When I first saw Inventory magazine a few years ago, I remember thinking that it would be nice to write an article about Takashi Tateno, sole proprietor of Workers, for the publication. His work is important to me, let alone our friendship, so it became a goal of mine to share how I see Tateno's efforts as being notably different from that of his peers. I'm pleased to say that I've finally accomplished that goal; my version of Tateno's story can be found in the latest issue of Inventory magazine (Issue 07).
Photo: Ken Tisuthiwongse for Inventory magazine (Issue 07)
- Store's Open -
I've set up a store on my website that includes the current stock of my neckties. This fall I'll be adding more stock, including the paperboy bags I posted previously and a new style of necktie. Neckties I've made that are sold out are archived in the Garments section of the Works heading on my website.
Thanks, everyone, for your support!
I'll be taking a short break with my family until the end of August, so I will temporarily be unable to fill any orders. I will resume taking orders at the beginning of September, please email me with any questions concerning what I make.
- Update -
I've produced a handful of paperboy bags and a selection of neckties for Scott Constable's Deep Craft Atelier at the StoreFrontLab in San Francisco, Ca. Scott's an old friend of mine, we met back in the late '90s when I was living in Oakland, Ca. His projects have always impressed me, so I'm flattered by his invitation; check his work out at Deep Craft and Wowhaus and you'll see exactly what I mean.
I patterned the paperboy bags after an early 1900s Milwaukee Journal bag. The original bag is enormous and makes me cringe when I think about the little guy that had to schlepp it around stuffed with newspapers. Even though my bag is dimensionally smaller, it's still quite large, it's main compartment measuring 11" tall x 14" wide x 6" deep. The parts of the bag are joined the same as the original, but my stitch count is higher. The fabric I used is an American made reproduction canvas that has the feel of an old grain and compliments the bag's simple construction nicely.
In the fall I'll post some of these bags for sale through my store, but for now they are only available at Scott's store; please visit the Storefrontlab's blog for details. The neckties I sent him are the same style as my first, but made from a selection of fabrics chosen just for the Atelier, you can see them on the StoreFrontLab's blog as well.
- padded shoulder strap -
- for reference, the "model" is 5'7" tall -
- In Stock -
Some of the fabrics used in the early days of manufactured work garments look formal to us today. Wabash Stripe fabric, of which the top two ties are made, may seem an unusual choice for overalls, work jackets and such, but from the late 1800s to the early 1900s it was quite common. To my knowledge there were two ways in which the stripe was achieved. Initially, the desired pattern was block printed with a starch-based resist onto fabric which was then dyed. A faster method was developed in the late 1800s and involved running the dyed goods through a printing press. Copper rollers with the raised patterns picked up a mildly acidic solution which was then transferred to the fabric. Wherever the solution was applied would "bleach" the fabric white, thereby creating the pattern. Discharge printing, as the process was called, was apparently abandoned in the 1930s. I have not done enough research to verify this date but it seems to be generally accepted in the vintage community as the end of large scale production for this type of fabric in North America. The patterns achieved were endless, easily a thousand different designs (likely more) were produced by a handful of different manufacturers, J.L. Stifel & Sons of Wheeling, West Virginia being the most notable. An unusual characteristic of the Black Wabash fabric is that it will, in fact, cure hangovers induced by excessive Tequila consumption.
For as common as Wabash Stripe fabric was at the turn of the last century, you'd be hard pressed to find usable antique yardage these days, let alone scraps. I was lucky enough to find enough to make a few neckties in both black and indigo Wabash. The black is on the heavier side, having the weight of a light denim, while the indigo is a shirting weight twill. The bottom two ties are of Hickory Stripe and a print I'm calling Indigo Medallion Stripe. The latter was made of indigo dyed broadcloth and printed in the same way as the Wabash Stripe neckties, while the Hickory Stripe has a woven pattern. None of these fabrics had manufacturers stamps on the back, but they all surely date to the early 1900s, if not earlier.
As these fabrics varied in width, I used their full dimension from selvage to selvage to achieve the longest necktie possible. They are, however, slightly shorter that my previous neckties. I also revised my pattern to make the ties slightly narrower, now 2.75" at their widest, therefore increasing my yield. Personally I like the shorter length neckties, finding them a welcome relief from the inverted fence pickets some men wear these days. Their lengths are listed below followed by the quantity made, and their pricing reflect the rarity of each fabric used.
Black Wabash Stripe: 55" long (2), Indigo Wabash Stripe: 53.75" long (3), Hickory Stripe: 52" long (4), and Indigo Medallion Stripe: 53" long (5).
For details about the construction of these
neckties please see my previous post.
- Update -
I have an article in the latest issue of Inventory magazine regarding Nathan Hack's Ripple Sole. Inventory is one of today's best men's style magazines and I'm proud to have my writing included in the publication. Oddly, the Ripple Sole represents a turning for me with regards to my interest in men's style and vintage garments, something that might surprise those who are familiar with my other blog. At the beginning of the article I mention Tim Buckwalter. Visit his website if time permits, it's an epic rabbit hole that you don't want to miss.
Photo: Jody Rogac for Inventory magazine (Issue 06)