The production of an Ancora Bag involves the creation of a kit of parts. Once all components are cut, they are given to local stitchers who assemble the parts into a finished bag. Almost all of Ancora Bags’ production materials are sourced locally from sites close to Kingfield, Maine. The mission of Ancora Bags is to keep sourcing and production local, meaning west of I-295, our definition of “Western Maine”. A partial listing of components and where they come from, in no particular order follows:
Madison- Crafters Cloth, run by two sisters, is a small house filled with sourced fabric from all over the area. There, Cynthia finds a variety of materials including dog bed lining fabric, Italian wool, upholstery and blackout curtain fabric.
New Sharon- A source for lovely random end of bolt woolens.
Waterville- End of bolt upholstery fabric – leftovers from curtain, slipcovers and pillow production.
Farmington- Cynthia works at Touch of Class, a well known thrift store in the area, and in return for her volunteer work she has access to the pockets from clothes that are not sellable. She also finds some heirloom lace and blankets. Of course everything that is reused is always washed before becoming part of an Ancora Bag.
Lewiston/Auburn- Cynthia gets her thread and webbing from Maine Thread, a Maine company operated by a great guy named Rusty. He is a huge Red Sox and Jim Rome fan, which means that visits with Rusty can get quite animated while both try to solve the Red Sox’s current malaise. Rusty previously supplied thread for L.L. Bean bags and many of the area’s hand-sewn moccasin producers. Cynthia also sources her awning fabric, furniture and car fabrics, and sample pieces of leather in L/A. Yes, that is what we call the Lewiston Auburn area here in Maine. She would not say exactly where, but every company has their insider secrets.
In addition many people send in lace, linens, blankets or other fabrics because they either don’t use them or they have some small imperfection or staining preventing them from being used for their original purpose. Cynthia will also make custom one-off bags for customers if they wish to find a new use for retired heirloom family linens.
Ancora Bags can be found at select stores in Maine, at the Schoolhouse Gallery, and online at Ancorabags.com.