As much as I enjoy tennis, I prefer the snappy uniforms worn by these vintage gents playing paddle tennis. For reference, paddle tennis is an indoor variation of the traditional tennis played with solid rackets and underhand serve on a smaller court. I liken paddle tennis to the elegant, east coast cousin of pickleball, a PE course requirement in 1980s Eastern Washington. Per usual, I endorse any sport that permits you to wear clothing that still resembles what you might wear to work. I’m shopping for a pair of deadstock saddle shoes so I can start working on my own, from-the-ground-up, paddle tennis ensemble. See below for step by step illustrations on how to play the game.
Classic Dana Designs Bomb Pack from eBay (Mine is also purple, but a slightly different colorway)
I always think of the Dana Designs packs which were called “Blurple” – a cheerful hue lurking somewhere between blue and purple – as being my favorite color ever for technical baggage. Since those aren’t available aside from eBay, here’s a wide range of purple goods that have been catching my eye recently.
Gorgeous Skookum crew neck sweater. Japan-only, of course.
A towel that I shall never get to use.
Japan-only Filson Black Label jacket
I know, I know. Couldn’t resist.
Japan-only Crescent Down Works vest
Japan-only Brady bag
We’re assembling our knitwear order for the Fall. We will be restocking our pure new wool, shawl collar cardigans. As we have reported before, these cardigans are made for us by Centralia Knitting Mills on circular knitting machines from the 1930s. The sweaters, based on historical patterns, feature updated fits, unique finish details and our signature multiweave colorways.
If you would like to reserve a sweater, you may pre-order now via the Archival web shop.
In the Fall, Archival will also be introducing a new cardigan in a snappy, candy stripe knit, gray with black. The cardigan is made from a slightly lighter weight, 3 ply wool which makes it more suitable for indoor/outdoor wear. Pre-order here.
Candy stripe cardigan
Archival is also considering two additional styles for later November delivery–the cardigan in a lighter gray candy stripe:
and my (Lesli’s) favorite, a traditional shooting sweater:
For our shooting sweater, we have specified melton wool rather than leather pocketing, a brass two-way zip and our unique olive multi-weave (a mix of olive, gray, brown and white yarns).
If you’re interested in pre-ordering any of these styles, please email us at email@example.com.
I’m probably the only one shopping for heavy duty knitwear. But here I am in April obsessing over the new Dachstein boiled wool pullovers on offer from Bradley Alpinist. The sweaters are made in the Dachstein Region of Austria of wind and water resistant boiled wool. I’ve been sporting Dachstein-style wool mitts by Ortovox for cycling. In wet or snowy conditions, the boiled wool absorbs water and still keeps you warm.
Although Dachstein does not offer an XS pullover, I’m negotiating to test a sweater that was delivered with abnormally small dimensions. Report to follow.
Even in the late 70s, Dachstein sweaters were difficult to source.
Shopping from 1979. Dachstein pullover on offer via Yak Works catalog (courtesy AC reader Allen).
Bing Crosby wearing a wide crew neck sweatshirt in Going My Way (1944)
In November, friend and AC supporter Bradley Bennett of CWAC emailed to see if we’d like to field test a Left Field Ivy Style wide crew neck sweater. Like our own Skookum shawl collar sweaters, the Left Field Crew is knit, cut and sewn in a single facility in the U.S.
While the Left Field crew is marketed to gents, it’s trim fitting enough that the women of AC were able to handle the review. Our test sweater came in size 36, the smallest available. Petite women and slim gents might petition Left Field for a size 34.
Here’s a detail view of the sweater’s most visually arresting feature — its vintage-style, wide crew collar. Wool and knitting expert Erin noted that the raglan sleeves were mostly likely seamed together with a sewn-on ribbed collar which she identifies as “very old-school athletic wear construction.”
Red stitching from the garment tag shows through the back of the sweater. Given our own history with red thread, I like this detail.
In addition to the vintage collar detail, the Left Field crew is most notable for its soft merino wool. The sweater is made from a worsted, Canadian merino yarn in a heavier than average gauge. Left Field no doubt sourced merino for its soft, itch free properties. Although I love feel of a soft merino, I do worry about its potential for pilling. My own preference is for a longer stapled wool yarns that exhibit both durability and softness.
Tester Sara wore the Left Field sweater to work over a Made in USA Splendid turtleneck. She deemed the sweater “cozy” and liked the fit, especially the long slim arms with ribbed cuffs. Coworkers admired the crew neck collar.
At Archival, we endorse clothing that is well made, best quality, locally manufactured and reasonably priced. The Left Field crew is currently on sale for $148 through the Left Field web shop. This is a good deal for a domestically produced, heritage sweater. I hope to see future editions of the Ivy crew made available in a more robust yarn. And our female testers would like to see the sweater offered down to a size 34 or 32. Otherwise, this sweater is a nearly perfect reissue of a classic style.
During the early days of Archival Clothing, I posted photos from my 2007 trip to Centralia Knitting Mills. I was in pursuit of the Skookum “award” sweater which I first saw in the Japanese web shop Explorer (a personal favorite).
Skookum Award sweater in multiweave (Japan)
Last week, Tom and I returned to Centralia to make plans for an Archival Knitwear project. We’re picking up where we left off last Spring when we first proposed
to manufacturer an all wool, shawl collar sweater based on historical photographs and patterns. Our meeting was a total success and we’ll update you shortly on what we have in store. One interesting detail: nearly 50% of Centralia’s products are now made for Japanese retailers including Nepenthes, Engineered Garments and a fascinating entity known as Red Gingham.
Most of the knitting machines used by Centralia are nearly eighty years old. Working with Centralia gives Archival Clothing the rare opportunity to produce knitwear as it was made in the past. We plan to take this opportunity to release a number of garments which we could once only order from the pages of our beloved 1947 Montgomery Wards catalog.
Here are some updated photos of the knitting mills with annotations by Tom.
Centralia employee Tom (not the Archival Clothing staffer), mans the lone computer.
Third-generation knit producer.
Vortex of worsted wool.
Trim coming off of the knitting machine.
This employee was using a sixty year old button sewing machine. Ran like a top.
A device that Randy invented in his teens for stripping out selvage threads between knit segments.
Our kind of filing system.
Random weave example – one of our favorites.
Randy’s dad invented the random weave for a Halloween costume.
Swiss knit trim – extra stout and stretchy.
A candy-stripe knit originally done for WWM.
US map of Centralia stockists.
It’ll be close to this….