Archival Update

Archival Rucksack in gray waxed twill

Driveway delivery

Archival Clothing has been busy with projects this summer. Here are a few updates.

On Saturday, we picked up our second production run of rucksacks from our terrific sewing contractor, Terry Shuck. While neighbors were setting off daylight fireworks, we were indoors packing bags and filling out customs forms for our many international orders.

Tom prepping bags for wrapping and boxing

Hall o’ rucksacks

In addition to rucksacks, we will have a new shipment of flap musettes in our standard colors–plus black and gray–available in two weeks. We will also be bringing out an all black version of our tote bag.

We have a new Archival bag style–an updated field bag–in the works. Terry is currently prototyping Tom’s design and we should have our first production run available sometime in August. More on this project in a future post.

While not preparing for his move to New York, Tom has been working out of the Archival bonus room. He’s managing our expanding supply line of waxed cotton fabric, leather, webbing, thread and hardware. We’ve reordered new hides from Horween, and have started the process of having cotton webbing custom woven for us at a Pennsylvania narrow fabrics mill. In addition to designing our bags, Tom is contributing many of the finishing details on our bags–hand cutting all of the leather straps for the rucksacks and individually numbering the leather strap retainers (rucksacks) and leather tabs (flap musettes).

We’re committed to sourcing as many of our material supplies–and third party products–from US manufacturers. There are a few challenges to this approach. Many vendors have very high minimums, difficult for small manufacturers who aren’t making 10,000 bags at a time. Other vendors list products for sale when they’re in fact back ordered through the winter.

Of course, our own bags are made here in Springfield, Oregon. It’s terrific to be able to talk with Terry whenever there’s a question about production. If we were making our bags overseas, we’re sure that we’d have 100 bags with a tragic, unsaleable flaw.

New Horween samples

A few other projects are in the works. We’ll be placing our order for Archival Clothing shawl collared cardigans from Centralia Knitting Mills – expect to see them for sale in October. We’re also making progress on our bandanna project, though finding appropriate fabric that’s made in the USA is proving to be a challenge. Our friends at Lumina Clothing are giving us a hand, and we hope to make some leaps on the project this month. We’ve gotten some press recently, as well, from Selectism to, believe it or not, Lucky Magazine! We were also delighted to see Archival buddy Peter Buchanan-Smith’s profile in the Times (and thankful that he mentioned us).

Finally, our web shop, at long last, will open for business this week. We’ll be carrying our own bags, of course, as well as some of our favorite items from other producers, such as Saint James tops and scarves, Chester Wallace bags, and cuffs from BillyKirk.

Saint James cotton scarf

19 thoughts on “Archival Update”

  1. busy busy busy. i have a couple of chairs that are exactly the same as the one pictured with the pooch, salvaged from a university research lab. it’s a bit tricky to get the height adjustment mechanism working properly.

  2. Solomander: The Field Bag will have classic British trout bag pocketing – a large flat pocket on the back and two bellows pockets on the front. Plenty of room for big bits (laptops or extra layers) and small bits (keys, iPod, phone, extra shotgun shells, fly boxes). Prototype images coming soon!

  3. That grey wax twill is sooo nice. Any left? Cannot wait to see the prototype field bag. If it is Archival, I just need to have it.

  4. At the risk of seeming like a heretic, have you considered quick release buckles for any of your bags? I find fiddling with buckles to be annoying. I really like the quick releases on my Rivendell Nigel Smythe country bag. The buckle is great for adjustment, but the brass QR just pops open. That kind of thing would be awesome for a field bag application. Functional. yet classy.


  5. Hi Joel –
    We’ve decided against using plastic quick-release buckles for reasons functional, historical, and aesthetic… There are ups and downs to any closure system, and we ended up settling on the roller buckle for durability, solidity, and beauty. Thanks, though, for your input, it’s always greatly appreciated.

  6. Joel–

    We’ve been going over different closure methods for the field bag (reviewing historical examples and quizzing AC user groups). We prefer something closer to what Tom has designed for the rucksack: a simple, single leather strap w/ brass roller buckle. We wanted something that would be easy to operate w/one hand but would also provide security for field and travel use.

  7. Grimupnorth–

    I’m not sure I saw your original message regarding the musette. Could you send an email to me:



    We considered a version of the leather tab closure but prefer the way the leather strap/roller buckle functions & ties in with the rucksack design.

    Picking up field bag prototypes on Monday. Super excited!

  8. Love the rucksacks. I used to do a lot of work for Wolverine boots so really appreciate the ‘fantasticness’ of Horween leather, I’m hoping to visit the factory soon.

    Savile Joe

  9. Anonymous and Grim–

    Grim, we’ve all searched our inboxes for messages from you but have not turned up anything. Under what name are you sending your messages. We absolutely try to reply to email as soon as possible.

    Anonymous, I’m curious about your complaint. We’ve been going out of our way to respond to emails and help customers place orders. We are in transition as we move from blog sales to web shop.

    Last Friday, Joan, our shipping agent, drove out the USPS office in Denver to facilitate a search for an errant package.

    Send me direct note and I’d be happy to get back to you.



    Lesli Larson


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