Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘knitting mills’

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 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 Review: Filson Knitwear

March 19th, 2009


Discontinued Filson Cardigan
If I ever earn a spot on Filson’s Council for Women (an advisory and field testing group), I’d recommend that Filson introduce a line of made-in-USA knitwear for women (and slim-framed gents).

Filson currently offers only one sweater for women–the snowflake and deer patterned Cowichan.

The first installment in my knitwear collection for women would be a scaled down version of the Outfitter sweater. Although a few other US outdoor clothing companies offer a heavy duty, all wool waterfowling pullover, none match the overbuilt quality of the Filson Outfitter.

Side note: the nearest commercial match to the Outfitter sweater would be the McAlister Duration Waterfowl sweater (if you like your waxed cotton in an Advantage Camo pattern) or the McAlister Duration 3-button version (at $149.00, an attractive option for an austerity shopper in the standard S-XXXL size range).

In addition to bringing out a new women’s Outfitter sweater, I’d reintroduce a modernized version of Filson’s (discontinued) worsted wool cardigan. My updated version would have an overall slimmer fit with narrower sleeves (no balloon arms), shorter body length (avoiding the bathrobe effect) and a much higher buttoning neck (no deep V-neck cardigans for me) . I’d also remove the suede shooting patches or swap them out for waxed cotton. The final sweater might look something like this:

Although many commercial knitting mills have gone out of business in the Northwest, I’m optimistic that Filson is still having their US-made sweaters manufactured in the region. Out of curiosity, does anyone know who does the contract knitting for Filson?

Visual addendum for Filson:

Shopping from the Past: Centralia Knitting Mills

June 1st, 2007

In the blur of working to complete my first full randonneuring brevet series (200, 300, 400 in the bag, now focusing on the 600 and 1000), I’ve fully neglected my duties as the Archival Clothing shopkeep. A Memorial Day side trip to Seattle by way of Centralia, WA, reawakened my sense of duty and dedication to all things knit and wool. During our trip, Sara and I made an unplanned visit the Centralia Knitting Mills, a company specializing in top quality, hard-to-believe-it’s-still-made, machine knit woolens, varsity jackets and “award sweaters.” I first found out about CKM, of all places, on the Japanese “import select” web shop Explorer (the same site which taunts me by selling amazing, customized versions of venerable US brands–Duluth Pack, Woolrich and Filson–not availabe for sale to US customers).

Since it was Saturday, and Memorial Day weekend to boot, we assumed that we’d just be able to take in the front window display and check hours for our next trip up to Seattle. As it were, the Mill’s kind owner, who was overseeing a rush production run of Chenille letters, saw us peering into the window and offered to show us around.

Sara reports that the owner thought I might be a corporate competitor since I asked so many questions and took so many pictures! Highlight of the tour was a visit to the back sewing room where a woman was working on custom designs for a Japanese client. One project involved cutting down large, Pendleton blankets into coats, another involved remaking a basic cotton Muji peacoat out of vibrant orange Centralia wool.

I’m now trying to figure out how I might endear myself to the owner so that she would consider training me to take over for her once she’s ready to retire. Some people want to make it in Hollywood, I just want to make it into the knitting mill biz.

Complete flickr set can be found here.