Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Archive for March, 2014

Shopping from 1939 – Ideal Cycling Wear

March 26th, 2014

If you’re a cyclist you’re going to wish you could mail order from this vintage, Alex catalog for “ideal cycling wear.”  Check out the fancy, shawl collar pullovers, pure new wool scarves, Lacoste collar shirts and doeskin gloves.  Was 1939 the last year you could buy stylish, non technical  cycling garb that still resembled everyday clothing?  Thanks to my flickr pal Hudsonic for sourcing and scanning the original Alex catalog in the UK.





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Evidence of participation – Archival Rolltop

March 17th, 2014

Thanks to William Turner for sending us these outdoor snaps of his Archival Rolltop in use. William was hiking Munra Point in the Columbia Gorge which is one of his favorite Oregon travel destinations. Archival loves this kind of “evidence of participation” photograph showing Archival bags, garb and accessories in use.  Our bags are designed for active daily use – in town or country, for commuting or rambling.  We are looking for more scenic, well composed photos of  Archival products in use.  Please submit your photos to  If we use them in our newsletter we’ll send you an Archival gift card and a gushing note of thanks.


From the archives – Costică Acsinte

March 13th, 2014


Little is known about the Costică Acsinte archives.  According to archives metadata, Costică Acsinte was born in Romania and worked as a photographer during WWI. After the war, he opened a commercial studio, “Foto Splendid C. Acsinte.” Ascinte was a prolific photographer; the Ascinte archives contains over 5,000 glass plate negatives, most taken between 1934-1945. What’s remarkable about the Acsinte photos is the interplay between photographic subject and surface image decay. Most of the scanned glass negatives exhibit some level of image degradation.  Browsing the collection, I’m drawn to the ones which feature subject obscuring cracks and flaked emulsions or where surface noise has obscured the subject altogether.  In the best examples, the imperfections creep into the story world and take up the work of jackets, clothing and hair.  Cracks become patterns in fabric, black gaps in the negative substitute for facial deformities. In other examples, the decasia brings an atmospheric charm to the photos – adding life to othewise dull provincial images.  Here are a few of my favorites:
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Archival Webbing now milled in the US

March 10th, 2014

Archival is pleased to announce that our signature, military spec cotton webbing is now being milled in the US. While we love our made in UK webbing, we’ve been looking for a domestic source for several years. Unfortunately, most US narrow fabric companies have shifted manufacturing emphasis from cotton to nylon webbing. Archival prefers cotton to nylon for its traditional appearance, soft hand and durability. Over time, the dense, stout weave becomes more supple with use, without becoming flimsy. Tireless searching by Archival team members led to the discovery of a new domestic webbing source that could produce best quality, all cotton web to our Archival specifications. As a heritage bag company, we are thrilled to finally be sourcing this key component of our bags in the United States. Although you won’t notice a difference between our US and UK webbing it should be showing up on most of our bags and belts in 2014.
Archival Webbing-9 copy Archival Webbing-4 RolltopMessenger_Twill_RT_Angle_Situ Archival Shoulder Tote Cinnamon Angle  

Harajuku Wednesdays

March 5th, 2014

Since my Free & Easy subscription lapsed I have started looking to the Beams photostream as inspiration my Harajuku Wednesday ensembles. Wednesday is the day I shop from myself, so to speak, for clothing I haven’t worn in ages. I recombine past and current pieces into new outfits with an emphasis on extreme layering, mixed patterns, fluctuating trouser lengths and odd ball accessories. I finish the outfit by wearing that one pair of shoes or boots that I avoid because they are hard to lace, heavy, impractical or too nice for daily wear. Here’s what my outfit might look like today:
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