Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for August, 2013

Shopping from Germany – Mercator K55K Pocket Knife

August 29th, 2013

Amsterdam airport security confiscated my beloved Opinel #6.   Despite a low replacement cost, I was sad to see this one go.  It was purchased from the now defunct George & Son cutlery in Portland, Oregon.  For whatever reason, the knife lacked a proper locking mechanism.  Tom’s Dad was nice enough to fashion a leather toggle that kept the knife safely shut during pocket carry.

Here is grainy evidence of the knife in use during my recent visit to London (actual location: Snarebrook Travelodge).  Despite concerns about TSA confiscation, I always bring an Opinel along on International trips to facilitate my austerity dinners of salami and cheese. IMG_7542

For variation, Tom suggested that I try out the Mercator cat K55K folding pocket knife.  The design is over 75 years and is still made in Solingen, Germany.  The Mercator features a carbon steel blade, black coated steel handle and lanyard loop.  I’m a little intimidated by the all around sharp edges of the knife so I’ve been sheathing it in the original (non Archival) plastic packaging.  Here’s a great short video showing Mercator blades being stamped out in the Solingen factory.   I bought the knife because of this video.




I’m already shopping for my next replacement knife.  I’m tempted by this club sized Opinel photographed at Columbus Cutlery by Puck Ananta.



On an aspirational level, I’m in love with this red handled model by G. Wiseman for Kaufman Mercantile.  Friend and frame builder Eric Estlund recommends another domestic model made from quality steel at more of an Archival pricepoint:


Great Eastern Cutlery Farm & Field orange Delrin Lock

 Here is my original August 2010 post on shopping for pocket knives

Archival Field Trip – Malawi

August 22nd, 2013

Friend and UO Faculty member John Fenn has been traveling in Malawi for the last few months.  He was kind enough to forward along some documentary snaps  of his Archival baggage in use.  While we do not endorse dust as a reproofing agent, it does add a unique visual finish to our bags.

1082243_10201172062495418_568122266_nA 400+ km road trip thru Mzimba district, Malawi in the car trunk (poor seals) over dusty roads = a new “dry” custom finish to my rucksack & duffel!



New Release: Market Tote

August 19th, 2013

market dip

We’re pleased to release a light, durable tote bag. More durable and handsome than synthetic give-away bags; more responsible and frugal than constantly buying paper bags. Available in two rare deadstock fabrics – a 8oz Cone Mills duck canvas and a 10oz striped twill from the now-shuttered Avondale Mills. Limited quantities in these fabrics.


Double bottom for added durability and two external pockets for smaller items that merit separation – bags of spices, fragile produce, or bars of chocolate. Strong military-spec cotton webbing handles, fully finished interior, bar-tacked at all stress points and reinforced at the top hem, this light tote built to last.  Brown_Duck_Tote_Flat_grandeAvailable now in the Archival web store!


Shopping from the Past: Duxbak Jackets

August 16th, 2013


It may be the wrong time of year to be thinking about jackets, hunting, or hunting jackets, but we can’t help ourselves. Archival reader Burhan sent us some shots of his new-to-him Duxbak, to which he wisely added wool knit cuffs (an Archival favorite) and a few inside pockets.

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My father found a great old Drybak at a Eugene garage sale. If I get wool cuffs put on, I hope to use it duck hunting this winter, but in the meantime it’s entrusted to a farrier friend‘s safekeeping. Note the heavy construction and Binghamton, NY origin – that’s our pal Matt‘s hometown.8615919367_2b02edd596_b8615918807_846f838795_b8617022244_981dba9639_b


For another odd duck hunting jacket from the archives, see Lesli’s post on her Beretta.

Shopping from the Present: Archival Sample Sale

August 13th, 2013

Sample Sale 8-16-2013

We have accumulated lots of odd samples, one-off bags, unusual colors, and deadstock remnants. Please come relieve us of the burden at Eugene’s own Barn Light, this Friday the 16th, from 12 noon to 8:00PM. Join us for smokin’ good deals, excellent booze, and challenges to shuffleboard and foosball!

Shopping from Japan – Shoes Like Pottery

August 7th, 2013

Thanks to Archival readers who suggested Shoes Like Pottery as an alt to my obsession over Wakouwa Deck Shoes.  As was noted in my original post, the Wakouwas are not sized for women, cost over three hundred dollars and are difficult to find in the US.  In contrast, SLPs are unisex, comparably stylish, and easily sourced in the US via favorite shops like Hickorees and Mohawk General Store.  The shoes are made from best quality canvas duck and rubber.  And like a nice pair of Aldens, they are hand sewn and hand assembled.  The SLP moniker refers to the vulcanizing process in which the shoe rubber is fired in a kiln for 70 minutes to make it more soft, durable and flexible.  I still haven’t purchased a pair of canvas shoes but I’m wishfully hoping to find these on sale upon my return from London.


Shopping from ebay: Beaulieu Movie Cameras

August 5th, 2013

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One of my most prized, obsolete possessions is a Beaulieu S2008 Super 8 motion picture camera.  I’ve owned this camera for over twenty years without using it to shoot a single frame of film.  I purchased it in the 90s from the original owner who advised me to replace the decaying battery.  After costing out my options, I discovered that a replacement battery would cost more than the camera was worth.  As it were, I’ve held onto the non functional camera as evidence of an era when film and motion picture cameras were designed to be both functional, durable and beautiful.  In researching my own camera, I discovered all sorts of terrific print ephemera on ebay including operating manuals, lens boxes and magazine ads.  I’m posting a few of my favorite examples plus hero shots of several stunning Beaulieu motion picture camera models.