cardigans available from our Fall pre-order. Our Stripe Cardigan is machine knit by our friends at Centralia Knitting Mills using 3-ply worsted wool. The end result is a tight, flat weave that is warm, durable and pill-resistant, with an American sportswear fit.

This historical sweater design features a standard collar and a five button placket. The cardigan is made from a slightly lighter weight, 3 ply wool which makes it more suitable for indoor/outdoor wear.

Centralia Knitting Mills have been knitting sweaters of superb quality since 1939 in Centralia, Washington. The wool used in these sweaters is sourced from New England.

Shawl collar cardigans in multi-weave and solid gray also available.

Archival Shawl Collar Cardigan in gray multi-weave

Archival Pre-Order: Centralia Knitwear

August 12th, 2011

We’re taking pre-orders for our special issue Archival Shooting Sweater and Stripe Cardigan through August 14th. These sweaters will be made to order so if you want one, place your pre-order via the web shop by Sunday. Sweaters will be ready by the end of October. We will continue to stock the Archival Shawl Collar Cardigan in our signature multiweave and solids. If you wish to reserve a specific size, place a pre-order via the AC web shop.

Archival Shooting Sweater (made to order)

Archival Stripe Cardigan (made to order)

Archival Knitwear Update

July 28th, 2011

We’re assembling our knitwear order for the Fall. We will be restocking our pure new wool, shawl collar cardigans. As we have reported before, these cardigans are made for us by Centralia Knitting Mills on circular knitting machines from the 1930s. The sweaters, based on historical patterns, feature updated fits, unique finish details and our signature multiweave colorways.

If you would like to reserve a sweater, you may pre-order now via the Archival web shop.

In the Fall, Archival will also be introducing a new cardigan in a snappy, candy stripe knit, gray with black. The cardigan is made from a slightly lighter weight, 3 ply wool which makes it more suitable for indoor/outdoor wear. Pre-order here.

Candy stripe cardigan

Archival is also considering two additional styles for later November delivery–the cardigan in a lighter gray candy stripe:

and my (Lesli’s) favorite, a traditional shooting sweater:


For our shooting sweater, we have specified melton wool rather than leather pocketing, a brass two-way zip and our unique olive multi-weave (a mix of olive, gray, brown and white yarns).

If you’re interested in pre-ordering any of these styles, please email us at info@archivalclothing.com.

Shawl Collar Summer

June 6th, 2011

Before you store your woolens for the summer, consider keeping out a few pieces for cooler nights, hiking trips or sun protection at the beach. Summer weather does not preclude wool in many parts of the country. Since I work in a basement, I wear my shawl collar year round given that the temperature and light cues in my workplace never vary. A friend keeps one at her desk to ward off the chill of the air conditioner.

My wool jackets and heavier sweaters are getting the cedar block and zippered bag treatment this week. But I’ll be keeping out some year round favorites like my Stark cardigan and Centralia multiweave.

Before you reach for your cotton hoodie, consider a wool wrap instead. Performance will be the same but you will cut a much finer figure.

Archival Update (12/6/2010)

December 5th, 2010
Archival Clothing shawl collar sweaters

Our shipment of shawl collar sweaters has arrived. Per earlier reports, these pure new wool sweaters are produced for us by Centralia Knitting Mills on circular knitting machines from the 1930s. For this round, we’re offering four colorways in two weights of wool. Our navy and gray multi-weave sweaters are 4-ply knits; the gray and red sweaters are a slightly lighter 3 ply knit. The buttons for the sweaters come from Centralia’s own vintage deadstock collection. In February, we’ll be restocking in two new multiweaves: a ligh gray and a navy. We’ve also ordered a small run of XXS and XS for female customers (and slim gents) which should be coming soon.

Here are some other project updates from Archival:

Columbiaknit all cotton long sleeved shirts. We’re offering two versions: a crewneck in 7.5 oz fabric (gray or black) and a cross neck in a heavier weight, 9 oz jersey (natural oatmeal).

Plain musette now available in dark oak

Chester Wallace totes in new colorways
AC stockist Winn Perry is offering these custom made Portland wool felt pennants and a small number of Portland Beaver caps by the (recently revived!) Cooperstown Ball Cap Co.

Next Saturday, we’ll be in San Francisco for Showmanship, a holiday pop up staged by the gents at the Durable Goods Concern. If you’re in the Bay Area, please come by and say hello. We’ll be offering a few show specials and exhibiting our new Field Bag.

Archival Update

July 3rd, 2010
Archival Rucksack in gray waxed twill

Driveway delivery

Archival Clothing has been busy with projects this summer. Here are a few updates.

On Saturday, we picked up our second production run of rucksacks from our terrific sewing contractor, Terry Shuck. While neighbors were setting off daylight fireworks, we were indoors packing bags and filling out customs forms for our many international orders.

Tom prepping bags for wrapping and boxing

Hall o’ rucksacks

In addition to rucksacks, we will have a new shipment of flap musettes in our standard colors–plus black and gray–available in two weeks. We will also be bringing out an all black version of our tote bag.

We have a new Archival bag style–an updated field bag–in the works. Terry is currently prototyping Tom’s design and we should have our first production run available sometime in August. More on this project in a future post.


While not preparing for his move to New York, Tom has been working out of the Archival bonus room. He’s managing our expanding supply line of waxed cotton fabric, leather, webbing, thread and hardware. We’ve reordered new hides from Horween, and have started the process of having cotton webbing custom woven for us at a Pennsylvania narrow fabrics mill. In addition to designing our bags, Tom is contributing many of the finishing details on our bags–hand cutting all of the leather straps for the rucksacks and individually numbering the leather strap retainers (rucksacks) and leather tabs (flap musettes).


We’re committed to sourcing as many of our material supplies–and third party products–from US manufacturers. There are a few challenges to this approach. Many vendors have very high minimums, difficult for small manufacturers who aren’t making 10,000 bags at a time. Other vendors list products for sale when they’re in fact back ordered through the winter.

Of course, our own bags are made here in Springfield, Oregon. It’s terrific to be able to talk with Terry whenever there’s a question about production. If we were making our bags overseas, we’re sure that we’d have 100 bags with a tragic, unsaleable flaw.

New Horween samples

A few other projects are in the works. We’ll be placing our order for Archival Clothing shawl collared cardigans from Centralia Knitting Mills – expect to see them for sale in October. We’re also making progress on our bandanna project, though finding appropriate fabric that’s made in the USA is proving to be a challenge. Our friends at Lumina Clothing are giving us a hand, and we hope to make some leaps on the project this month. We’ve gotten some press recently, as well, from Selectism to, believe it or not, Lucky Magazine! We were also delighted to see Archival buddy Peter Buchanan-Smith’s profile in the Times (and thankful that he mentioned us).

Finally, our web shop, at long last, will open for business this week. We’ll be carrying our own bags, of course, as well as some of our favorite items from other producers, such as Saint James tops and scarves, Chester Wallace bags, and cuffs from BillyKirk.

Saint James cotton scarf

Archival Field Trip: Centralia Knitting Mills

June 22nd, 2010


During the early days of Archival Clothing, I posted photos from my 2007 trip to Centralia Knitting Mills. I was in pursuit of the Skookum “award” sweater which I first saw in the Japanese web shop Explorer (a personal favorite).

Skookum Award sweater in multiweave (Japan)

Last week, Tom and I returned to Centralia to make plans for an Archival Knitwear project. We’re picking up where we left off last Spring when we first proposed to manufacturer an all wool, shawl collar sweater based on historical photographs and patterns. Our meeting was a total success and we’ll update you shortly on what we have in store. One interesting detail: nearly 50% of Centralia’s products are now made for Japanese retailers including Nepenthes, Engineered Garments and a fascinating entity known as Red Gingham.

Most of the knitting machines used by Centralia are nearly eighty years old. Working with Centralia gives Archival Clothing the rare opportunity to produce knitwear as it was made in the past. We plan to take this opportunity to release a number of garments which we could once only order from the pages of our beloved 1947 Montgomery Wards catalog.

Here are some updated photos of the knitting mills with annotations by Tom.

Centralia employee Tom (not the Archival Clothing staffer), mans the lone computer.

Third-generation knit producer.

Vortex of worsted wool.

Trim coming off of the knitting machine.
This employee was using a sixty year old button sewing machine. Ran like a top.


A device that Randy invented in his teens for stripping out selvage threads between knit segments.


Our kind of filing system.

Random weave example – one of our favorites.

Randy’s dad invented the random weave for a Halloween costume.
Swiss knit trim – extra stout and stretchy.

A candy-stripe knit originally done for WWM.

US map of Centralia stockists.

It’ll be close to this….