Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘Filson’

Heddels Item Number One: Filson Mackinaw Cruiser

November 13th, 2017

Heddels asked me to identify my “item number one,” that is, the thing I’ve owned the longest (and still use semi-regularly). Read about my rare Filson Mackinaw Cruiser for women and follow the complete series here. And reference snaps below. What is your item number one?

Filson Mackinaw Cruiser with its rare cardigan fit

Wool Filson jacket on stairs

Minimal signs of wear after twenty years of hard wear

Filson catalog copy

Original catalog copy from 1990

Woman wearing Filson jacket and holding a dog leash

Filson Italy cruiser for women

 

Refab – Archival Rolltop Messenger as motorcycle saddlebag

March 1st, 2015

Many years ago, I featured a gent who refashioned his Filson Small Field Bag into a handlebar bag for his Rivendell Rambouillet road bike. Alex Forsythe, owner of Analog Records in Orange County, sent me photos of his own retrofit of an Archival Rolltop Messenger into motorcycle panniers for his Triumph Motorcycle. Read his project notes on the projects at the bottom of this post. Refrub photos by Stefan Junir.
MrQo5EOBVvL0qASF8os60UegieIRlodNNzidPie3V7bt0PJwSar4Jdl8hGr1lD6gQfcu0RTiHQ1iRlwLIgWR3pQkn-Te4GnNr8femDilY4YCYU9GDrxwyVYcVsKaVurKXQmuuROz_UKEt-AXzn-fSgfLYw6lmmOleKGch2ib7mloxgpTo4La2tDIg2hOXi3GRR14UhUliqm4S_SmIySHt0R61JGoMX
Jjtie7ILR9eqsTpbazx2K5eKYCXNfoh_6KOABVs7gGyNP2wjk72SALQgmEdKlIaVkR6VUCuDPJFlCD5089fQh--su3qUaZSAxSir5TzBGYG_DUwLR2An34cgx9DzKwDHG4_gnumHSRKWmjoisQpCdyfDUmlOYBBIWUcctspUMbGXqglh9nkPQeCd-gX9pM5BtipHJO4J9wgmYipiY2nbusxEBkDa6l
nZhk09hT280BnAEgphx8B72CB5ndWo70mKzNaQ4caG-vrdexnwPyAaDNfjRC74Fn4updx_ShZLp8zRntssK93k--qxmNsxyKLGZzjHdikC8ggrPQJlcGx0kYdQ9slLGQr_eV22d-4eciQVvriLnKeKjrMH06VVmJq9u1P3uVMAPJ3BMYN_aD7aUrzshNLiyQ62SfmFOpeVJAKTtfCOitNcJk5s73Y2

Here are Alex’s notes on his Archival Rolltop Messenger refurb project: “I actually stole the idea of using a field type bag as a saddle bag from Blair of General Quarters in LA. He has a set of Filson field bags that he attaches to his bonnie sometimes. I rode up to his shop and got to talking with him about doing the same with my bike. The difference with his bike is a black seat versus the brown leather I have on mine. Your lager roll top bag matched much better with my seat and also seemed to be a better option for weather. The wax being a smart move with potential water hitting the bag and the roll top for protecting whats inside. Blair ordered the messenger roll top for me and took it to his (I think) shoe repair guy. He sewed two leather lash points on the back for me to attach leather straps and secure it to my bikes frame. I found 2 small leather straps with buckles and voila! I’m super happy with how it came out. The bag is perfect size for riding to work. I often carry my laptop and sometimes even records in it.”

If you have creatively carved up your own Archival bag for a unique use application, send us photos and we’ll feature you on the blog.

Archival Field Trip – Filson Factory Tour

October 9th, 2013

I’ve been a brand fan of CC Filson since I was a teen.  Over the past few years, I’ve republished favorite Filson catalogs on the Archival blog.  My own clothing archives includes a number of Filson twill bags,  wool vests, vintage Cruisers  and key selections from the  women’s line. While the past decade has produced some corporate headscratchers (overseas manufacturing and the  Passage Line), I still consider Filson one of the best American brands.  What I admire most about Filson is its manufacturing ethos: make the best product from the best available materials and back it up with a lifetime warranty.  It’s hard to  identify a better role model for Archival than CC Filson.
On a recent trip to Seattle, I scheduled a tour of the new Seattle building which includes a production facility entirely to dedicated to luggage. I’ve been hearing from Filson reps and friends that Filson is changing as a company. Filson is trying to bring all of their manufacturing back to the US, updating their collection for women (Fall 2014), introducing a line of bike luggage and revising their dated fit system. Here are some of my notes and snaps from the tour.

Filson_resize
Filson is now collaborating with Detroit based Shinola on panniers and a front handlebar basket bag. Cyclists should be thrilled to have their own line of twill luggage.

Filsonresize15
New Filson wax vests and jackets in an updated fit.   I love the integration of more traditional hunting jacket features like the front loading game pocket.  Sadly, Filson has no immediate plans to release these  styles in sizes for women.

Filsonresize17

Filsonresize18
Evidence – Filson garment tags on vintage Cruiser jackets

Filsonresize20

Filsonresize16

Filsonresize8
From the archives – vintage Filson wool pants, hunting vest and a Mackinaw Cruiser in scarlet

Filsonresize21

Filsonresize19
Patched and refurbished Filson luggage en route to the new flagship store in London.  Everything old is new again

Filsonresize22
One of my favorite new luggage styles – the Large Twill Carry-On

Filsonresize13

Filsonresize10
Roller luggage awaiting repair

Filson4resize
Seattle factory worker smock (I want one!)

Filson11resize

Filsonresize2

Filson3resize

Fison11resize
I was amazed by the complexity of the piece work in the factory.  Bags were assembled over many different work stations.  I love seeing all the stacks of bag bits.

Filson6resize
Recipe for a bag – hardware, thread and fabric samples are kept on the Filson factory floor for reference

Filson8resize
Filson bag library (reference bags for every model in production at the Filson Seattle factory)

Filsonresize23
Our stylish, delightful tour guides -Jack and Amy

From the Archives: Filson Wool Jacket

March 15th, 2013
 
 
 
Thanks to CC Filson for providing me with this archival scan of the original Filson Wool Sports Jacket.  As someone who has worn Filson for twenty years, I can spot a Cruiser, Cape Coat or Packer just by catching a glimpse of a pocket configuration, fabric type or design detail.  In contrast, the Filson Wool Sports Jacket is an enigmatic Filson model which comes from an era in the 1980s when the company was experimenting with a line of leisure, non hunting apparel.  If you spotted this jacket at a thrift store you might not even identifying it as a Filson.  I myself was thrown off by the heathered brown wool, satin lining and leather buttons –  features more characteristic of a department store car coat. 

Synthetic Confession: Patagonia Nano Puff Hybrid

August 8th, 2012


Given that I spent the day cycling through a heat advisory, it’s odd that I’m fixating on a Fall layering piece – the Patagonia Nano Puff Hybrid. I first spotted the NPH in a Patagonia catalog – one of the last print catalogs worth browsing. As photographed, I love the NPH’s blend of fabric types: wind blocking primaloft above with with better venting fleece below. For real outdoor use, I prefer wool to fleece, but this garment – especially in what the catalog calls “paintbrush orange” – is a visual stunner. I’ve emailed Patagonia to request a version for women. I was told that a model is in the works for Fall 2013. Let’s hope they offer it in the same colorway as the gents. And if Patagonia is taking requests, they might consider offering the jacket with a two way zip for better fit and venting.


Check out the FYi Design blog to read about the development of the NPF and to see detailed views of the garment.

If you’re a devotee of wool, but you like the look of the Nano Puff Hybrid, track down one of the original Filson Outdoorsman sweaters knit from worsted wool with reinforced, waxed cotton shoulders.

Archival DIY: Rewaxing a Filson Packer Hat

December 26th, 2011

If you’re looking for a post holiday diversion, here’s a tutorial from Chris at Otter Wax on reproofing your Filson Packer hat. Feel free to apply this technique to other waxed cotton items that have lost their finish in the past year. Otter Wax available here.

Otter Wax is fine for both Filson tin and shelter cloth fabrics

In case you missed it, here’s the original post from Chris on waxing dry canvas sneakers.

Guest Report: Vintage Filson Cruiser Jacket

November 18th, 2011
From the archives: Filson Forestry Cloth Cruiser
Filson fabric options in 1914

Mid century price hike

The modern Filson Mac

Editor’s note: A month ago, Chris Adamiak, Damn-Yak Dry Goods proprietor, emailed me about a vintage Filson cruiser he spotted on Etsy. He asked for my help in identifying the fabric which is lighter weight than the 24 oz. melton wool used for current model Filson cruisers. I forwarded along some Filson catalog scans speculating that the fabric in question was a discontinued worsted wool serge. Chris purchased the Cruiser and, at my request, wrote up a review for Archival.

The Filson Cruiser in question

In Canada, Filson doesn’t have the availability as it does in the States. The distributors are few and far, and when we order online we face massive shipping, duty, and custom fees (due to the weight of Filson’s heavy fabric). It makes me so upset reading tales in forums of people finding Tin Cloth Cruisers in Thrift stores for $5. Finding Filson anything, in any store here is a miracle and being 6’5″ makes the search even harder for vintage items.


I have spent countless hours scouring Etsy, Ebay, and many other vintage clothing shops online for decently priced Filson that I can actually wear. Two weeks ago I stumbled upon this late 50’s to mid 60’s green wool cruiser for $50. The measurements seem to match my Pointer brand chore coat I wear daily. So without hesitation I scooped it up. After my purchase I contacted Lesli, in regard to its fabric, because in the picture on the listing it seemed very light. With a quick reply she sent me a link to a old catalog page (see below) suggesting that it might be worsted serge. However, on that same catalog picture there is no mention of a green worsted serge, only grey, brown, or beige. Then I saw the display tag from AC’s Flickr page for a early forestry cloth cruiser. It states that forestry cloth is a green Worsted serge. This made me even more excited. Could it be a rarer piece in my size?


Last week the Etsy Cruiser arrived and taking it out of the package, I was amazed at how “new” it was. It looked like it was only worn maybe one season. I was also surprised at the weight of the jacket. It was not light and flimsy but quite heavy and tough. The tight, diagonal wool twill does not stretch, and has no problem blocking all the light when held up to a bulb. The fit is true Filson. I wear a 44 suit and this is bang on. Although looking at the label there is no size tag, so I cannot be sure of its exact size. The green color is still very pure, with only tiny specks of fading. Also this past week here in Toronto it has been about 9*C (48*F) in the morning and I was surprised at how warm this cruiser is. Along with being very warm , the cruiser still provides plenty of movement and doesn’t catch and stay up on my back when reaching above my head. I have never worn a Filson Mackinaw, but I have heard that they are quite heavy and extremely warm. I have a early Woolrich Buffalo plaid mackinaw and you can forget being indoors for any length of time with a coat like that on! That’s where the Cruiser coat fits in perfectly. The fabric is thin enough to move from outdoors to indoors, tough enough to trek through thickets and brush, tight enough to ward off light showers and snow, and roomy enough for layering options underneath.



I am not exactly sure if it the jacket is made in forestry cloth or whipcord, as I have never held or seen either up close. But what I do know is that this cruiser is not a standard issue item. Why Filson eliminated this fabric as a standard cruiser option baffles me — they still make shirts out of serge and pants out of whipcord. From what I have been told, they will still make whipcord cruisers in their custom shop for a greater price. Its a great seasonal transition coat, from Summer to Fall and Winter to Spring. This coat will definitely be a new daily driver for me from city to forest. And as much as I really like this coat, the search for these kind of pieces never ever really ends!

Evidence of worsted serge in the 1980s/90s

Archival DIY: Rewaxing Canvas Sneakers

November 3rd, 2011

AC friend and Otter Wax founder Chris Chase proposed that we put together a series of DIY videos on reproofing canvas products. We wanted to test wax a range of artifacts from dry finish canvas sneakers to an AC flap musette. Unlike traditional fabric waxes, Otter Wax is made from natural materials and is 100% petroleum free. In the video below, Chris demonstrates a method for rewaxing canvas sneakers that doesn’t require a double boiler or heat gun. This is the first in a series of AC x Otter Wax reproofing videos. Start gathering your dry finish canvas goods.

Chris reproofing a pair of Superga canvas sneakers
Post reproofing
Otter Wax. All natural, petroleum free fabric wax.

For interested parties, here’s our original post on reproofing a Filson duckbill cap using Martexin wax.

Archival Envy: Filson Italy (Japan)

October 11th, 2011

Moleskin Minor’s Jacket

Hickory Work Jacket

Heritage Anorack

Denim Work Jacket

Filson Hunting Jacket

Filson Cruiser


Golddiggers Jacket for Women

Since it’s nearly impossible to source Filson Italy in the US, I’m prepping this catalog of images for wishful shopping. My images come from the official Filson Italy site, Japanese webshops and flickr. While I’ve known about Filson Italy (and the Black Label) for awhile, I recently discovered that they now have a “Donna” collection for women. I’m not wild about most of the line, but I do love the unfortunately named “Golddiggers” coat (essentially an upland game jacket in red plaid wool). When I emailed Filson Italy to inquire about the jacket, I was told that it would only be sold in Italy–and not via web shops. Hoping to have a custom version made in the US, Filson informed me that their wool is too thick to support the design of the coat (and further, that their custom order program is closed through April 2012). So–despite our internet age, not all the glitters can be owned.

Addendum: check out the new Filson Japan lookbook, Ballad of Portraits 2011.