Empire Wool & Canvas News

Pieces Parts

February 15, 2017 Category:

Piece Parts. The making of a work team.

January, February. March. Winter.

Normal Winter for us means work, play, ship things, repeat. This year is different, we’re growing again. 2016 brought us a new pair of hands at the machines, with an accompanying increase in machinery, materials, labor costs, postage, mileage, and training. It worked, but the effort was significant. Now in 2017 we’re doing it again, this time within walking distance. That meant placing two workhorse machines in someone else’s workshop, building samples, and teaching all the nit-picky little details that make us who we are: 7 steps per zipper, 52 unique components in each Anorak, 4 materials to pre-wash before cutting a Camp Coat. Being stubborn about construction has it’s perks. What we do is just annoying enough that few production managers would find it attractive enough to knock off. I imagine one of my great grandfathers in the old country saying something similar as he whip stitched a button hole, or ground a spyglass lens.

So, here’s what to look for as we go forward towards tick and mosquito season:

1A new Boreal Shirt, availble Spring 2017 from Lester River Bushcraft. The zippered neck, and a fleece lined hood offer an alternative to the  standard version.
2. The Classic Empire Canvas Works Anorak returns. No zippers, no frills, loads of cool. 20 years after I, clad in my latest Goretex design, chuckled at one in a local shop and called it ‘quaint’. Ironic, eh?
3. Waxed Cotton.  Why not? The Snowshoe Hare works so well for cold, a tweak or two and it makes pretty decent rainwear as well. After all, we’ve got real ringer who can build them. We’ve built them int he past, and by golly they’re still going.

At the moment, we”re still making Permafrost Parkas. Yup. 24 of them. it’s a ballet of disaster on the table, but the boxes are shipping at the rate of two a day. Thanks for sticking with us over the years. Enjoy the snow, if yours hasn’t melted away yet.

Kevin