Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘leather goods’

New Release – Archival Leather Tray

May 23rd, 2014

Our Archival Leather Tray is handmade for us by exemplary craftsman, Nicholas Hollows of Hollows Leather.  The tray is ideal for stashing all your daily pocket carries.  It also works perfectly as a game piece catcher on your kitchen table. We’re using ours right now to keep track of Yahtzee dice.  Cut from belt weight leather and twice-riveted on each corner with solid brass hardware.  Here is the perfect gift for grads or pops or pals.  It also makes a great GIF.  For more info visit the Archival Web Shop.Hollows Tray Brown crop2   Hollows Tray Brown crop

Hollows Tray Brown reverse lo res Hollows Tray Natural crop

 Hollows Tray natural reverse

Release – Archival Leather Cuff

October 5th, 2012
We’re thrilled to announce the release of our new leather cuff by favorite small leather goods maker, Nick Hollows.  The cuffs are made from the same great materials as our popular leather key loop including stout leather cord, red waxed twine and a solid brass hook which is easy to attach (even one-handed).  We’re offering the cuffs in three sizes so that they can be worn by both ladies and gents, slim or more full wristed folks.  

Tanner Goods for Archival Canine Collar

December 14th, 2011

We asked Tanner Goods, a Portland based leather goods company, to make a special edition of their canine collar for Archival. Constructed from 9/10 oz Vegetable-dyed English Bridle leather, the Archival Canine Collar features a solid brass buckle and a heavy-duty welded D ring for attaching a leash. The edges are dyed, burnished and waxed by hand.

Tanner has added edge stitching for extra durability and visual effect.

With proper care the canine collar will last for years. And unlike synthetic collars with plastic hardware, the canine collar will look even better as it ages.

Dimensions: 1″ wide

Available in sizes S through XL

Archival Release: Leather Key Loop

November 24th, 2011

We love using this handsome leather loop to manage and tether our keys. It makes it easy to find them in a dark bag or busy pocket, and convenient to loop around a belt or hang on a hook. You can also just spin it around when you’re bored!
Our own design, it’s made to last by Hollows Leather in Minneapolis. Only the best materials: stout buffed leather cord, red waxed twine, and a solid brass marine-grade shackle.

Archival Restock: Billykirk Leathergoods

October 3rd, 2011

We’ve restocked the AC Web Shop with more best quality leather goods by our friends at Billykirk. We now carry the Abstract and “Handmade in USA” skinny cuffs in dark brown with brass hardware. The card/cash case, one of the few small wallets on the market, pairs well with our new, comparatively voluminous AC flap wallet.

Archival Production Report: Flap Wallet

September 5th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Nicholas Hollows, of Hollows Leather, is the craftsman behind our new Archival Flap Wallet. We asked him to document his production process in words and photographs. Here’s what he had to say:

The Archival Flap Wallets are truly handmade pieces. The leather is cut by hand, shaped by hand, punched and stitched by hand. The hardware is set with a hammer, and the edges are hand-burnished with beeswax. The Chromexcel leather from Horween is incredibly supple and lends the final product a satisfying, book-like quality that feels great to hold. I’m proud of this work, and happy to share it.

Archival Release: AC Flap Wallet

August 17th, 2011

We partnered with Hollows Leather (in Minneapolis, MN) to produce this custom wallet for Archival Clothing.

With a signature Archival flap, our wallet is designed for those who prefer the simplicity of a single main compartment. Generously sized, the wallet fits most currencies, passports and a sizeable pile of receipts. There is also an outer card holder, beneath the flap, for quick access to your most frequently used cards. I like it for grabbing my license during airport security checks. Double stitching in red thread reinforces stress points where the stitching typically gives out.

The Flap Wallet is designed to work with the pocketing dimensions of Archival Clothing bags.

Build notes — the wallet is made from our favorite archival materials: Horween Chromexcel leather, solid brass hardware and red waxed thread sourced from Japan.

Available now in the Archival Store. For more about how the wallets are made, see an upcoming guest post by Nicholas Hollows.

Dimensions: 4.5″ x 5.75″

Archival custom order: Filson dog collar

April 5th, 2010
Chaz in his Filson collar (on shore of McKenzie River)

In my post on the Filson custom order program, I forgot to mention the collar I purchased for my dog, Chaz. Filson offers their vegetable tanned, bridle leather collars in 14, 19, 21 and 23 inch lengths. Unfortunately, this size range really only covers skinny spaniels or thick necked Labrador retrievers. Filson needs a mid-sized collar in the 16-17″ range which would work for field dogs like Weimaraners and German Shorthaired Pointers (breeds frequently featured in Filson catalog copy).

A Filson staffer once told me about a collar he had made for his bird dog from a Filson bridle leather belt blank (before Filson made dog collars). Inspired, I phoned Filson to see if I could customize a collar for Chaz. For the standard upcharge of 35% above retail, Filson agreed to make the collar (confirming that they had recently customized a 17″ collar for another customer).

Here are some use notes and photographs of the custom Filson collar:

New Filson collar (L), aged Leerburg flat collar (R)

Welded brass hardware

Made in Seattle

Double riveting

While I love how the Filson collar looks, I’d like to see Filson make a few upgrades to the design. For one, the collar comes with a welded rather than cast brass “O” ring. For a company that prides itself on making products from the “best” materials, I’m surprised by their selection of lower grade hardware for the optical center of the collar. I’m constantly rotating the weld so that it doesn’t show.

Also, after a wet winter’s exposure to rain, the leather is beginning to wrinkle and warp a little. While I regularly treat the leather with Pecard dressing, I’m concerned about how the collar is going to look after a few years.

If I were updating the collar, I’d swap out the brass ring, upgrade the leather and reinforce the pop rivets with double-stitching for extra durability (see the Leerburg collar as an example). While I’m critical of these details (I expect the best from Filson), I’d still recommend it for anyone looking for a quality collar. (Note that for swimming, I’d switch over to something a little more non-archival and water repellent.)

For reference, here are a few additional sources for archival quality leather pet leashes and collars.

Ray Allen


Frances Kelley Bridles

Archival Field Trip: Horween Leather Co.

November 3rd, 2009

Horween tour photos by Rick Gersbach

Last week, Rick, Sara and I visited the Horween Leather Co. in Chicago, Illinois. Nick Horween directed our tour of the tannery, one of the oldest in the US. Horween produces highest quality leathers that are used for Alden shoes, NFL footballs, Russell and Quoddy moccasins, Altadena Works packs, Makr leather wallets and more.

The Horween factory consists of five floors and we were intent on seeing everything. Nick warned us that our eyes might glaze over. He might also have cautioned us about intense odors, high heat, puddles underfoot, sharp hooks overhead and proximity to machinery, ancient and modern. The many-stepped tanning process takes six months, so we weren’t able to follow one hide from raw to finish state. We watched as cow and horse hides were stripped of hair, shaved of flesh, dyed, cut out, wrung, squeegeed, stacked, left to rest, hung up, impregnated with wax, split, dried, stamped, measured, and polished (not in that order).

Fortunately for readers wishing to better visualize the complexities of the tanning process, friend and photographer Rick Gersbach provided documentary evidence of our tour. A full set of Rick’s Horween photographs can be viewed via his flickr site here.

At the end of the tour, Nick, our charming and well informed host, showed us some belts, shoes and wallets made from Horween leathers. While I’ve always admired shell cordovan leather from afar, I’m now fundraising for a Highland brand belt and a custom pair of Alden Style 500 boots in whiskey or cigar shell cordovan. But for now, I’ll console myself with the chromexcel hide I purchased from Horween for future projects.

Dreaming of Alden Surgical boots in whiskey shell cordovan
For more stories and reports about the Horween Leather Co., read Nick’s own official Horween blog.

Shopping from 1999: David Morgan Catalog

September 13th, 2009
Same plain brown cover in 2009

No longer available: Dale walking trousers

Early source for Bills Khakis

Hickory shirts and logger buttons

Brilliant belt selection

Filson (i.d. the discontinued items)
Akurbra hats (someone should wear them)
No longer available: Nova Scotia woolens

David Morgan is one of the few remaining mail order companies that still sends out a print catalog. As far as I can tell, the catalog has not changed in appearance since I first started receiving copies in the early 90s (requested during my first search for a filson wool cruiser). While a David Morgan 1999 catalog may look like a 2009 catalog (same typeface, same layout, same grayscale photography, same brown cover) much has changed in the last ten years. The Bosca coin purse is now made in China and costs 43.00 (it used to be a 24.00 staple). Nova Scotia textiles and Alpendale are now out of business. Filson no longer offers Oregon-made wool whipcord or moleskin trousers and some of the original Filson styles have disappeared.

Nevertheless, the catalog continues to offer many worthy archival garments and accessories.

Here are three of my favorite items from the 2009 catalog:

Braided cinch belt

Addendum: check out the David Morgan sale section which frequently features discontinued items and sale priced Filson (plus oddball sizes of Bills Khakis and hardship woolens).