Mister Freedom® MFSC Fall 2012 (Part 5): The “DROVER Blouse”. New Old Stock Denim & NOS Blanket

Tina fence Drover Blouse ©2012 Mister Freedom®

Mister Freedom® MFSC ‘DROVER Blouse’
‘Men of the Frontier’ Collection, Fall 2012

All hasn’t been quiet on this Western front lately. Let’s unleash another heavy hitter of our Mister Freedom x Sugar Cane collaboration, the 5th installment of Fall 2012 “Men of the Frontier”: The Drover Blouse.

We used the pattern of our popular “Chaparral Blouse” from Spring 2012. That was the easy part.
The challenge came from sourcing the fabrics. We had to dig deep to find enough undamaged raw yardage of NOS American made selvedge denim for the twill option. We managed, ‘cause we’re kinda stubborn.

For the other option, I wanted to use vintage wool blankets, ideally with woven stripes, and that’s when the trouble began. Old photographs and illustrations of fur traders, boat men and other mountain men show that wearing coats made out of blankets was quite common practice. Those coats were often very primitive in construction, a hooded T shaped capote or watchcoat that did the job to keep you warm during the harsh winter months. In remote trading posts, trappers would barter beaver pelts for manufactured goods such as wool blankets imported by the famous Hudson’s Bay Company.
With buffalos happily slaughtered to extinction by the White Man, a mere few hundred survivors by the 1850’s, wool blankets became a needed (and, as it turned out, cursed) commodity for the Plains Indians as well. Wool coats steadily replaced buffalo robes.

A fascinating brief history of the point blankets, a key element in the fur trade of the 18th Century, can be found here on the official site of the World oldest corporation. To clarify, we did NOT use any of the aforementioned rare and colorful vintage blankets to make our Blanket Drover Blouse. Those belong in museums, and we don’t have a bridge to sell you.
Read on.

Recommended reading:
* “Language of the Robe” by Robert W. Kapoun & Charles J. Lohrmann, 1992
* “Chasing Rainbows” by Barry Friedman, 2002

Crow Chiefs 1887 (© photo courtesy of Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma) Hudson's Bay blankets Potlach (© photo courtesy of F.H. Douglas Library, Denver Art Museum) NOS Blankets, Drover Blouse, ©2012 Mister Freedom® Stockman Farmer 1941-42 Catalog, Pendleton blanket jacket

But, revenons à nos moutons. We didn’t have to canoe up the Yukon, fight bears and dodge arrows, but finding enough vintage matching blankets to justify production was no walk in the park either. We thought of giving up as prices were fluctuating, making this venture a financial risk. But after many efforts, we sourced out enough military dead-stock lots in a journey that took us from Nevada to Europe, with a few stops along the way… The 100% wool blankets we used for our Drover Blouse were originally manufactured for the Military, guaranteeing high grade and quality. They are of several 1960’s~70’s original military contracts, with slight variations in manufacturing specs.
They then took an ocean liner to Japan, where they were cut and sewn and turned into this puuurdy cool coat. In 40 years, when you pass it on to your grand children, you’ll have a story to go with it…

Did I also mention we were originally told that this jacket would be impossible to manufacture? Let’s say we made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, not involving a horse head, but a lot of perseverance.

Designed in California by Mister Freedom® and expertly manufactured in very limited quantities by Sugar Cane Co in Japan.

SPECS:

PATTERN: An original MFSC pattern, introduced as the “Blouse Chaparral” in Spring 2012, and inspired by 1920′s~30′s sport type jackets, leather A-1 type coats, early Chimayo jackets…
FABRIC:
Two entirely different options, NOS denim and NOS wool blanket.
Option a) NOS Denim: Vintage dark indigo new old stock American milled denim, sanforized, white with black line selvedge ID, 3×1 twill, about 12 Oz.
Option b) NOS Blanket: Heavy 100 % wool blankets, vintage military NOS, with blue woven stripes pattern. There are three main lots of blankets, each with a slightly different stripe pattern and color background. This is due to three different origins and specifics of the military manufacturers contracts. What you get is what we found. Each jacket will be slightly different, making it unique and collectible.
LINING: Both options are fully lined.
Option a) The NOS denim option body liner is made of striped “Troy Blanket” (60% re-used wool, 28% cotton, 12% rayon). Soft touch. Woven in Japan.
Option b) The NOS Blanket option is lined with an original MFSC 100% cotton plaid, woven turquoise/white/red yarns, milled in Japan exclusively for MFSC.
Both options arm lining is of a vintage NOS 100% cotton stripe denim twill, from Mister Freedom® fabric stock.

DETAILS:
*  1920′s~30′s type silhouette.
* Original A-1 type round collar.
* Back darting and expansion gusset, 1930′s style.
* Horsehide leather side and cuff cinch straps (with vintage NOS French metal slide buckles), leather pocket trimming and leather detachable chin-strap.
* Reddish/brown Corozo wood buttons.
* Full lining, wool blend “Troy Blanket” on option a) and cotton woven plaid on option b)
* No exposed seam, no overlock.
* Button facing with selvedge denim on option a) and bias tape edge on option b)

PACKAGING: For your future pro prop 37 grocery shopping experience we have packaged your Drover Blouse in an original MF® made raw selvedge denim draw string bag.

SIZING/SHRINKAGE:
Option a)
The NOS denim is raw/unwashed. It is sanforized and should shrink from approx 0.5% to 3%. Some variation in shrinkage is expected and beyond our control, due to the nature of that particular NOS denim lot.
We recommend an original cold soak, no agitation, spin dry cycle and line dry. Further cleaning, if needed, should be handled by your professional environmentally friendly local dry-cleaner. Do NOT boil your Drover. I usually wear 38/medium in MFSC jackets but decided to go with a rinsed 36 for the denim issue Drover. I just won’t eat pasta anymore. Sizing chart below.
Denim Drover Blouse SIZING chart
Option b) Professional DRY CLEAN only, when cleaning needed. DO NOT RINSE/DRY. If this fabric option doesn’t fit you size wise, then it’s not meant to be. DO NOT attempt washing to make it shrink, as this will ruin the jacket.
Those fit SNUG. I wear a 38, with not much room for pasta either. Chart below.
Blanket Drover Blouse SIZING chart

 

Available RAW/unwashed

Sizes
36
(small)
38
(medium)
40 (large)
42 (xlarge)
44 (xxlarge)

Retail
Option a)
NOS Denim $849.95
Option b)
NOS Blanket $869.95

Call 323-653-2014 or mail sales@misterfreedom.com to get yours while they last. We ship internationally to select Countries. Thank you for the support, friends.

Today’s soundtrack:

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