Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘shopping from the present’

Archival Field Trip – Project NYC

January 21st, 2013
If you’re in NYC for market week, drop by and visit Archival at Project.  We’ll be participating in MADE by PROJECT,  a pop-up concept comprised of some of our favorite heritage brands creating products on the floor.  While I won’t be hammering grommets or bartacking web belts, I will be wandering the show taking snaps and greeting far flung friends and blog readers.   Show information here.

Archival Envy – FWK EG Aviator’s Jacket

January 7th, 2013

My wardrobe comes from three places: Archival, thift shops and FWK Engineered Garments.  Since 2010, I’ve been buying carefully selected pieces from Engineered Garments line for women.  I’ve amassed Bedfords in wool and corduroy plus a rotating collection of work shirts in chambray and broadcloth.  Just when I thought I was set with staple pieces for the next decade, FWK released this amazing Aviator’s jacket as part of their Fall 2012 line.


I shy away from replica, military style jackets – especially those with excess straps, buttons and/or trim.  For civilian use, these features, though eye appealing, interfere with the simple, weather repelling, on-off demands of my daily commute.  As it were, the EG Aviator jacket pares the original military style down to its essential features.   

The jacket is made up of an outer shell of cotton/nylon rip stop fabric with an internal wool liner.   Despite all sandwich of fabrics, the jacket does not feel bulky or limit arm or body mobility.  Nylon ripstop keeps out the Oregon rain while the thin wool lining adds a comforting, chill abating layer. In use, the jacket has an amazingly sporty, body hugging quality.

My two favorite jacket features are the corduroy lined hand warmer pockets (not pictured!) and the knit cuffs trimmed in wool.  

Instead of a full storm flap, the FWK EG jacket comes with a snap front, semi storm flap.  Here, I love the visual bling of these three snaps but the sturdy, two way zipper has a tendency to catch on the flap when I zip up the jacket.

FWK EG is one of the brands that still inspires seasonal lookbook anticipation. Here’s a snap from a Japanese site showing how the jacket could be styled with additional, counterpunctual patterns and layers

Archival Holiday Sample Sale

December 7th, 2012
If you’re in Eugene, you’re welcome to stop by our offices now through December 21st to make holiday purchases and see samples, prototypes, and other goods not listed on our web store. You do have to schedule an appointment – just email info@archivalclothing and Nicole will find a time for you to come in. Hope to see you there!
Thanks to Morejohn for the original Archival illustrations..

Archival Uniform – November Edition

November 19th, 2012

Per Archival Resolution #9, here is the November edition of my Archival uniform. While our resolutions recommend that you come up with a signature uniform that you wear once a week, mine has seen active use on multiple days.  

Archival striped tee women and Centralia multiweave cardigan.  Here, per usual, I follow my own rule of wearing at least two layers on top.  In another month, I might add a kerchief or a fine gauge wool scarf as a neck garnish. 

Engineered Garments Upland Vest.   Inspired by the Japanese, I love to finish my uniform with a vintage Upland style hunting vest (the pocketing doubles as a purse).  Since I’m so small, it’s hard to source an authentic hunting vest that fits properly so I opt for updated versions – sized for women and petite gents – by Rising Sun, Post O’Alls or Engineered Garments.

Red Cloud & Co. Denim.  Howard Gee, the denim guru at Ab Fits, introduced me to Red Cloud premium denim made in mainland China.  The Red Cloud cut is close to a pair LVC Levis 1947, my go to denim on alternative outfit days.

Alden Cape Cod Beefroll Penny Loafer.  Not much visual variation here.  I wear Alden Cape Cod loafers – in black and brown – nearly everyday of the year.  My statement on loafers.

If you have a signature uniform, please post your notes to our Archival Facebook page or send me a note at  I’d love to repost more visual examples (other than mine) on the AC blog. 

Release – Archival Trail Cap in Tan

November 16th, 2012

We couldn’t find a lightweight waxed cotton baseball cap that was readily available and made in the USA, so we’ve produced one ourselves. Classic five panel design with leather tab back adjustment. Made of a 5.5 ounce waxed cotton/nylon that’s both durable and lightweight. Ideal for all-weather walking, fishing, and hunting. One size fits most. If you have a larger head (sizes 7 3/4 and above), this cap might feel a bit small. Waxed fabric: 80% cotton, 20% nylon Now available in tan and navy

From the Archives – Winter Bicycles 1918 Military Cycle

November 12th, 2012

Last week, I took a few snaps of custom frame builder Eric Estlund’s latest project –  a modern interpretation of a WWI military bike.  Dubbed the 1918 after Armistice day,  Estlund’s bike is an homage to the Columbia Military Bicycle models that were issued by the US Government during the war.  While Eric worked from drawings of the original Columbia Military Model, he updated the design and fit of the 1918 to make it more practical for use by a modern rider (in this case, a female Marine and WWI historian).  For studio snaps and a full report on the 1918, check out Eric’s site.

Double top tube for strength and durability

 Modern update – stem mounted shifter 
Internal cable routing to preserve the historical profile
5 speed drum brake –  another modern touch

Client supplied pennies that bracket the war – one from 1914, and one from 1918.
Custom rear carrier
Wool blanket sample for paint matching – Dixie Tan

Archival Release – Marled Cotton Caps

November 5th, 2012

For the Fall, we’re releasing our knit caps in soft, itchless, 100% marled cotton.  These cozy hats are made on a 1920s-era circular knitting machine. We love their sturdy ribbed knit and subtle colors.   They’re terrifically comfortable, but please note that unlike wool, these caps won’t keep you warm if they get soaked, so don’t take them backpacking! 

Archival Down Vests by Crescent Down Works

October 30th, 2012

I really love down vests, so it was a treat to work with one of the finest down garment makers in the country on a really special project. Here’s our take on a classic work/hunting vest, done with a lightweight waxed cotton shell, a nylon lining for easy layering, and a worsted wool rib collar, knitted by Washington’s Centralia Knitting Mills. Made in Seattle, WA by Crescent Down Works.

The waxed cotton shell is weather-resistant and durable, much more so than the thin nylon typically used in backpacker’s down vests. The collar is cozy but not so big you can’t throw a jacket on over. The handwarmer pockets are stuffed with down so that your hands really stay warm. There’s an inside pocket for the phone, or matches, or playing cards.

I’m very proud of this vest – it’s handsome, durable, and functional clothing made in the Northwest – and that’s what Archival’s all about! Exclusive to Wilderness Workshop and our own web store. Very limited quantities  

We visited Crescent Down Works a few months ago, be sure to check out the report from that trip.

Update – Archival Roll Tops

October 24th, 2012
The Archival Roll Top is now available for Fall in two new canvas duck colors: olive and terracotta.  The Roll Top is a comfortable, roomy, stripped-down backpack for keeping your belongings dry and safe in any conditions. Ideal for bicyclists, motorcyclists, and anyone else who regularly faces the elements. Featuring a roll-top closure secured by a stout Horween leather strap and solid brass roller buckle, double-layer bottom, an interior stash pocket, and two exterior side pockets great for keys, mini U-lock, or anything else requiring quick access.  Our Roll Top is also available for the Fall in heavy duty waxed twill

Shopping from the USA: Carhartt

October 19th, 2012
When I was 14, the guys at the bike shop where I volunteered insisted that Carhartts were the only pants worth buying at retail price. I biked out to Coastal Farm and Feed in Eugene, dropped $40 on a pair of B01 double-knee pants, and have been a fan ever since. We’ve done a few little posts on the subject, but in general we defer to Mr. Fox, undoubtedly the king of Carhartt in these parts. 

Recently there’s been a little excitement as Carhartt starts to promote the styles still made in the USA. The WSJ had an interesting piece over a year ago, and Michael at ACL recently posted a great article (with, as usual, an entertaining comment thread). 

Carhartt kindly sent over one of their made in USA Active Jacs for me to check out. I love it – super warm and it’s built like a truck. Gotta dig that giant zipper pull. Regular/roomy fit, so you can layer sweaters underneath. $100. Seriously cannot beat that bang for the buck unless you’re buying used. 

Really happy to see the USA-made goods getting pushed, and here’s hoping that more and more of their goods can be brought home as demand increases. I asked a few questions about the USA line, and here are the thoughts of Tony Ambroza, VP of Marketing at Carhartt. I’m most interested in the links between domestic manufacture and the physical design of the artifacts being produced, so I would have loved to hear more about that process – maybe someday I’ll take a field trip to Irvine, KY to see the plant!

1)     What made Carhartt decide to bring the production of these styles back to the USA?
Our Made in the USA line of apparel was created in response to consumer feedback; they told us they wanted to know exactly which products we make and source in the U.S. We were able to shift some product to other manufacturing facilities in order to accommodate production of these popular styles.
2)     What advantages have you found in domestic production?
We never stopped manufacturing in the U.S. since the company’s founding in 1889. In the last 15 years alone, we’ve made more than 57 million units of apparel in our U.S. facilities.  Fortunately the family who founded the business still owns Carhartt outright and understands how the company’s heritage is linked to US manufacturing.  As a consumer focused American work wear manufacturer, serving and protecting hard working people with our products is extremely important to us.  We work to ensure our products are still built to the high standards established by our founder Hamilton Carhartt, while keeping our prices competitive and affordable.  Thanks to our manufacturing approach we are able to maintain US manufacturing without increasing the price for our US styles.
3)     Any drawbacks?
It is difficult to remain competitive in our industry with only domestic production when just 2 percent of clothing bought here is actually manufactured here.  This is why we have chosen a balanced supply chain strategy which includes domestic and outsourced production. It allows us to provide high-quality products at competitive prices. With that said, no brand makes more rugged work wear in the U.S. than Carhartt.
4)      Has it been easy or hard to find the needed skilled labor to produce at scale in the USA?
Fortunately, many of the employees who stitch together our products by hand have been with us for several decades or more.  The work is physically demanding.  It takes a great deal of training and time for employees to learn the skills required to build Carhartt to our exact specifications.