Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Archival Review: Filson Knitwear

Discontinued Filson Cardigan

If I ever earn a spot on Filson's Council for Women (an advisory and field testing group), I'd recommend that Filson introduce a line of made-in-USA knitwear for women (and slim-framed gents).

Filson currently offers only one sweater for women--the snowflake and deer patterned Cowichan.

The first installment in my knitwear collection for women would be a scaled down version of the Outfitter sweater. Although a few other US outdoor clothing companies offer a heavy duty, all wool waterfowling pullover, none match the overbuilt quality of the Filson Outfitter.

Side note: the nearest commercial match to the Outfitter sweater would be the McAlister Duration Waterfowl sweater (if you like your waxed cotton in an Advantage Camo pattern) or the McAlister Duration 3-button version (at $149.00, an attractive option for an austerity shopper in the standard S-XXXL size range).

In addition to bringing out a new women's Outfitter sweater, I'd reintroduce a modernized version of Filson's (discontinued) worsted wool cardigan. My updated version would have an overall slimmer fit with narrower sleeves (no balloon arms), shorter body length (avoiding the bathrobe effect) and a much higher buttoning neck (no deep V-neck cardigans for me) . I'd also remove the suede shooting patches or swap them out for waxed cotton. The final sweater might look something like this:

Although many commercial knitting mills have gone out of business in the Northwest, I'm optimistic that Filson is still having their US-made sweaters manufactured in the region. Out of curiosity, does anyone know who does the contract knitting for Filson?

Visual addendum for Filson:


Kverulantinnen said...

Hey Lesli! I thought you would be amused to be nominated for a Norwegian "Kreativ blogger award" (that shouldn't be too difficult to translate) on my blog. In classic chain letter style, I was supposed to nominate 8 other blogs after having been nominated myself...

Alaskatux said...

Filson has looked at some sweater styles for women, they are not on the schedule for '09 though. Too early to know what they might be if at all. Filson's sweater styles with the 700 product numbers are knit in the US. Sweater styles in the 11000 number range are China/Hong Kong and are Merino as opposed to the Worsted wool of the 700# sweaters.

Lesli Larson said...

A Filson sweater for women in worsted wool with a 700 product number would be ideal. I imagine the impulse would be to offer an indoors/casual style in the 11000 number range (Lodge line style), but I'd say: go for something unapologeticaly robust like the Outfitter. No other company in the US offers a heavy weight sweater for women in that style (w or w/o waxed cotton shoulder patches). For my own selfish purposes, make sure it's not cut so long in length and in the sleeves that it wouldn't fit shorter, more petite women.

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