Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘cotton duck’

Release – Archival Zip Pouches

September 25th, 2012



We love using these simple zip pouches to corral our accessories, pens and pencils, or small essentials within a larger bag. It creates order and keep things neat.

The small size is great as a pencil pouch or for your lighters and knives when camping.
The medium size is perfect for securing a small device with chargers and cords.
And the largest pouch fits an iPad perfectly, though it’s also great for keeping a notepad out of harm’s way when hiking or hunting.

Made of stout, water-resistant 18 ounce cotton duck, and a burly #5 Ideal zipper.
Inside seam is taped.

Available colors: Bottle Green (deadstock), Burgundy, Navy, Teal, Red

Archival News: Canvas Duck Rucksacks

July 11th, 2011

While we do love our waxed cotton twill, we’re introducing an unwaxed version of our Archival Rucksack as a more affordable alternative. These rucksacks are made of a sturdy 18 ounce #8 cotton duck, made in the USA. Aside from the material change, these are identical to our classic Rucksack and are made in our Springfield, Oregon workshop.







The new Archival Canvas Duck Rucksacks are available through On Y Va (Zurich), The Tannery (Boston), Goose Barnacle (Brooklyn) and the AC web shop.

Archival Totes: Steele Canvas Basket Co.

June 5th, 2010
Steele Canvas Basket Tote (AC edition)

We’re tote bag fans and Steele Canvas Basket Co. is one of our favorite brands. I am almost never without a bag. For my daily bike commute, I carry a shoulder bag plus a (sometimes empty) tote to handle more cumbersome loads or or end-of-day debris (library books, 5 lb bags of coffee, rain gear, etc). I prefer oversize totes since they fold down easily but handle ungainly loads (a weekend’s worth of cycling gear, a month’s worth of newspapers, a load of packages for FedEx). We’re on the fence about tote bag handle length. Some of us prefer full, over-the-shoulder straps while I like a short strap (matching my short arm) that permits me to carry a heavy load without causing the bag to drag on the ground. But again, as an unofficial bag library, Archival Clothing owns many totes with both handle lengths.

Vintage Steele Canvas Basket catalog

We thank Andy over at Reference Library for putting us in contact with Steele Canvas. Here’s Andy’s mighty black Steele Canvas tote. While there are many fine totes on the market (examples here), we prefer versions that have an established commercial use. Steele has been making industrial canvas baskets, hampers, trucks and buggies since 1921. One of their clients is Brink’s Incorporated. While other companies have transitioned from canvas to synthetic carry bags, Brinks insists on using a heavy duty canvas for all their cash delivery bags. I’ve been told that one of the specifications for a Brink’s bag is that it stand up and stay open on its own.

We’ve been working with Steele on two different totes for Archival Clothing. The first, a modification of a stock Steele tote, will be made from the most stout cotton canvas army duck available. While Steele bags are made from #6 (21 oz.) duck, ours will be produced in natural, untreated #4 (24 oz.) canvas duck. We’re adding a simple internal pocket and requesting a 7.5″ handle length that will permit folks with short or long arms to comfortably carry the tote by their side. Paul at Steele has helped us develop a simple 2″ U.S. stencil for the bag. Bag dimensions: 17″ L x 10″ W x 17″ D.

2″ U.S. stencil

Made in U.S.A. (Chelsea, MA, to be exact)

Simple inside pocket

Our second bag will be a re-issue of the original, square bottom janitor’s bag. The bag will likewise be made from untreated, natural #4 canvas duck. Dimensions: 14″ L x 14″ W x 24″ D

Vintage Steele Canvas Basket Janitor’s Bag

We’d also like to point out that we’re now offering our own Archival Clothing tote in 22 oz. gray waxed twill (in addition to ranger tan twill and navy waxed cotton).

Shopping from David Mamet: Hunting Suits

October 1st, 2009


Apparently, I missed the news that filmmaker David Mamet started his own line of vintage inspired, outdoor clothing in 1999 under the Joseph Morse Company label. Here’s what I learned from the Cambridge Companion to David Mamet:


Perhaps Mamet should have waited a decade to launch his clothing brand. Per earlier blog posts, I remain fascinated by how well stocked his films are with newly popular heritage brands like Barbour, Woolrich and Filson. In Heist, a film I have not seen since 2001, Gene Hackman wordlessly walks through the opening scene of the film in an all-waxed cotton hunting ensemble. Although I’m unsure of the make of the field jacket (it looked Filson until I saw the pocketing), I’m pretty sure Hackman’s bag is a J.W. Hulme Co. English field bag (or a rebadged version offered by Orvis). Another blogger will have to document the make and model of Hackman’s shotgun and field notebook.

While Mamet’s own brand of nostalgia may have failed, I disagree that the past and its historical styles cannot be repeated/improved upon/multiplied into the future. Perhaps Mamet was meant to offer his items exclusively through the visual catalog of his films rather than by way of flimsy retail outpots like Banana Republic (a point of sale for his original line). For the pricepoint, and for sizing options, I prefer shopping directly from Mamet’s movies themselves (coming up next: Winslow Boy).

I read that the motto of Mamet’s clothing line was Quiet in the Woods. This must have been the overarching direction for Hackman’s hunting ensemble in the opening scene of Heist:




Heist (Mamet 2001)

A hypothetical look at Hackman’s ensemble by way of a vintage print catalogue from another age:




Archival Addendums:

Ibex Loden vest

Slumming: Barbour quilted vest


Guest Baggage: Czech Army Sling

July 6th, 2009


I’ve been investigating closure solutions and historical satchel examples for my musette project. A friend of mine picked up this WWII, Czech army satchel from a local surplus store. A flickr friend noted that he liked the “random #4 stamp” and the “standing seam detail” of the body of the bag–details that don’t reproduce well when aped by modern bagmakers wishing for vintage authenticity. I love the toggle closures which seem more craft fair than military surplus. I also like the sway strap but would change the bag’s portrait orientation from vertical to landscape.

Archival Details: 1930s Filson Cruiser

June 30th, 2009







Here’s a vintage, 1930s-era Filson cruiser jacket up for auction on ebay. The seller emailed the other day because he was trying to date the jacket and saw a similar version on my flickr photostream. Pricepoint for the jacket is too steep for me. However, I asked permission to post some auction photos to document design details– snaps, garment tag, double fabric arms, perfect pocking, stitching style–still found on current generation cruisers.

Randomly, at some point, I’d like to coordinate a comprehensive database of historical Filson garments, catalogs and print ephemera.
Related complaint: why has Filson not introduced a version of the Cruiser (a scaled down exact replica) for its women’s product line? If you were developing a heritage collection for women, wouldn’t you start with your most iconic garment (rather than offering new style shirts and jackets that just as easily could have been produced by LL Bean or Lands End or Liz Claiborne?).

1920s era Filson (split pockets!)


1930s-era Tin Cruiser

1949 “Shedpel” brand cruiser (rebadged Filson?)

Dry finish (Fil-Duck?) Cruiser from the mid-1980s

Filson Cruiser available now