Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for November, 2011

Shopping from ebay: Gokey loafers

November 30th, 2011

Here’s an unusual pair of Gokey loafers for women, available via this ebay auction. Gokey is known for their rugged, moccasin-style, handsewn boots for gents. Gokey footwear was originally designed for explorers, hunters and prospectors. Here’s a typical Gokey specimen:

I’ve always aspired to own knee-high Gokey boots. I also covet Tom’s garage sale Gokey ankle boots. But since neither style is sized for women, I’m trolling ebay for Gokeys I could actually wear. Since I live in loafers, these Gokeys might fit the bill. Best of all, they were made by the original Gokey company before they were purchased by Orvis.

Guest Report: Carradice Factory Visit

November 26th, 2011

Editor’s note: Mark aka Hudsonic is one of our favorite flickr contacts and vintage cycling enthusiasts. When photos of his recent field trip to Carradice showed up on his photostream, we immediately requested an archival field report.

Vintage print ephemera

’twas a simple enough plan. Ride the 60 or so miles from Sheffield, South Yorkshire to Nelson, Lancashire to kneel on the Cotton Duck prayer mat outside The Church Of Carradice. The home of arguably the first and finest sadldlebags ever to grace a Brooks saddle. Simple except for the fact that this is the spine of England. Have a look at a place called Triangle en route. This place was an instrument of torture. The hills really were alive with the sound of music. However, after a good few fig rolls, we made it, and it’s everything you’d want it to be. Handcrafted excellence, hammered and sewed amid an aromatic air of leather and cotton duck. We were greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff. Keen to share their expertise and show how these fine cycle bags are still being made. After all this time the process has barely changed. More than 80 years after Wilf Carradice made his first bag. Long may it continue.

Archival Special Offer

November 25th, 2011

Archival customers will receive $25.00 off our flagship rucksack in cotton duck or waxed twill. Offer good through Sunday, November 27.

A common sense pack

Our Rucksack, made from stout closely woven waxed twill or sturdy cotton duck, is a modern interpretation of the traditional canoe pack. With a slim profile, durable construction, and sensible features, our Rucksack is free of complications and sure to please even the most demanding user.

We will also be offering free domestic shipping with $20 purchase through the holidays

Archival Release: Leather Key Loop

November 24th, 2011

We love using this handsome leather loop to manage and tether our keys. It makes it easy to find them in a dark bag or busy pocket, and convenient to loop around a belt or hang on a hook. You can also just spin it around when you’re bored!
Our own design, it’s made to last by Hollows Leather in Minneapolis. Only the best materials: stout buffed leather cord, red waxed twine, and a solid brass marine-grade shackle.

Shopping From the Past: Carl Denig

November 23rd, 2011

Pim, a friend of Archival Clothing in Germany, recently emailed us a link to a recent upload of a Carl Denig catalog from 1939. Founded in 1912, Carl Denig is the most important outdoor retailer in the Netherlands. Its current offerings are typical REI fare, but have a peep at this catalog. It’s got us longing for hiker’s wall tents, kletter schoen (the first climbing shoes), and sleek alloy teakettles. Sorry for the long post, but this stuff is too good! Many thanks to Jo Hedwig Teeuwisse for the amazing upload.

Shoes on bottom were some of first rock climbing specific footwear.

Those top boots are really something!

Sailing canoes

Nice rumpley bag family.

Aspirational modularity

I desperately want one of those Mikwa Keteltje.

(Note that stripey fabric above? See also)

In Stock: Archival Herringbone Popover

November 22nd, 2011

We’ve done another run of our popular, four button popover shirt for men. The shirts are made for us by a venerable US shirting company in a 100% cotton, navy blue herringbone twill. We spec’d these shirts with a soft point collar, single button-flap chest pocket and scoop hem that’s ideal for wearing tucked or untucked. Broad shouldered or muscular gentleman may want to buy one size up as these shirts have a slim fit through the shoulders and torso. We are hatching plans to produce these for women too.

From the archives: Millarmitts

November 20th, 2011
Millarmitts in Orvis Catalog circa 1968

Here’s a sporty wool knit glove style worth reviving. In my years of browsing outdoor clothing catalogs, I somehow overlooked what’s known as the Millarmitt (modern manufacturers have morphed the “a” to an “e”). According to catalog patter, the gloves are hand crocheted in the UK of silicone treated wool, with slip resistant cotton palms.

Millarmitts offered by Patagonia circa 1975 (full catalog scan here)

I understand that the Millarmitt is traditionally popular with technical climbers and fly fisherman. The fingerlessness provides extra dexterity and, even when wet, the wool will keep the hands warm. I’d wear these for cycling or walking the hound. My use of a smart phone makes the fingerlessness extra appealing (no touch screen gloves at Archival).

Made to order Millarmitts from Chester Jeffries

Archival Finder Alan Woods located a modern source for Millarmitts in the UK, Chester Jeffries (a company deserving of its own “shopping from” post). I have not verified that the gloves are still being knit by English women in their own homes.

For more on the history of Millarmitts, see John Crispin’s informative post.

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 Release: Archival Wool Scarf

November 15th, 2011

Archival is pleased to announce the release of our first all wool scarf. Our scarf is made just for us in Portland, Oregon from fine gauge worsted wool yarn from Maine. The wonderfully unique knit pattern was developed by one of our manufacturers to use up a stockpile of acrylic yarn; when Tom spotted it in their factory he knew that we’d have to make it in wool. The open knit makes the scarf lightweight, wonderfully cozy, and plenty warm. It’s sure to become an everyday favorite in chilly weather. Dimensions: 70″ x 8″

Colorways: Graphite/Curry/Navy/Royal Blue


Royal Blue



Our original all acrylic sample (not for sale)

Special thanks to Nicole and Erin for sourcing the fine gauge wool and Keri and Dave for their fit testing notes.

Shopping from 1939: Abercrombie and Fitch

November 10th, 2011

Here are excerpts from my favorite vintage Abercrombie and Fitch catalog from 1939. During this era, Abercromie & Fitch field jackets and outdoor clothing showed a tailored, British influence. Many of the garments came in dress fabrics like high count cotton poplin or wool gabardine. The catalog contains sections for both men and women. While identified as a high end outdoor clothier, A & F offered practical, stylish clothing that could be worn at camp or for home chores. Many of the garments, especially the denim outfits, could easily be adapted for modern wear.

Should you wish to make a purchase, I’ve reprinted the original order form which should be mailed to the Madison Avenue address post dated 1939.