Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘archival commerce’

Archival Essential: Wool Blankets

November 24th, 2010

We love woolen garments and accessories. We obsess over pure new wool. We prefer wool over almost any other fabric because of its warmth and durability and because it retains its natural beauty over its long life. We believe, and can testify from experience, that an investment in wool pays off generously. Wool blankets are essential this time of year. As temperatures drop and you start feeling the chill, add a blanket layer to your bed or pull a blanket over your lap while you’re sitting on the couch or in the car. Wrap blankets around your kids (or your parents). A personal sized wool blanket or throw is a lasting gift. It makes a great picnic blanket (for those of you in temperate climes). Kids can take a magic carpet ride on a wool throw, or pitch a cozy tent in the living room. Pets also enjoy sleeping on wool. The favorite spot of a certain cat we know is the folded blanket at the end of the bed. (The dog would be on the blanket too, if only the cat would let him.)

LL Bean Fall 1942 – for auto, hammock or stadium seat (Oregon green & gold n/a)

Bean Blanket circa Fall 1953 (imported fiber!)

Pendleton offerings

The price of the Pendleton motor robe in the 1967 Eddie Bauer catalog above is $14.95. The 2010 price, adjusted for inflation is $98. By comparison, the Pendleton Lambswool Throw (the modern day equivalent of the motor robe) currently sells for $78. That’s less than its adjusted 1967 cost. Wool does not cost more than it did in the past. Blankets made of synthetics are cheap, so we perceive wool as expensive.

Wool was the long-standing fabric of choice for airplane blankets, outdoor blankets and bedding. United Airlines blankets, for example, were milled by Faribault, a company that recently went out of business. (Look for Faribault blankets on eBay.) Some woolen mills that are still in operation are: Amana Woolen Mills (IA), Bemidji Woolen Mills (MN) and Johnson Woolen Mills (VT). All of them make excellent wool blankets.

We added MacAusland’s wool throws to our store this fall. MacAusland’s Woolen Mills on Prince Edward Island in Canada has been making blankets since 1932. We love the diagonal striping (tweed) on these throws, the variety of colors, and the softness of the wool.

MacAusland’s still makes all of its blankets “from scratch”. The wool is sourced locally from the Atlantic Provinces. It is cleaned, carded and spun into yarn onsite. MacAusland’s is the only remaining Woolen Mill in Atlantic Canada that makes its own blankets. The business is family-owned and a pleasure to work with. MacAuslands also makes bed blankets that can be ordered through us or directly from the manufacturer. They take only about 3 weeks to make.

Blankets coming off the loom at MacAusland’s Woolen Mills

Remember that you can repurpose vintage woolens from EBAY or ETSY, provided they have been well cared for. Here’s a few that I ordered recently. Keywords: wool, blanket, vintage, throw (lap blanket). Look for offering from heritage brands such as Faribo (or Faribault), Amana, Pendleton, Strathdown, Lagoda, Hudson Bay and others to find the best quality blankets. If you don’t currently have one in your car, or at home this is a great way to stock up without making a big investment.

Archival Announcement: Pop Up Flea Appearance

November 18th, 2010

There’s a Pop Up Flea in Nolita this weekend, and we will be there!

Come by on Friday or Saturday and see what’s new at Archival Clothing. Meet Tom, the designer of our bags, and share your feedback. This is an exciting event because many of the best purveyors of heritage menswear are participating. Although it’s billed as a menswear gathering, there’s sure to be classic heritage styles that appeal to women.
For attendees of the Flea, we will be offering a special deal on our Navy Tote – plus we’ll have free domestic shipping on any item in the Archival Clothing store not in stock at the event.
Here’s the official announcement. We’re there on Friday and Saturday. Come see us!
Pop Up Flea
Fri – Sun, Nov 19-21
201 Mulberry Street, NYC
Follow @Pop_Up_Flea on Twitter

Nice Flea preview on Esquire including a nod to our A.C. rucksack.

Archival Update: A.C. Webbing Belts in Stock

October 30th, 2010

A.C. cotton webbing belts w/new Horween leather tip.

We just took delivery of a new batch of Archival Clothing webbing belts. Our belts are sewn locally for us by the same great folks who produce our bags. This is a simple ring belt, made from a length of 1 inch wide, mil spec webbing with two solid brass rings and a new, Horween leather tip. For the new production run, we’ve added XS and XL sizes.

Duckbill Review

October 11th, 2010

Original Filson duckbill offerings

A duckbill cap was the first item I ever purchased from CC Filson. A decade ago, you could buy a Filson duckbill cap in tin cloth, shelter cloth, cotton poplin or wool. Filson even offered a short billed model (my personal favorite). The original duckbill version was fitted and came with a leather sweatband. Filson has dropped the wool and poplin models and switched over to a one size fits all model with a cotton sweatband.

I have a small collection of caps that I rotate through the seasons: poplin for summer, tin cloth for fall, wool for winter and shelter cloth cloth for spring. The duckbill cap makes for an ideal cycling cap. The long bill keeps the sun and rain out of your eyes and the low profile, four panel crowd closely hugs the head (making it possible to tuck the hat under a bike helmet).

I’m unclear on the origin of the duckbill style but there may be a military connection. A gent at the Pacific Aviation Museum in Honolulu once mistook mine for a WWII military reissue.

Unlike a baseball cap with a stiffened brim, the pliable, unstructured duckbill takes on an origami shape that makes it ideal for carrying in coat pocket or bag. Perfect for protection during a sudden squall.

A few sample duckbill caps from my archives:

Original Filson duckbill in tin cloth

Filson duckbill in cotton poplin

Filson short duckbill

Filson wool duckbill

Archival Update: Black Rucksacks in Stock

October 6th, 2010

Terry, our local sewer, just delivered a stunning, ebony batch of Archival Clothing rucksacks. For this round of waxed twill bags, we sourced elegant, black Horween aniline chromexcel leather for a modern, monochrome look.* We also modified the strap adjustment system to accommodate a wider size range of users. Since Tom is now operating out of Brooklyn, Sara has taken over the work of stamping each individual rucksack strap keeper. Look for her handiwork as well on our future production run of field bags.

Rucksacks in ranger tan, olive and gray can be purchased from our web shop or via our retailers.

Send email inquiries about our product offerings to

*Our signature red bar tacking remains.

Archival Update: A.C. Ruckack in Olive Twill

September 11th, 2010
Archival Clothing Rucksack in 22 oz waxed olive twill

We now offer our Archival Clothing Rucksack in a nice, deep shade of olive. The waxed filter twill fabric used for all of our rucksacks is woven, dyed and finished by Fairfield Textiles in Bridgeton, New Jersey. In case you missed the original product announcement, here is a summary of the rucksack’s features. Gray, tan and olive rucksacks are now in stock. Black rucksacks will be available at the end of September.

Archival Clothing Rucksack in 22 oz waxed olive twill

If you wish to inspect our rucksacks in person, visit one of the following stockists:

Winn Perry (Portland, Oregon)

Best Made Company (New York)

Benson Outiftters (U.K.)

On Y Va (Switzerland)

Social Outcast (Japan)

You may also order directly from the Archival Clothing web shop.

Archival Webbing Belts

July 17th, 2010

We love our British military-spec webbing, especially since it took us so long to find an example that was up to our standards. The dense, stout weave becomes more supple with use, without ever becoming flimsy. This is a simple ring belt, with nothing more than a length of webbing with two solid brass rings. Our signature red bar-tack keeps things together. Ideal for summer use with denim, chinos, and shorts of all stripes. Made by the same folks who sew our bags in Springfield, OR.

SMALL – fits waists from 29-32
MEDIUM – fits waists from 32-34
LARGE – fits waists from 34-37

Made in USA

Available here in our web shop.

Illustrated use

Prototype for future belt width

Archival Update

July 3rd, 2010
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

Archival Kerchiefs

May 7th, 2010

(hankies above are from the highly-endorsed DISCHARGE STYLE)

Handkerchief, bandanna, hankie, or kerchief. Whatever you call it, it’s essential. I keep one with me all the time, for nose-blowing, glasses cleaning, a rag for when your bicycle chain drops, tying things, bundling things, a headband, or, in the woods, as a sieve (try it – you can even drain rice). Lesli and I both won’t go on a cycling outing without at least two handkerchiefs. Keep one in your handlebar bag for all contingencies. Along with a good knife, a bandanna is an everyday necessity.

Try out your bandannas as neck wear:

Or as head gear:

Or as baggage:

Make sure to keep an eye on your hankie:

Shopping possibilities:

Archival Clothing is thinking about designing and producing a limited-edition hankie. If we keep the price low, would anyone be interested? They’d be made in the USA, of course, and available in a few colors.

Archival Flap Musettes Now Available

April 27th, 2010

We are excited to announce that a new round of Archival Flap Musettes and Archival Totes are now available. We also have Archival Plain Musettes in stock.

Flap musette in 10 oz. navy waxed cotton canvas

Flap musette in 22 oz. ranger tan waxed twill

Flap musette in 10 oz. olive waxed cotton canvas

To make a purchase, please send an email to to confirm availability of style and color.

The Flap Musette is $110 + 12.50 for shipping within the US.

For international shipping charges, please inquire at

While our musettes are designed for cycling and everyday use, we were pleased that Apartment Therapy Unplggd endorsed our bags for ipad portage.

And in case you missed our production tour of T & J sewing, here are a few more shots of the flap musettes being sewn by owner Terry Shuck.

Individually numbered tabs (hand stamped by Tom)

Binding side seams


Attaching web strap

Our sewing savant

In lieu of cardboard boxes (custom transport duffles by T & J)