Mister Freedom® Original ‘Stanley’ Shop Tees Made & Silkscreened in USA
From stitching appliqués or spray-painting hand-cut stenciled motifs on an assortment of vintage bodies in a small garage in the late 1990’s, to silkscreening our own T-shirts (the USA-made Mister Freedom® Stanley) in the heat of our 7161 Beverly sweatshop, playing with original graphics has always been a fun creative hobby for us.
The journey from hand-doodled graphic to final printed garment is not a dull one. We like having things done in a specific way, so we keep the process in-house, running small batches, scheduling frantic printing sessions in between water-sports activities. Save from having the screens burnt in a small Downtown LA specialized workshop, the whole silkscreening operation is handled at the MF® HQ.
Please note that we are definitely not a professional silkscreening service, and we are not claiming any expertise on the subject. Having said that, here are a few random behind-the-scene bits of intel on the Mister Freedom® way to do it:
* We are using a four-screen rotary printing press, custom jerry-rigged to our needs and available work space. No fancy automatic machinery, this single-operator device pumps them out one shirt at a time.
* Mixing our own colors without formulas results in color variations within each batch. We even mix our own color black, to get a ‘vintage’ black when the shirt starts fading.
* The old-school bleed-through effect (the faint negative of the print on the reverse side of the knit) depends on the squeegee pressure, number of passes, fluidity of the ink, weather, and will therefore fluctuates.
* For multi-colored prints, gaps between colors will vary from one batch to another, as we always eyeball screen registration during set-up (quite a lengthy process with four colors). This random off-set registration is also a cool trait of vintage 50’s-60’s logo T-shirts.
* Four color printing requires unleashing the four-headed dragon, our favorite. Everyone runs for cover, and a full workday will produce endless cursing and about a dozen and a half finished shirts, minus the ink spills and mistakes. A four color graphic takes about four times longer to silkscreen than a single color one, a reason why our finer-than-frog-hair “MF Ranch” Tees are like hen’s teeth.
* Just like the rest of our garments, our T-shirts are not distressed with chemical washes. The prints are not artificially aged either. We chose to not digitally alter the original artwork by adding random scratches or rubbed-off areas to stimulate the ‘vintage look’, a mall favorite.
* Our graphics are not generated on Adobe Illustrator, but actually sketched old-school with a pencil and paper, and it is at that initial drawing stage that we try to capture the ‘vintage vibe’. On that note, out of respect for graphic artists, we tend to not cut & paste their artwork on our T-Shirts.
* For a soft-hand print that will gradually chip and fade overtime with repeat washing/drying, we exclusively use water-based ink.
All this makes for the uniqueness of each MF® Stanley Shop Tee. No two shirts are 100% identical.
The base colors of our shirts (Black, Gold, Jungle Green, Deep Sea Blue) are also quite light-sensitive and will fade naturally with repeat sun exposure.
Due to both technical challenges (with water-based ink, silkscreening dark on light is much easier than light on dark), and aesthetic considerations, specific graphics are only available in the color combination released.
The MF® Shop Tees share their specs with the Stanley T-Shirts. Initially released in the summer of 2015, our Stanleys (still available without prints) are made in USA and feature a vintage-style tubular 100% cotton slubby jersey with the MF® original signature flatlock & coverstitch combo construction. Our Skivvy T-Shirt (our heavier gage knit with a Mil-Specs vibe, available in White, Navy Blue, and Sage Green) will remain a solid-only undershirt option.
We will soon be launching a Mister Freedom® Stanley Shop Tees section on the webstore, periodically updated with latest graphics, colors, and stock of freshly-printed batches.
The Stanley Shop Tees are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in the USA. All shirts are silkscreened in-house in Los Angeles, CA., USA, featuring all original MF® artwork.
FABRIC: 100% cotton light-weight slubby tubular jersey knit, milled in the USA. This fabric twists and torques. This natural yarn distortion is expected and not a default. COLORS: * Fabulous new colors for 2017 to be announced… * White * Black * Gold (Yellow) * Jungle Green (Olive) * Deep-sea (Blue) * Heather Grey
TEES SPECS: * Original Mister Freedom® “Stanley” pattern, inspired by vintage 1940′s-50′s cotton T-shaped undershirts. * Vintage style ¼ sleeve length (= approx. 6 ½ inches) * Tubular knit (no side seams) * Cover stitch self-fabric neckband. * Normal mechanical stretch and fabric memory. * Combination of flatlock and cover stitch construction, inspired by 1940′s USMC Government issued undershirts. * 100% cotton thread, for natural roping on seams. * Original MF® “The Sportsman” black woven rayon label on neck band.
* Made in USA. PRINT SPECS:
* All original MF® artwork. * Hand silkscreened with water-based ink, for a soft hand and vintage look.
* Silkscreened in small limited batches, each with unique characteristics. * Will fade like a vintage T-shirt. * Printed in USA.
SIZING/FIT: The MF® Stanley Shop Tees come pre-washed (pre-shrunk). The MF® Stanley fits like the MF® Skivvy does, but due to the nature of its stretchy jersey, the Stanley will feel looser. I wear Medium (38) on most MFSC garments, but sized down to a Small for both MF® Stanley and Skivvy, just personal taste. According to your built and silhouette preference, get your normal size or size down for a slimmer/shorter old school fit. This is how we size our garments. Tip: The best way to figure out which Mister Freedom® T-shirt size will work for you is to take your favorite T-shirt (your idea of a perfect fit), lay it flat without wrinkles, measure Chest (from arm pit to arm pit), Shoulder (from top shoulder seam to top shoulder seam), Sleeves (from top shoulder seam to end) and Length (from top of back collar band to bottom hem), and then find a close match in the Stanley size chart. Again, keep in mind that the Stanley’s knit jersey has mechanical stretch. Refer to sizing chart below for Washed/Dried (we use a heat dryer) approximate measurements (measured flat, without pulling/stretching):
CARE: Low-maintenance as a T-Shirt should be, just throw your Stanley Shop Tee in the washer/dryer when needed. Cold water, delicate cycle, minimal eco-friendly detergent. No bleach. Keep colors separate to avoid potential color transfer when doing laundry. Gradual chipping of the ink and natural fading of the printed graphic is expected and considered a normal evolution.
Available rinsed (pre-shrunk) Sizes (Limited sizing available per graphic) Small Medium Large X-Large
Mister Freedom® “Conductor Slacks”, selvedge ‘Malibu denim’. Sportsman Catalog, Spring 2017 Made in USA.
Following the addition of a new pattern to our ever-growing Mister Freedom® Sportsman catalog this Spring, the fancy Choo-Choo-Charlie-denim-jacket-for-the-caboose-inclined-and-vintage-iron-horse-connoisseur aka the Conductor jacket, we felt compelled to match it with a muy loco version of our Sportsman Slacks.
If we don’t recommend wearing both as a set for a job interview, our Conductor jacket and slacks are pretty versatile pieces. Both patterns blend workwear and early tailor-made Gentleman’s garb, in a light indigo denim treatment we refer to as “Malibu Denim”. Milled in Japan and introduced a few years ago, this particular denim is an old MF® favorite. Technically, it is quite tricky for a dye-house to control a lighter shade of indigo (darker shades are easier to keep consistent, as you can always do another dip…), so we are very happy that this new 2017 batch is as beautiful and unique as its 2015 and 2016 predecessors.
With normal wear, this ‘Malibu denim’ will fade to an attractive range of exotic and dreamy lagoon blues. Its specific indigo hue makes it quite complimenting to other darker denim twills. Pair it with the MF® Cowboy Jacket in dark loomstate NOS Cone denim or Wheat denim, with the twill color palette of our Continental sportcoats etc…
The Conductor Slacks are designed and manufactured in California by Mister Freedom®, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
NOTE: Some of the photos feature an hemmed pair of Conductor Slacks (with a stitched 1½’’ plain trousers fold). Production comes with an open overlocked bottom with a generous inseam, for your cuffing preference.
FABRIC: Original mfsc “Malibu Sea” denim, 13 Oz. indigo-dyed denim twill, solid white selvedge. Milled in Japan.
DETAILS: * Vintage European trousers-type construction, no back yoke. * “Cowboy” front pocket opening. * Oxidized black ‘donut’ wreath waist button. * Unmarked utilitarian ‘donut’ metal fly buttons. * Two rear welt pockets. * Pocketing and lining from fancy NOS woven stripe 100% cotton plain weave fabric (ivory white with blue & grey stripes), milled in Europe. * Rear reinforcement lining patching. * Side cinch tabs, adjustable with NOS vintage French metal buckles. * Selvedge leg side seam. * Open inseam, overlocked bottom hem, for your cuffing preference (hemmed, double hemmed, rolled…) * Turn-of-the-century style flared waistband (narrower in back). * Slim belt loops (trousers style). * All cotton thread navy blue stitching. * Green bar-tack Sportsman accents and inside chainstitch. * Original MF® “The Sportsman” woven rayon black label. * Made in USA.
SIZING/FIT: The Conductor Slacks comes UN-WASHED (=raw, loomstate) and are cut so that the measurements match the labeling after an initial cold soak/line dry. We recommend our usual method for raw denim garments: * 30-40mn cold soak with intermittent hand agitation, in minimally-filled washing machine or bath tub. * Spin dry cycle (if using a machine). * Hang dry. * As an optional step, wear the garment briefly when still not fully dry, in order to slightly shape it to your body and set creases. Hang and let fully dry. The denim garment will stiffen when dry due to the re-activated fabric starch contained in the cotton yarns, a normal reaction that will rapidly subside with normal wear.
Fit: If the soaked Waist 32 felt more comfortable, I opted for a Waist 30 in the Conductor Slacks. The waist should give a bit to better accommodate my girly 31’’ waist. Whether going for the slimmer look of the W30 or the more generous silhouette of the W32 is a matter of preference. I personally decided to size down on these.
For hemming, i opted for a stitched 1½’’ plain trousers fold.
Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
CARE: Launder when needed. We recommend turning the trousers inside out to avoid marbling on the indigo side. Hand washing can be a good option if concerned with specific wear patterns and high-contrast color fades. Otherwise, machine wash inside out with cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
Available Raw/unwashed Sizes (W stands for Waist) W 28 x L W 29 x L W 30 x L W 31 x L W 32 x L W 33 x L W 34 x L W 36 x L W 38 x L Retail $329.95
Mister Freedom® ROAD CHAMP Engineer Boots, brown. NOS Nitrene rubber sole edition, Spring 2017 Made in USA.
The Mister Freedom® “Road Champ” engineer boots are the result of2½ years of research & development that started sometime in 2006. By the end of 2009, after a painstaking process of designing, last carving, sourcing, custom leather tanning, color testing, hide selecting… the first batch of RC was finally released.
Followed many more batches throughout the years, in a wide range of brown hues. Our hides are vegetable tanned and individually hand-dyed at the factory. Fluctuation in color came with the territory, adding quite an interesting uniqueness to each pair.
MF® Road Champ 2009
MF® RC 2009
MF® RC 2011
MF® RC 2012
MF® RC 2012
MF® RC 2012
MF® RC 2013
MF® RC 2015
After an appearance in jet black hand-dyed leather in 2015, the classic Mister Freedom® Road Champ engineer boots are now back in the original brown cowhide leather of the initial release. We added the New Old Stock Nitrene rubber sole and heel of the BRC issue for good measure.
These vintage Nitrene half soles (a limited stock introduced with the MF® Trooper Boots) have proved to be longer-lasting on asphalt than Cat’s Paws. They boast a “Non Marking – Oil Resistant – Long Wearing” quality. Rubber soles are definitely less slippery than the full leather soles of the original RC.
The last, pattern, MF® signature green top, sizing, price of these 2017 brown Road Champs all remain identical to our first 2009-released RC.
The production is still a slow process, but it appears that we are mostly caught-up with the wait list now! The Mister Freedom® Road Champs are still made in very small batches, so size availability will continue to be limited and stock status quite erratic. Again, this is not a marketing strategy on our part, nor a way to aggravate customers with an artificial hype, but rather the result of us striving to keep quality standards.
We never claimed to do it best, just try to do it right.
On a broader scale, and in this golden age of disposable wares, cheap imports and reckless consumerism, we’re just happy there still is footwear manufacturing activity in the USA.
Vintage engineer boots enthusiasts will make sure to check out our friend USMC John “VEB” V.’s blog for valuable info, historical references, brand reviews and pertinent updates related to this iconic footwear category.
NOTE: The worn pair of Road Champs featured in the photos in about three years old. If the leather color and grade is the same, the soles of that old specimen were originally full leather, and feature a non-slip thin rubber pad that was added during a later custom resole.
* The Mister Freedom® Road Champ boots are the result of 2 1/2 years of R&D in California, and were originally released in 2009.
* Featuring an original Mister Freedom® panel pattern and original hand carved last.
* Inspired by 1930′s to 1950s American engineer and work boots, popular amongst motor-cyclists/servicemen/workers/engineers.
* Old school low-toe profile, à-la Johnny “Wacha got” Strabler.
* Vegetable tan cow hides, carefully selected from a reputable American tannery.
* Custom leather treatment and coloring process. Hides are not dip-dyed but individually hand-dyed. Flesh side is natural, skin side treated with 3 layers of colors for a dark chocolate brown appearance. Guaranteed to beautify with wear. The leather will develop a ‘vintage’ patina with a range of reddish brown/chocolate/olive/black tones… according to use and personal choice of oil treatment and conditioning. When conditioning is needed, we recommend Pecard Leather Dressing.
* Original MF® olive-color top roll band and shaft strap gusset, aka “green tops”.
* Vintage style steel roller buckles.
* Curve pattern instep strap, adjustable to cinch ankle and heel. Un-cinch to pull boots on.
* Vintage limited supply of USA-made NOS ‘NITRENE’ rubber half sole and heel combo, boasting a “Non Marking, Oil Resistant, Long Wearing” quality.
* Mid rise welt (approx. 10½ inches)
* Approx. 1¾ inch heel height
* Made in USA
The general consensus is to size down ½ a size from your usual sneaker size. From customers feedback, if you are a size 10 in sneakers, a size 9½ Road Champ is likely to work for you.
Fit also depends on one’s foot profile and proportions, and obviously sock thickness. Wearing a thin insole with thin cotton socks for summer, and no insole with thick wool sock for winter is an option for some.
Available Sizes (according to stock):
Mister Freedom® “Le Valseur”, Stripe Covert and Indigo cotton-linen HBT.
GYPSY BLUES mfsc collection Spring 2017.
Made in Japan.
Dancing partner of the Veste Belleville and its Gilet Gadjo sidekick, the MF® Valseur is the latest addition to our Gypsy Blues Spring 2017 collection.
This new pattern is inspired by French 1920’s to 1950’s fancy gentlemen’s trousers, mixing elements of several vintage specimen from our archives into the usual Mister Freedom® shaker. The higher rise and full straight leg of the Valseur are a nostalgic nod to ballroom dancing, guinguettes and Saint-Germain-des-Prés jazz caves, but should also work for the rave shuffle.
The defunct colloquialism valseur is a French argot term that only old-timers will get. The literal translation is “waltz dancer”, but in 1900’s slang, valseur came to designate a pair of trousers. It was also used by wise guys and Parisian Apaches to refer to one’s buttocks…
More relevantly, our trousers come in two distinct fabric options.
Both were introduced with the release of our Veste Belleville and the Gilet Gadjo: an indigo-dyed cotton/linen HBT (the same sturdy fabric of our Waterfront Coat, indigo-dyed to a dark and rich hue), a textile inspired by early French firemen uniform of the 1900’s, and a 100% cotton stripe covert fabric, a sort of heather charcoal grey salt & pepper with a subtle woven stripe pattern, developed from a vintage swatch of 1930’s French workwear NOS textile. Both fabrics were milled in Japan.
NOTE: Will update with the indigo HBT photos/fit when production hits our shores mid-May.
The Valseur is designed in California by MISTER FREEDOM® and manufactured in Japan by SUGAR CANE Co.
Option A) indigo HBT A sturdy 15 Oz. blend of 80% linen and 20% cotton indigo-dyed HBT textile, selvedge, milled in Japan.
Please note that some light streaking can be observed on leg panels at times. This is due to the nature of indigo-dyeing this specific heavy textured fabric. This is not considered as a defect, and will subside with wear. This indigo-dyed fabric is very light sensitive and its hue will evolve rapidly. Option B) Stripe Covert A lighter 9 Oz. covert woven stripe 100% cotton fabric, black selvedge ID, milled in Japan.
DETAILS: * Inspired by classic 1920’s to 1950’s French gentlemen’s trousers and fine tailor-made garments.
* Higher rise, fit top block and full straight leg silhouette.
* Button fly with utilitarian unmarked ‘donut’ metal buttons (copper for the indigo, brass for the covert).
* French-style waist metal hook.
* Selvedge outseam.
* Contrast indigo Wabash twill pocket bags and waistband lining.
* Taped seat seam, fancy indigo-dyed tape.
* Metal “Art Deco” style suspender buttons.
* Two rear welt pockets, with arcuate decorative stitching.
* Cinch back, strap lined with NOS mfsc “Reno” calico twill and featuring a vintage-style copper/steel metal prong buckle.
* Shorter belt loops, for elegant < 1 inch-wide leather belts.
* Tailor-made style crotch lining, cotton sateen.
* 100% cotton stitching (navy blue for Stripe Covert, tonal for Indigo HBT).
* Original “Gypsy Blues” mfsc woven rayon label.
* Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: Both fabric options come raw/unwashed. We recommend the usual method, initial cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
To get the leg silhouette I desired, opted for a Waist 30 in the Stripe Covert. A bit tight in the waist at first since I am more of a measured W31, but the fabric gives slightly with wear and light rug-cutting.
Will update on the indigo HBT fit when production hits our shores mid-May.
CARE: Indigo HBT: When needed, hand wash or machine wash on delicate, cold water, minimal eco-friendly detergent. Turn inside-out to avoid marbling of the fabric. Line dry. Covert stripe: Machine wash on delicate, cold water, minimal eco-friendly detergent. Line dry.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes
W28 x L34
W30 x L34
W32 x L34
W34 x L34
W36 x L34
W38 x L34
MF® Liquette Tzigane, old Kékfestés printing blocks and a vintage Hungarian folkwear indigo skirt with a red Kelsch patch.
Mister Freedom® “Liquette Tzigane”, fine cotton poplin, Kékfestés-style indigo print. GYPSY BLUES mfsc collection Spring 2017. Made in Japan.
In our Spring 2017 mfsc lookbook, we introduced two specific mens shirt designs for our GYPSY BLUES collection, both with somewhat of a bohemian vibe. First up was the Liquette Manouche, a polka-dot print pull-over type shirt released in two color options. Next number up is the long-awaited “Liquette Tzigane”.
You already know that Liquette is an old French argot (slang) term designating a man’s shirt. The word Tzigane (or Tsigane) can be used to designate a person of Eastern European Romani ancestry, although the term hints at a specific culture within the Gypsy world (often with a musical connotation) rather than a geographic origin. Sounds of lamenting violins playing “Les Yeux Noirs” around the fire camp, with a string of caravans in the background, come to mind.
The shirt pattern of the Liquette Tzigane is inspired by several vintage 1920’s-30’s fancy specimen, twisted à-la MF®. To give our shirt its Tzigane bohemian vibe, we tapped into the little-known indigo world of Kékfestés, literally “blue-dyeing”, a traditional centuries-old Hungarian textile-dyeing technique producing beautiful indigo resist-dyed fabrics. Sometimes referred to in France as Bettelkelsch, the motifs are somewhat reminiscent of Old West indigo discharge-print calicoes popular with American workwear aficionados today, and sporadically featured in MF® collections, such as the popular “Les Apaches” Chemise Calico from 2011.
A few vintage Kékfestés folkwear pieces at the MF® ol’ pile o’ rags.
If the specific calico motif design of the Mister Freedom® Liquette Tzigane is shamelessly lifted from a rare 1930’s folkwear skirt from our vintage textile archives (featured in one of the photos), we decided against the traditional wood block resist paste technique for production, for obvious cost considerations. Technically, the fabric of our shirt, initially white, is printed with two shades of indigo (a very dark and deep hue -almost black- for the background, and a cadet blue for the larger dots) using a silkscreen bleed-through method. The tiny white dots show the original color of the fabric, unprinted. In the repeat motif, these groups of four dots are unevenly spaced, to convey the organic wood block hand-printed feel of Kékfestő.
Voila, you now know that the word Kékfestés does not refer to a tropical disease transmitted by water buffaloes.
Those interested in textile and costume history will visit the Pápai Kékfestő Múzeum when around Budapest, Hungary, for more accurate info. The Musée Alsacien de Strasbourg also sounds like a good place to spend an afternoon to learn about heritage and fashion, when traveling to North Eastern France.
The Liquette Tzigane is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in Japan by Sugar cane Co.
SPECS: FABRIC: Fine and crispy 4 Oz. 100% cotton poplin, indigo-printed with a bleed-through technique.
Milled and printed in Japan.
* Inspired by 1920’s-1930’s fancy shirting, and vintage Kékfestés Hungarian folk textiles for a ’Tzigane’ bohemian twist.
* Versatile collar pattern with double button tab, fashionable as a classic open collar, cutaway style or high-buttoned.
* Original MF® pocketing (from the 2012 MF® Prairie Shirt).
* Indigo poplin button placket facing.
* Early shirting curvy tails.
* Side gussets.
* Corozo wood buttons, indigo blue color. * Shirred back yoke and cuffs. * High-count stitching, early shirting narrow chainstitch construction. * Original mfsc Gypsy Blues woven rayon label. * Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: The MF® Liquette Tzigane comes raw/unwashed. Follow the usual initial method before wearing: cold soak for 30mn, spin dry and line dry.
Because there’s never a dull moment in the mfsc Fit Dept., 🙄, we recommend sizing UP on the Liquette Tzigane. I usually wear a Medium in mfsc shirts, and went with a Large with this shirt, for a comfortable fit. The fine 4 Oz. poplin drapes nicely, so the extra fabric doesn’t bother me, giving the shirt a bit of a ‘blousy’ bohemian feel.
Stylish petite ladies will find the Liquette Tzigane in size Small quite an attractive addition to their discerning closet.
Please refer to chart to figure out which size works for you. “Rinsed” means soaked for 30mn in cold water, spin dry and hang dry.
If still confused, email firstname.lastname@example.org
CARE: Machine wash on delicate when needed, cold water, eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes Small Medium Large X-Large XX-Large Retail: $349.95