Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘columbiaknit’

New: Archival Rugby Shirt

October 14th, 2011

We love wearing a classic rugby shirt as a casual, durable layer for rough work and play. Our new Archival Rugby Shirt, made just for us by Columbiaknit, can take the toughest treatment. The fabric is a traditional 10 ounce cotton jersey knitted in Portland, Oregon. It is incredibly soft but resilient. We’ve kept all the classic details — a continuously sewn placket, rubber buttons, and a drill cloth collar, but we trimmed up the fit to make for a perfect slim (but not tight) garment. Also, we have created a more refined hemmed sleeve so that it easily transitions to indoor events.

These Rugbys are perfect for wearing unlayered for a pick-up game of soccer or even (Tom’s favorite), rock climbing. The underarm gussets extend your arm’s range of motion.

We are offering our new Archival Rugby in our favorite navy-gray stripe colorway, but will be adding more colors throughout the season. Let us know if you have a historic favorite.

Archival Field Trip: PDX July 2011

July 18th, 2011
On Friday, the AC team headed up to Portland for meetings with vendors and stockists. Most of the morning was spent at Columbiaknit where we reviewed a new garment prototype and collected fabric swatches for our reference library. After lunch at Tasty & Sons with Patrick Long, we checked in with a few more shops including Woodlands Supply Co. , Lizard Lounge and Tanner Goods. Some travel snaps below.

Thunderbird label for Japan

Jersey knitting machine

Collecting swatch samples



Sifting the deadstock archives for future scarf and rugby fabrics

Nickie sewing a garment sample

Lunch at Tasty & Sons with Patrick Long (Chester Wallace)

In transit with AC canvas duck rucksack


Cold Splinters Campfire Shorts




AC Field Bags and Rucksacks at Lizard Lounge




Danner Stumptown boot

Portland Field Trip

June 8th, 2011

I (Tom) took a quick solo trip up to Portland yesterday to run some Archival errands. All is well with our suppliers. I was thrilled to catch the hat machine at Columbiaknit spinning merrily away.

We’re working on quite a few new projects with Columbiaknit, including a classic Rugby shirt.
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Another delightful lunch with friend Patrick of Chester Wallace

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A quick stop at one of our retailers, Woodlands

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I picked up some inventory from the former Winn Perry, including these great Cooperstown Cap Company Portland Beavers and Seattle Rainers hats, coming soon to our store.
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A far-away project….

Archival Update: AC x Columbiaknit Sweatshirts

May 26th, 2011

AC x Columbiaknit sweatshirt in french terry

Ours comes with a knit v-neck insert too

On the heels of our scarf order, Columbiaknit just delivered a new production run of Archival sweatshirts in gray french terry and navy/white chevron stripe. The french terry was recently knit by Columbiaknit in their Portland, Oregon factory; the chevron is a new old stock floor fabric. The new sweatshirts, produced exclusively for Archival Clothing, are constructed with chain-stitching on the neck tape and waist ribbing. Flat-lock stitching along the sleeves and body creates an extremely comfortable seam which lies flat to the garment. All other seams are cover-stitched. Archival specified a midweight, all cotton fabric for Spring/Summer wear. The fit is modern. Sizing from XS to XL. XXS in the works. Made in Portland, Oregon.

The sweatshirts are available through the AC web shop and the following Archival retailers: The Tannery (Boston) and Goose Barnacle (Brooklyn).

Archival Update: AC x Columbiaknit Scarves

May 24th, 2011

We just took delivery of a new production run of Columbiaknit Scarves produced exclusively for Archival Clothing. We’ve restocked the popular royal navy/white scarf and added new colors in a lighter weight (7 oz) all cotton jersey (the same as our t-shirts). Original project report here.

Archival Stripes: Columbiaknit Tees

May 4th, 2011

Archival Clothing loves stripes. We love striped sweaters, shirts, jackets, caps and scarves. On any given day, we might be wearing multiple, mixed stripe layers in a single ensemble. While we stock Saint James nautical tops from France, we wanted to produce our own striped shirts in the USA.

This Spring, we’re offering new striped cotton crewneck tees in short and long sleeve styles. Like our scarves, the shirts are produced for us by Columbiaknit, a Portland (Oregon) company who has been making sturdy cotton garments since 1921. The new shirts are made of a terrific, stout yet soft cotton jersey with chain-stitched neck tape, cover-stitched collar seam, and double needle sewn hem. The tees boast a perfect fit – slim, but not tight, designed by our friend Jordan Sayler of Winn Perry. We’re offering a generous size range from XS to XL to fit both men and women.

The shirts pair well with our new striped Columbiaknit scarves.


Archival Clothing x Columbiaknit Scarves

April 27th, 2011

In collaboration with Portland based Columbiaknit, Archival Clothing announces the release of a line of 100% cotton scarves. Since 1921, Columbiaknit has been producing best quality knitwear right here in the Pacific Northwest. The scarves were designed for us by our friend, Jordan Saylor of Winn Perry. The fabric for the scarves comes from original, deadstock floor fabrics from Columbiaknit. Made of 8 oz cotton jersey, with turned down, stitched edges bartacked at the corners.

Columbiaknit scarves are available in two colorways:

– Royal / White stripe
– Black/ Gray mock twist

100% cotton
Machine washable

Dimensions: 11″ x 60″

Made in USA

Archival Restock: Shawls, Caps & Bags

January 26th, 2011

We just took delivery of a new batch of multi-weave shawl collar cardigans by Centralia Knitting mills. We’re offering the shawls in two new multi-weaves: navy/black/gray and gray/black/white. We have limited stock of our original, gray/black multi-weave. We also received our order of solid and mulitweave cardigans in smaller sizes for women and slim gents. In a month or so, we’ll have our second restock of solid shawls in navy and gray in larger sizes.

These cardigans are truly stunning. I wear mine daily in lieu of a blazer. It’s now part of my signature uniform.

Here are a few new items in the AC web shop:

$10 buck, deadstock, Columbaknit cotton caps (factory direct)

Archival Manufacturing Field Trip – Columbiaknit

January 22nd, 2011


Lynn and I, guided by our friend Jordan, took a tour of the Columbiaknit facility in southeast Portland a few weeks ago.

Mothballed sewing machines
Industrial fabric washer
The 1920s era circular knitting machine used to knit our hats
A massive cotton knitting machine

It was a pretty amazing factory. Absolutely massive, since they used to have hundreds of workers making fabric and garments for major American sportswear brands who have since universally gone overseas. Listen, I know we flog the idea of domestic manufacturing enough on our site, but just seeing the difference of fabric and construction quality between Columbiaknit shirts and the overseas stuff… well, it’s no shocker that Land’s End hasn’t maintained its reputation.

Deadstock evidence of US manufacture

There’s an absolutely disturbing quantity of back stock in the factory. Unfortunately, most of it is in seriously spacious early 1990s sizes, built for an extra stocky rugby player. I’m 6’2″, 180 pounds, but a woman’s Medium was the nearest fit for me (very short sleeves and too-wide shoulders, though).

Bins full of giant rugby shirts

The factory is down to a half-dozen sewers, one knitting machine operator, and operating just a few days a week. We can’t tell you how excited we are to start more work with Columbiaknit – simply going through old fabrics to begin with, and working alongside Jordan to build on the simply detailed and well-fitting line that he began a year ago.


Our first project, aside from re-stocking our popular T-shirts and sweatshirts, is going to be a simple band-collar rugby shirt. The Columbiaknit rugby fabric has to be felt to be believed, and we’re all big fans of the classic rugby. Given the skyrocketing price of cotton and the vanishing numbers of skilled sewers, it won’t be easy – but we’re thrilled to begin work! In the meantime, if you’re a burly gent, there are roomy rugby shirts available directly from Columbiaknit for only $36. At 6’2″ and 180, a man’s Small is as good as it’ll get for now.


Like so many of my clothing obsessions, I learned about the durability of the rugby shirt through rock climbing, as it was popularized by Chouinard/GPIW in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Speaking of Chouinard, I’d love to see a progressive company like Patagonia move their cotton knits production to a place like Columbiaknit. Patagonia would be well-served to bring the responsibility that led them to use only organic cottons to lead them towards domestic knitting, cutting, and sewing. Like organic cotton, it costs more and it’s well worth it. The facilities are all in place – let’s make it in the States!