program Archive Series
The Archive Series is directly modeled after a selection of mid-20th century utility gear and packs. The original bags are all results of military research and development – distinguished by a minimal form-follows-function design where each shape, zip and compartment has a designated purpose. The series is crafted from high-grade nylon and polyester fabrics manufactured by expert weavers in China and Japan.
history Jungle pack
original Jungle pack
In the early 1940s, U.S. military equipment was continuously being developed and adapted to meet the specific needs of different climates and environmental settings. The ‘jungle pack’ was a large canvas rucksack made in plain olive green and a camouflage pattern, designed for use in the tropical forests of the Pacific.
The jungle pack, later known simply as ‘field pack’, featured separate waterproof bags and pouches stored inside the main compartment, to organise and protect extra clothing and blankets, toiletries, provisions and personal belongings.
Two pairs of web straps ran horizontally and vertically around the body of the bag so that the volume could be adjusted to the contents. The bag was secured with a drawstring and covered with a waterproof flap. On top of the flap, a zippered compartment held a canteen, medical kit and other small articles.
history Top-loading duffle
original Top-loading duffle
The top-loading duffle – a cylindrical bag with a single opening at the top – has a long history as a common-issue item for the U.S. military since the 1940s. It was first created to fit a full allowance of clothing and equipment for overseas journeys.
A vast improvement over the earlier, unmanageable ‘barracks bags’, the duffle was fashioned out of durable olive-drab cotton duck or – when there was a shortage – denim. The bag was provided with a double-purpose handle so its owners could carry it like a suitcase at their sides or sling it over their shoulders.
In the post-war decades, the bags became popular with a new audience. In Australia and California, surfers packed military-issue duffle bags or canvas reproductions with towels and swim trunks, slinging the single strap over their shoulders.
history B-4 flyers clothing bag
original B-4 flyers clothing bag
First developed in 1931, the B-4 flyers clothing bag was a sturdy canvas carryall created to keep officers’ uniforms crisp and wrinkle-free in the cramped fuselages of their small aircraft.
The olive-drab case, made of heavy-duty duck, could be unzipped, opened up and laid flat for packing. It had hangers, a snap partition for shoes, external pockets secured by big zips, and stiffeners on the top and bottom to hold its shape.
The U.S. army – which has always supplied its enlists with special containers, bag and kits for almost every purpose – first developed the bag in 1931. But it underwent many iterations before it became the sturdy, virtually waterproof B-4 bag that was adopted by U.S. pilots. It is still in use today, but the modern version is produced using nylon.
history Helmet bag
original Helmet bag
The U.S. Air Force helmet bag is described in its military-standards document as a container with a rounded bottom, 20 inches high and 19 inches wide. It is made from a heavy and water-repellent nylon fabric in olive green, and padded with quilted rip-stop nylon.
The bag was designed to protect a flyer’s helmet from scratches when not in use and its development corresponded with the innovation of hard-shell helmets in the 1950s. The helmet bags that are designed today are generally adopted from a model that was introduced in the late 1960s.
Like older versions, this one also featured a large interior compartment for holding an aviation helmet including radio and earphone attachments. New additions were two external pockets on the front of the bag, closing with snaps and hook-and-loop fasteners, and one inner pocket at each end of the liner for storing small equipment and personal belongings.
history M1944 cargo field pack
original M1944 cargo field pack
Inspired by the USMC M1941 pack system, the M1944 cargo field pack has a long, utilitarian history in the U.S. military across its branches. It was used as a holdall for the essentials one would need in the field.
The M1944 consisted of an upper, square-shaped backpack with a detachable lower ‘cargo’ knapsack. The upper part was dedicated to lighter necessities – like underwear, a mess kit and toilet items – while the cargo pack was somewhat larger than an overnight bag, and packed with spare clothing and other ‘non-essential’ items. It attached to the bottom of the backpack using quick-release straps.
With waterproof lining and a web-carrying handle on top, it was often used on its own as a furlough bag. The mouth of the pack had a rubberised fabric ‘collar’ that prevented its contents from getting wet in the rain, and it could be rolled to further improve its waterproofing.
history Kit bag
original Aviator bag
Developed in the 1930s for the exclusive use of the U.S. Airforce, the ‘AN6505-1’ bag was designed to cater to the specific needs of flight crews during airborne missions. With a generous rectangular shape, the holdall kit bag would easily accommodate an aviator’s jumpsuit, as well as cold-weather gear and other items needed in an aircraft.
Made in heavy-duty cotton canvas, the bag was outfitted with interior slots and pockets to organise smaller items. A top-load design with a robust two-way metal zip allowed for easy access to the contents, while the snap flap cover at the top further protected the closure from rain and dirt.
The bag was designed for carrying equipment to an aircraft rather than for longer marching and was therefore equipped with short reinforced double handles instead of a shoulder strap. With a foldable construction, the bag could be stored flat when not in use.
The original aviator bag is still an inspiration for many modern travel bags intended for shorter trips or for taking essentials on-board. Today’s holdalls are often made to comply with standard cabin size regulations. Made from durable cotton or nylon canvas, they usually keep the minimal construction and are suitable for carrying heavy loads.
supplier Komatsu Seiren
Komatsu Seiren is one of Japan’s leading textile manufacturers, established in 1943. The company specialises in high-quality synthetic fibres and fabrics, as well as in customised fabric treatments that produce garments and accessories with unique visual and tactile properties. The soft khaki-green ‘tumbled satin’ – a water-repellent nylon fabric with a matt vintage-like lustre – is new to the Spring/Summer 2018 collection.