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.
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.
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.