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Posts Tagged ‘musettes’

Eugene Tweed Ride 1/16/10

January 13th, 2010

by Lesli Larson

On Saturday, I’ll be joining friends for the third Eugene Tweed ride. Here’s my ride report from the Spring 2009 edition. For novice participants, I’m setting aside a few garments for your Saturday ensemble. Since the forecast calls for rain, I’m suggesting you layer with a Hilltrek ventile cycling jacket in lieu of the more traditional, heavy overcoat. For dryer conditions, substitute a Huckecote tweed shooting jacket: the Clunie for ladies or the Redford for gents (matching caps and breeks available).

Hilltrek ventile cycling jacket

Lavenham patchwork tweed vest

Fingerless mitts

Purdey shooting breeks

Quoc Fam traditional cycling shoe (courtesy Wallblog)

Brady Stour

Finished ensemble

Our sponsors

Addendum: day of ride photos here.

Archival Update: Musette Project

December 20th, 2009

by Lesli Larson and Tom Bonamici

A month ago we promised musettes. Today, to our delight, we announce the delivery of our first run of the basic model in Waxwear waxed cotton. Bags are available in yellow or ranger tan. Our flap musette will be available in late January and we hope to follow up with a canoe-style rucksack in February. The Archival Clothing web shop will debut soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested in the basic model musette, email me (Lesli@archivalclothing).

Addendum: The musettes have sold out but we’ll be restocking in late January.

Thanks to all of you for your support of our bag project. 2010 should be an exciting year for us as we move (not totally) from archival admiration to archival production.

Musette in ranger tan waxed cotton

Leather washers and brass hardware

Bartacking and taped seams

Archival Update: Musettes Coming Soon

November 26th, 2009

By Lesli and Tom


If nothing else, we at Archival Clothing don’t make idle threats. Remember last May when we mentioned an interest in producing an Archival quality musette? Six months later, we’re happy to report that a small run of our musettes is in production. Details below; in the absence of finished products, we offer this selection of historic musettes for your consideration.




In two weeks, we’ll release two styles of waxed cotton musettes. The Musette is a simple envelope-style bag with a fixed shoulder strap. The Flap Musette, slightly bigger, has a flap closure, adjustable strap, and inside pockets. These bags are designed to combine the simplicity of the cycling musette with the durability and use value of a field bag.

The Archival Clothing musettes are made of stout, closely woven waxed cotton and military-grade cotton webbing. All edges are bound in waxed cotton tape, and all stress points are bar-tacked. Solid brass hardware is used throughout. Made only for Archival Clothing in Springfield, Oregon, these bags are practical and free of complications. Watch this space for ordering information. We’ll have the bags available within two weeks.

Tom talks with Terry, our sewing contractor.

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 Revival: Barbour Retriever Bag

June 11th, 2009

1990s catalog

1980s catalog


One of my favorite Barbour bags, the Sports Twin Pack (rebadged the Waxed Cotton Retriever Bag), is once again available. I sold off my original version a few years ago due to an intense mildew odor (the problem with purchasing “vintage” barbour on ebay). I’d definitely like to secure a new version (UK made, I hope) before it disappears again.

I’ve always coveted the simple, unstructured musette-style of this bag (designed to be carried over the shoulder or worn on the belt of a Barbour International jacket). In fact, I’ve been drawing design inspiration from original catalog images of the sports twin pack for my own waxed cotton musette project.
Available here (UK)
Available here (UK)
And here (US)

Just stumbled on this more minimalist version of the Retriever Bag (pockets on an envelope):

Waxed Cotton A7 Bag (same strap as International belt)

Shopping from the past: Rivendell Musettes

May 11th, 2009
1996/97 Rivendell Catalog

Rivendell Acme and Plain Musettes

1994 Bridgestone B.O.B Gazette

B.O.B Basic and Imperial Musettes (my Imperial is 15+ yrs old)

Handling instructions (plus early organic cotton promo)

Rivendell Waxed Cotton “Acme” Musette

And a missed opportunity to mail order a Bridgestone X0-1 or RB-1 from the past:

Archival Review: Cycling Musettes

May 11th, 2009


From my Rivendell musette collection

I’ve been using cycling musettes on and off the bike for over decade. Musettes were originally designed as feed bags for cyclists during road races. If you search for musettes online, you’ll also find references to WWII canvas, military fieldbags (“musette bags”) and other types of pocket-sized canvas shoulder bags.

Foremost, I love the cycling style musette’s low-volume, low profile carrying capacity (a friend refers to them as the essence of purse). A well designed musette should be large enough to carry daily items–cameras, sandwiches, notepads, pencils–but small enough to be rolled up and stowed away inside another bag. I prefer versions made out of lightweight cotton or waxed cotton with minimal hardware or embellishing details. A musette should always be rectangular in shape. I’m on the fence about whether a musette should have a formal clasp or button closure. I’m pretty sure a modern musette should have a fold-over flap.
Rapha offers a modern musette. It’s a little too “updated” for me.

Here’s a classic, vintage style cycling musette by Velo-Retro. Nice, but needs a flap to improve use value.

Gilles Berthoud sells a musette made of the same canvas as his famous Berthoud handlebar bags. However, the Berthoud musette is a bit boxy and I’m not fond of all the contrasting leather trim. I prefer the first generation Berthoud musette (picutred below).

Everybody’s favorite musette seems to be the one sold by Rivendell Bicycle Works during the early days of the company (and in the late days of Bridgestone through the B.O.B. Gazette). The Riv version came in both waxed cotton and untreated cotton canvas (some were made out of Filson fabrics, I believe). The Riv musette had a large main cargo pocket and two front divided pockets. Since the bag was designed for cycling, it came with a secondary sway or waist strap to prevent the bag from shifting during rides (I always removed this strap). I’ll post some catalogue images of the Riv musette tomorrow.

Here are a few more examples of traditional musettes (promo text ads to their appeal):

Traditional string-style shoulder strap (out-of-business bike shop)

Gift addition to my collection (note: simple button closures)

Nice cotton Pinarello with broad strap

I’m working on a design for an Archival Clothing musette. At the moment, I’m investigating successful historical examples and contemplating design decisions: size, hardware (any?), fabric (waxed cotton!), shoulder strap options (string strap or cotton web), button/strap/toggle closure, etc. If you see interesting (vintage!) examples of musettes that please you, forward them along.

For now, here’s a quick visual inventory of bags w/musette-like profiles that interest me:

Original Gilles Berthoud Musette (nice canvas color)
Army Surplus (love the vent holes)

Chapman field bag (single strap closure; game net)

Brady bag (mere most minimal)

Brooks Messenger Bag (steroidal musette)

Hunting World Sling (adjustable web shoulder strap)

Hipposchemes

Interesting blog post on vintage musettes from Hilary Stone.

UPDATE: We’ll be offering our musette for sale in December 2009. See this post for more information.

UPDATE (2012): Archival Plain Musette featured in Bicycling MagazineLink

Archival Review: Cycling Musettes

May 8th, 2009




Classic Rivendell Musettes

I’ve been using cycling musettes on and off the bike for over decade.

Musettes were originally designed as feed bags for cyclists during road races. If you search for musettes online, you’ll also find references to WWII canvas, military fieldbags (“musette bags”) and other types of canvas shoulder bags.
Foremost, I love the cycling style musette’s low-volume, low profile carrying capacity. A good musette design should have a purse-like essence without excess hardware or trim. I prefer versions made out of lightweight cotton or waxed cotton that can easily be stowed when not in use. A musette should always be rectangular in shape.
Everybody’s favorite musette seems to be the one sold by Rivendell Bicycle Works during the early days of the company. The Riv version came in both waxed cotton and untreated canvas (some were made out of Filson fabrics, I believe). The Riv musette had a main cargo pocket and two front divided pockets. Since the bag was designed for cycling, it came with a secondary sway or waist strap to prevent the bag from sliding around while riding (I always removed this strap).


Two traditional musettes
Here’s a quick visual inventory of bags w/musette-like profiles:

Barbour Creel Bag (courtesy Reference Library)

Gilles Berthoud Musette
Gas Mask Bag

Chapman field bag

Brady carry-all (strap free)