4) You got a winner! Select a size and ADD to CART…
5) The 30% discount is applied. Check out or continue shopping…
The convincing power of machetes, cutlasses, and crowbars…
MUTINY on the Ol’ Pile ‘o Rags Special 30% OFF Sale !!!
To celebrate 10 years of Mister Freedom® x Sugar Cane (msfc) fruitful collaborations, mutineers aboard the “Ol’ Pile o’ Rags” have subtlety convinced the captain to unload part of the ship’s precious cargo at 30% of its value! We need room for bananas.
Pirates are invited to visit the vessel mooring at 7161 Beverly Blvd for their share of the loot, while supplies last. Visitors can also try themselves at a cat-o-nine-tails session on the skipper, while the rope holds.
The 30% sale applies to our webstore as well, as outlined in the above tutorial.
Q: “Which items are 30% OFF?” MF: If an item has a red 30% OFF next to the *Add To Cart button*, it qualifies. The discount will be applied during PayPal checkout.
Q: “Is there a SALE section on the website?” MF: Negative, check per collection and per item.
Q: “Are Sportsman items on sale?” MF: The sale does not apply to items from our ongoing Sportsman catalog or SS2016 Skipper collection.
Q: “What’s with the bananas!?” MF: 🐒
Q: “Yes but did you get the Pokémon?“ MF: 🍌
Thank you all for your support during the past ten or so years!
Email the Mutiny Department at email@example.com with any concern you might have, before we reach Pitcairn.
Mister Freedom® customized vintage Liberty Crackerjack. 2016 Limited Edition of 66 one-of-a-kind pieces.
Up-cycled in USA.
Involved with used and vintage clothing as a rag dealer for the past 25 years, I guess I have recycled my share of clothes. If early on I found the trade to be a pretty honest and independent way of making a living, only more recently have I come to realize that keeping textiles out of landfills is also a pretty worthy mission, especially in a world of fast and disposable fashion.
Purchasing previously-owned clothing from your local recycled shops, antique flea markets or vintage boutiques is definitely less of a waste of resources than an impulse buy at, say, H&M or Forever 21, a purchase probably bound to trash bins within a few months, where some 10 million tons of textiles are dumped every year in America.
During my days working at American Rag Cie in the early 1990’s, I was handed the ‘Remake Department’ hot potato for a few seasons. A remake was basically an unsalable used item you could find tons of in the rags, transformed into a desirable and hip garment. Stadium jackets cropped into sexy boleros (it was the 90’s…), sweatshirt hoods attached to flannel shirts, patched-up 501® hot pants, re-sized Arnold Palmer golf cardigans, etc… Imagination was the limit, not questionable taste. We participated in fancy international trade shows with these ‘collections’, orders from fashion boutiques flowed in. Remakes were big for a while.
Military surplus is always a good source for such projects. Due to our propensity, as Homo Sapiens Sapiens, for territoriality and self-righteousness, and following an ever-fluctuating geopolitical equilibrium, it is inevitable that obsolete military surplus piles up. And for everything from ingenious recycled coolness to fashion Frankensteins, just give Homo Sapiens Sapiens a threaded needle and scissors. We’ll try to forget the few history-filled collectibles forced and tortured into awkward new beginnings that occasionally pop up on the racks of recycled clothing boutiques, such as 1950’s US Navy white bellbottoms tie-dyed deadhead-style in more colors than a Guatemalan rug, M-65 field jackets silkscreened with bright pink plastisol skulls, 60’s Vietnam ERDL jungle fatigue shirts adorned with assorted rhinestones and brass studs, or faux leopard, etc… Collateral damage.
Figuring out what to do with specific decommissioned military uniforms before moths or roof leaks get to them gets challenging at times. For the ragman, wool pull-over sailor tops are one of those recycling puzzling challenge.
Due to an inclination for things naval at Mister Freedom®, we have decided to tackle these buggers and go green on some blues. So our latest up-cycling venture is the vintage MF® Liberty Crackerjack, Uncle Sam-made gear turned wearable for the stylish city dweller.
This has been another one of those manufacturing journeys for us…
Hunting down salvageable specimen around flea markets and raghouses, we managed to collect sixty-six vintage US Navy blue dress jumpers. This limited selection is a mixture of vintage WW2 and Cold War period enlisted dress blues, aka crackerjacks.
Each wool pullover shirt underwent a lengthy make-over and re-tailoring process, each piece receiving a one-of artistic treatment. Our stylistic approach was that of period Asiatic Fleet custom tailor-made garments familiar to militaria collectors. The vibe of our MF® Liberty Crackerjack is inspired by Liberty cuff type sailor uniforms, military “party” suits and other ‘local-made’ souvenir garments favored by the enlisted man on tour, fighting for Freedom on exotic shores.
In the US Navy, liberty cuffs and fancy lining embroideries were tolerated on board. They were intended to be concealed, and usually only flashed to impress buddies and bar ladies. At 7161 Beverly, as bound to Bluejackets’ regulations as Calico Jack‘s band of pyrates were, we took the old salty naval tradition of customizing one’s uniform up a few notches. We respectfully altered the whole garment, in and out, definitely ‘demilitarizing’ it.
Actually, similar practice was not uncommon for US Navy personnel, for instance during a tour of duty in China in the late 40’s. The works of skilled local naval base tailors, specimen of wool jackets or shirts cut from government-issued navy blue wool uniforms have today become sought-after collectibles. The reader might be familiar with the multi-colored embroidered dragons, “Shanghai 1945” and other Asian theater motifs adorning such custom-made vintage souvenir garments.
Our 1900’s Willcox & Gibbs chainstitch machine, used to customize the MF® Liberty Crackerjack.
Original 1940’s-50’s local-made garments and vintage woven tape.
Look like an old sea dog without ever boarding a ship.
Although not replicas of authentic military personnel period souvenirs, our limited edition MF® Liberty Crackerjacks have a Sand Pebbles meets Sayonara vibe, relating to the presence of US Armed Forces in Asia throughout History, from Shanghai to Tokyo to Saigon to Okinawa…
Turning a plain crackerjack shirt into a Liberty jacket (we had to brace ourselves not to call it Liberty Crackerjacket) allowed us to put to some good use a limited stash of vintage parts from our archives we had been saving for some time. Each jacket features a rare original 1930’s~40’s NOS zipper of French manufacture. Stamped “LFE”, these hard-to-find zippers were scored from a Paris flea market years ago, and probably originate from the original French fastener company Éclair Prym that started producing “La Fermeture Éclair®”, the French household name for zipper, in 1924.
The ‘tar flap’ was re-cut into a round collar, leaving enough left over flap fabric to make two patch pockets, each featuring the traditional Navy white stripes and stars. We’re quite proud of that MF® à la Coco Chanel touch, a little re-purpose spark of innovation we’ll take the credit for, as I have honestly not seen it done on vintage pieces before. So, think of us when you see that at the Rosebowl flea market next time…
The patient type can also visually dull-out the rows of white tape by dyeing them with a small brush dipped in fabric dye or fabric paint. The Liberty Crackerjack 42 of 66 (that I am keeping for personal use) shows stripes hand-dyed in blue.
Aside from the general restructuring, each crackerjack was customized with a mixture of vintage parts. Each of the sixty-six MF® Liberty Crackerjack we made is unique and numbered (in a non-chronological sequence). Each features a combo of New Old Stock woven tape for cuffs, vintage embroidered silk textiles from China, antique kimonos or indigo discharge printed cotton from Japan, hand-cut stencil painted markings… We even used an antique 1900’s Wilcox & Gibbs sewing machine to add custom rainbow stitching accents and patches.
The original ranks and insignia patches of each vintage jumper were left untouched. The original Navy cloth label previously covered by the tar flap, if still attached to the garment, now appears on the back of the jacket.
The sizing of the batch is all over the place, but tends to pull towards small/medium, not an uncommon size for fit and skinny 18 or-so year-old enlisted sailors of the times. Smaller sizes actually look pretty cool on ladies into mixing up a bit of vintage fashion in their outfits.
The MF® Liberty Crackerjack is re-designed and up-cycled or whateveryacallit in California by Mister Freedom® in a limited edition of sixty-six one-of-a-kind pieces. Each piece is unique and might contain imperfections, fading, repairs or permanent stains due to its vintage origin. Please note that not all of the above pictured Liberty Crackerjacks are available for sale.
Vintage US Navy mil-specs melton wool. A few pieces are period private purchase wool gabardine.
* An original Mister Freedom® up-cycled design.
* Made from vintage Government-issued enlisted sailors navy blue wool jumpers, Cold War era.
* Tar flap turned into round collar.
* Zip-front closure, featuring a 1930’s-40’s NOS French metal “LFE” zipper.
* Two recycled front patch pockets, one original slash chest pocket, one original inside chest flap pocket.
* Each jumper features a “Liberty cuffs” type customization, inspired by Asiatic Fleet custom naval tailor garments of the 20th Century: assorted vintage parts, NOS ornaments and bias tape, antique fabric decorative panels and/or multi colored chainstitch accents and/or liberty cuff patches…
* Painted markings from hand-cut stencils.
* Up-cycled in California, USA.
Assorted sizing, fits and silhouettes.
Approximate measurements of each MF® Liberty Crackerjacks are available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org
Each Liberty Crackerjack has been professionally dry-cleaned in an eco-friendly facility.
Dry clean only.
Please note that due to the age of the vintage New Old Stock zippers, they should be operated with care. As with vintage 1930’s cotton tape metal zippers, move gently and do not pull hard or yank if you feel resistance. Candle wax can be applied periodically to the zipper teeth for maintenance.
The Mister Freedom® Ranger Shirt, Powerloom edition NOS authentic Indian Madras Made in USA
Working on this off-the-beaten-path MF® Ranger Shirt project has been quite the walk in the park for some time.
After years setting it on and off the back burner, we are happy and proud to finally share the results of its manufacturing journey. Here is the Mister Freedom® Ranger Shirt, latest addition to our USA-made Sportsman catalog.
Those of you familiar with the brick and mortar pile o’ rags at 7161 Beverly Blvd might have noticed an unusual stack of hopsack-wrapped bales sitting in the back of the store, at some point during a visit. Sometime around 2010, we came across a large lot of New Old Stock textiles, packaged into compressed bales. Although discovered in an old warehouse in California, these mysterious bundles of cloth originally came from India. More precisely from a textile manufacturer located in Chennai, a city formerly known as Madras.
How and why those bales ended-up in California is unclear, but even more puzzling was the content: stacks of folded yardages of unused cotton fabrics, a crazy mix of textiles in an amazing range of colors, checks, dobby patterns and textures, all selvedge… Most of them were no longer than six-yard strips, a realization greeted by a subtle wtf upon cracking open the first bale.
A yellowish packing list inside each bundle detailed the exact yardage content, and invoiced the shipping transaction back to 2001. The paperwork also described the original shipper as “Manufacturers and Exporters of: Handloom & Powerloom Fabrics in Cotton & Rayon as Madras Fast Colour Checks, Cross Colour Chambrey, Greygada, Dobby Checks, Stripes, Tie & Dye, Ikat Flannel, Seer Sucker, Bathik Prints, Marble Prints, Patchwork, Lunghies & Rumals…” (spelling as-is). A mouthful on a business card, but a very promising resume for the fabric addict.
The original loot.
Before the wtf moment
After the wtf moment.
More chances of Alien abduction than encounter with two identical Ranger Shirts.
The exact vintage of all these Indian mill textiles is unknown, but many feel quite 1960’s-70’s. With an average width of about 44 inches, selvedge to selvedge, they were apparently milled on shuttle powerlooms. Antiquated and obsolete shuttle powerlooms are still in use in India and other textile-manufacturing destinations today, not always to the benefit of pleasant working conditions. Let’s leave workers’ wages and other local labor issues aside on this one…
Old-school powerloom weaving is a disappearing technique due to productivity challenges, equipment maintenance, and the disappearance of the operators’ know-how. The produced textiles are often inconsistent, slubby and imperfect, not in par with our contemporary expectations of standardized mass-produced goods.
The selection of the fabrics contained in our bales definitely typified the ‘wabi-sabiness’ of textiles milled with shuttle powerloom machines: weaving flaws, texture variations, yarn slub and other traits of uniqueness. Apparently, no computer was harmed in the milling of these Madras fabrics! (Powerloom photo credit here, some interesting facts/images of bleeding madras here.)
Powerloom operator, Tamil Nadu, India
Power Loom operator. Photo courtesy of Alex at NaturalDyePot.com
Powerloom weaving (Photo courtesy M. Govarthan)
However amazing our eclectic fabric loot was, indeed a treasure trove for the textile R&D-inclined, turning countless disparate strips of cloth into garments seemed a bit challenging. In good ol’ MF® “Geronimo!” fashion, and following the old familiar adage “in life, there are no problems, only solutions”, we figured out a way to somewhat handle that soup sandwich. And boom, these yardages of Madras checks have now been given a new life, as upcycled wearables!
The MF® Ranger Shirt comes in dozens and dozen of very-few-of-a-kind variations in colors, textures and patterns. You will see Glenn checks, Madras checks, tartan plaids, windowpane checks, Tattersall, Pin check, houndstooth, gingham… Fabric texture and thickness is also all over the place, ranging from lightweight plain weave to muslin-types to dobby weave patterns…
Here is a sample taste of the Ranger Shirt menu:
The garment pattern of our Ranger Shirt is no groundbreaking revolution, as it is inspired by the same vintage pieces that heritage brands and mainstream labels alike have been playing with for some time, i.e. 1930’s-40’s workwear-type shirting featuring a chin-strap.
The ‘Ranger’ name reference is not a military one, but hints at Park and Forest Rangers and the early days of Conservationism.
The MF® Ranger Shirt, Smoky the Bear goes preppy Madras, for a fashionable patrol in your favorite National Park…
Smokey, the original denimbro.
On sizing availability:
Each fabric style yielded a very limited amount of shirts. Often, only one specimen could be made, so this is as close as manufacturing vintage clothing as it can get for us. If sizing options are very limited for one particular check pattern, some of these checks can be regrouped in families and a different size in a similar fabric might be available. Check with email@example.com for special requests.
Oh, and each shirt features a combination of 1920’s-30’s antique buttons from Europe, for that International touch. The MF® Ranger shirt is adorned with an assortment of NOS white and tan glass buttons (don’t bang on these Briards type buttons, they are glass and will break), and one rare vintage sheetmetal button embossed with “For Gentlemen”…
NOS metal buttons for top collar.
NOS French glass buttons for chin-strap attachment.
This limited edition Ranger Shirt is designed in California by Mister Freedom®, and manufactured in the USA with New Old Stock Madras fabric originally milled in Madras, India.
FABRICS: Vintage New Old Stock Indian madras, woven on shuttle powerloom machinery, 100% cotton, selvedge. Assorted patterns, colors and weave, approximately regrouped by check families and color range.
Please refer to the MF® website regarding purchasing the Ranger Shirt online, in the Madras check of your choice.
DETAILS: * Original Mister Freedom® pattern, inspired by 1930’s-40’s workwear and casual preppy shirting.
* Relaxed silhouette and fit.
* Long sleeves.
* Double chest pockets, inverted box-pleat.
* Chin strap.
* Full button front, featuring French 1930’s vintage “Briard” glass buttons.
* European vintage 1930’s top button, debossed “For Gentlemen”.
* Selvedge side gussets, self fabric.
* Each shirt is unique, one or few-of-a kind.
* Very limited edition.
* Made in USA.
SIZING/FIT: For general instructions on how we size Mister Freedom® garments, see here. Please refer to sizing chart to figure out what works for you. To limit shrinkage dilemmas with the Ranger Shirt, we have opted to thoroughly launder/dry each shirt in-house.
This not only takes care of most of the shrinkage (we used cold water), but also results in interesting fabric/stitching puckering. As much as I am not into factory-distressed garments, I like the wrinkled ‘vintage look’ when it comes to casual shirts with a workwear feel.
All shirts were measured and size-stamped AFTER the cold wash/dry process. This lead to four size groupings (S, M, L and XL) with somewhat similarly consistent measurements. Two Mediums in two different fabrics will have some variations in measurements and proportions, but they still belong to their size family, as Mr. Dascalu’s painstaking and torturing sizing assignment have determined. Within one sizing group, they are still noticeable variations in length, meaning some Mediums will be shorter than other Mediums.
Putting each shirt in a specific sizing group was mostly determined by the pit-to-pit measurements. Praises or donations for the pleasant endeavor can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your are generally a Medium in MF® shirts, it is safe to opt for a Medium in the Ranger Shirt, for a comfortable fit. However, some of the Smalls might also work for some, for a slimmer 1960’s silhouette.
(All shirts shown on the fit pix below are stamped Medium.)
Ranger Shirts (stamped Medium)
Ranger Shirts (stamped Medium, outake)
Ranger Shirt (stamped Small)
Pit-to-Pit measurements, washed & dried.
Depending on the specific weave of each fabric, some stretching back and forth is to be expected as the shirt goes through wash/wear cycles. Please note that steaming or ironing will result in a garment that appears to fit more comfortably. Wrinkles tend to make light-weight garments look like they fit tighter.
CARE: Each Ranger Shirt has been thoroughly wash and dried.
Launder when hygiene dictates and common sense prevails. Machine wash on delicate. Cold water, gentle cycle, eco-friendly mild detergent and line dry.
We had a GQ film crew brave enough to set foot in the old Mister Freedom® Los Angeles pile of rags, a few months back. Here is a little clip from that visit, featuring style influencer George Laboda, courtesy of Gent’s Lounge. One might notice from the brief opening sequence that these GQ Stories are sponsored by Rémi Martin.
On a side note, the beat-up brown jacket hanging, that “looks like a designer’s jacket that was made distressed today“, is a Mister Freedom® Mulholland Master, manufactured in 2009 and actually worn.
Thank you for dropping by, Gentlemen.