Mister Freedom® SCUTTLER CAP, NOS fabrics. Made in USA.
If you are in a Peaky Blinders or Jack Sparrow kinda mood, here are a few additions to our original “Scuttler Cap” pattern initially introduced in 2013, our interpretation of the popular vintage newsboy eight-panel hat.
While Paris of the Belle Époque had its ‘Apaches’, Manchester enjoyed the ‘Scuttlers’, all victims, misfits and drop-outs left by the wayside of the Second Industrial Revolution…
In “Teenage, Creation of Youth 1875-1945”, British writer Jon Savage describes their attire this way, quoting a period account from the head missionary of a Manchester orphanage in 1890:
“…the “professional scuttler” wore “a puncher’s cap”, “narrow-go-wides” trousers, narrow-toed brass-tipped clogs, and heavy customized belts with designs, picked out in metal pins, that included serpents, stars, and pierced hearts. The “boy expert” Charles Russell observed that the Mancunian variant wore “a loose white scarf”, with hair “well plastered down upon his forehead”, “a peaked cap rather over one eye”, and trousers “cut – like a sailor’s – with ‘bell bottoms’”
The fabrics of our “Scuttler Caps” are New Old Stock, 1940’s to 1970’s.
Please note that the sizing paper label stitched to the back of the cap, a reference to vintage packaging, is easily removable and not part of permanent branding.
The MF® Scuttler Cap is designed and made in California by Mister Freedom®.
* An original MF® pattern inspired by vintage 1930’s newsboy eight-panel caps.
* Genuine kangaroo leather sweatband.
* NOS cotton biased tape seam piecing.
* All made in our fancy 7161 Beverly atelier.
To avoid confusion, we recommend wearing the Scuttler Cap as-is, without rinsing it.
We measure the sweatband in centimeters. If unsure, measure your head with a metric cloth tape measure to determine your hat size. Kangaroo leather will not stretch or shrink but the hat crown might loosen slightly with normal wear.
Professional cleaning only. Do not machine-wash.
Available raw/unwashed. Limited sizes available per fabric option. See updated inventory here.
57cm (~ US 7 1/8)
58cm (~ US 7 1/4)
59cm (~ US 7 3/8)
60cm (~ US 7 1/2)
61cm (~ US 7 5/8)
62cm (~ US 7 3/4) Retail $199.95
Mister Freedom® Original ‘Stanley’ Shop Tees Made & Silkscreened in USA
This is an updated version of the initial MF® Shop Tees blogpost, originally published May 21st, 2017).
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.
The base colors of our shirts (see currently-stocked colors here) 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.
For current availability, check out the Mister Freedom® Stanley Shop Tees section of our webstore, periodically updated with latest graphics, colors, and stock of freshly-printed batches.
Painstakingly hand-printing each shirt one at-a-time guarantees the uniqueness of every MF® Stanley Shop Tee. No two printed shirts are 100% identical. Imperfections, inconsistencies and subtle ink smudges are part of our commitment to vintage silkscreening techniques and overall appreciation of wabi-sabi aesthetics.
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 (2018): * White * Black * Jungle Green (Olive)
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
Retail: Solid Stanley (no print, all colors, White/Black/Navy/Gold…): $69.95 Shop Tee Stanley (with single or double-screen print, Gypsy/Sig/Rocket/Knuckles/Skipper/Surplus/Treedom/Sailor MrFrdm/The Champ…): $89.95
Shop Tee Stanley (with three or four-screen print, MF Ranch): $149.95
Continental Bermudas, NOS cotton-linen slate grey denim & NOS stripe twill. mfsc SS2018 Sportsman catalog. Made in USA.
We introduced the Mister Freedom® “Continental” series in early 2016, an unpretentious all-made-in-USA casual suiting concept consisting of three new patterns (Continental Trousers, Continental Vest, Continental Sportcoat) seasonally released in a combination of vintage New Old Stock fabrics.
Mister Freedom® “Continental” family, made in USA.
For Spring 2018, we are adding a new member to our Continental family… the Continental Bermudas.
Derived from the pattern of our Continental Trousers inspired by classic late 50’s-mid 60’s casual slacks, these tailored short trousers are a departure from, no offense, dad’s favorite 1990’s cargo shorts, the recreational fisherman’s best friend. We aimed for a more elegant silhouette on this project.
Anchored in a British military style tradition allegedly dating back to WW1, original ‘bermuda shorts’ called for a length of approximately one inch above the knee, which we stuck with. Whether you go for the mandatory knee-length socks, blazer and tie dear to the respectable Bermudian keen on proper insular business attire, is up to you. For a casual stroll around town in old-school Ivy League style, we think you’ll do just fine with a simple Stanley or Berkeley shirt, topped with an unstructured Continental Sportcoat, and shod in a pair of vintage penny loafers or wingtips. Better yet, do your own thing.
Augie Garcia, circa 1954 (courtesy Minnesota Historical Society)
BB King, Bill Harvey Band, early 1950s (courtesy Getty Images.)
New York, 1953, photo Alfred Eisenstaedt for LIFE (courtesy Getty Images)
Snazzy theme party in Pittsburgh, 1960 (courtesy Getty Images)
The above-the-knee target length will obviously depend on where one considers the waist line to be. Our Continental Bermudas feature a mid-to-high rise, and, call us old-fashioned, we tend to think of the waist as a natural line falling right above the hips. The simple single needle hem can easily be tailored to one’s preferred length however, and if we don’t necessarily recommend the Daisy Dukes look, a shorter length might convey a more sporty and contemporary vibe, for those inclined. Just don’t cut past the pocket bags. Style inspiration abound on the interwebs.
The fabrics we opted for the introduction of our Continental Bermudas are two New Old Stock textiles, a fancy slate grey crosshatch denim twill (a blend of 60% cotton and 40% linen), and a nautical all-cotton selvedge stripe twill.
The Continental Bermudas are designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in USA in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.
An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage late 1950’s and early 1960’s casual slacks with a classic, slim silhouette. Mid-to-high rise.
FABRIC OPTIONS: a) Slate Grey twill: New Old Stock, 8 Oz. denim twill, blend of 60% cotton and 40% linen, probable a-Italian a-origin. b) Indigo Stripe twill: New Old Stock, woven stripe lightweight twill, selvedge, 100% cotton, USA origin.
Lining/pocketing: NOS 2×1 blue denim.
DETAILS: * Elegant late 1950′s early 1960’s type silhouette and fit, above the knee length. * Adjustable back cinch strap, with vintage NOS metal slide buckle. * Amber brown corozo wood fly and waist buttons. * Rear welt pockets, watch pocket. * Trousers-style belt loops. * Crotch gusset pattern. * Flat-felled side seam “caballo” construction. * NOS blue denim pocket bags, waist band and fly facing. * Tonal 100% cotton thread construction, with inside green chainstich MF® signature accents. * Original “SPORTSMAN” woven rayon label on rear waistband, concealed when wearing a belt. * Made in USA.
SIZING: The MF® Continental Bermudas come raw/unwashed. Both fabric options will shrink to approximately the same size after a 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry. These are “vanity size”, with somewhat of a generous waist that can be cinched with the rear adjustable strap. I tend to fluctuate between W30 and W32 in mfsc trousers, according to the model, and opted for a comfortable W32 in the Continental Bermudas, in both fabrics.
Refer to sizing chart for cold soak/spin dry/line dry measurements.
CARE: Machine wash on delicate, pants inside-out, cold water with minimal environmentally-friendly detergent and line dry. Stripe Twill: Some faint color transfer (from the indigo blue to the white) may be noticeable after wash, but will subside with further washing. This should not be considered as a flaw, just an inherent part of garments involving indigo-dyed yarns.
NOTE: Full washing cycle in hot water and machine dry might result in maximum shrinkage and color loss. Not recommended.
Available Raw/unwashed Sizes (W stands for Waist. I know, but we’ve been asked) W 28 W 30 W 32 W 34 W 36 W 38 Retail $229.95
Mister Freedom® x Sun Surf “Rock & Roll” shirt, Biribi Edition. mfsc Spring 2018 Made in Japan.
This is our latest collaboration with the legendary Sun Surf® label, a branch of Toyo Enterprise known around the world for its authentic and expertly-crafted Aloha shirts.
The family-owned Japanese company’s CEO, Mr. Ryoichi Kobayashi, is an avid collector of vintage Hawaiiana. His rare shirt collection has been featured in museum exhibits and in several books. Kobayashi San’s knowledge, demanding standards and team of textile and tailoring experts, all contribute to well-curated collections of replica 1930’s to 1950’s rayon and silk tropical shirts every year. Check them out for all your “From Here to Eternity” urges!
Here is a bit of background on the Sun Surf® label and Toyo Enterprise, quoted from the “Land Of Aloha” book (roughly google-translated from Japanese):
“ The history of Sun Surf® is deep, going back in time in the 1950s. Aloha shirt was at its peak as if it responded to the development of Hawaii, but since print out facilities were not available in Hawaii, print cloth was ordered to the mainland of the United States or Japan. The aloha shirt currently being treated as a vintage was actually actually exported to Hawaii 60 years ago. …
After the end of the Vietnam War, the name of “Kosho & Co.” was changed to Toyo Enterprise and commodities for domestic domestic market began. In the 1970s, Aloha shirt brand “Sunsafu” was born. It is only natural that the company that was involved in the export / import industry from the beginning and became familiar with American culture, became a prisoner of the attraction of American vintage. In the early 1980 ‘s, full – fledged creation of vintage Aloha shirts was begun, but reproducing its charm was not an easy task. In particular, “color”, which is the greatest attraction of aloha shirts, that is, good coloring of a picture, can not be produced at all by the modern printing method at that time. Therefore, we analyzed thousands of vintage Aloha shirts collected as materials. Based on the result, it started from the work of finding a factory that can reproduce the print at the time. As for the material, rayon having the same texture as vintage is not distributed, so we made SUN SURF original fabric which started weaving from yarn spinning. In addition, sticking to the arrangement of the picture appearing on the body, now with the mainstream width of the fabric is not suitable for drawing out the pattern from the fabric width at the time to woven fabric, tailored to shirts. And sewing. Rayon fabric which is stretchy and slippery requires very high technology for cutting and sewing. Depending on the work, such as pattern matching even to pocket and body, that particular attention to detail can not be pulled out. Reproducing the sewing specifications found in vintage, using different buttons of various materials such as shellfish, coconut, bamboo, etc., studying daily from composition of the pattern to coloring. From this kind of steady work we draw out answers one by one, and the aloha shirt of Sun Surf is made by making full use of the know-how born from that.
Vintage Aloha Shirt which is now rare and difficult to obtain. Sun Surf® continues to revive a number of masterpieces to the present age so that more people can enjoy its charm without weathering with the times.“
We started our collaboration with Sun Surf in 2015, introducing the first of our “Rock & Roll” shirt, the “Action Packed” model, released in a white, red and black blend of rayon-cotton. For the anecdote, the black version can be seen in action on the silver screen, styled by martial artist Donnie Yen in “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” (2017). This would make our Rock & Roll shirt the first-ever Mister Freedom® garment to actually be mentioned in a Hollywood blockbuster! Vin Diesel’s line to Donnie Yen, “Who sold you that shirt?” is a classic. We know Mr. Diesel was inquiring where to cop. 😂
“Who sold you that shirt?” (Photo courtesy Donnie Yen’s Weibo)
Donnie Yen, xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” (Paramount Pictures 2017)
MF® x Sun Surf® “Action Packed” Rock & Roll shirt (2015)
MF® x Sun Surf® “Rocket 88” Rock & Roll shirt (2016)
For the third season of our Rock & Roll shirt, we decided to go from Jailhouse Rock to… breaking rocks! So long Nashville, good morning Tataouine.
This may sound strange of a destination for an Aloha shirt theme, but we figured Waikiki beaches were covered and, for graphic inspiration, chose to venture instead to the burning Sahara sands, destination the French penal colonies of North Africa, aka Biribi.
Some of you might remember the MF® “Biribi Bourgeron” we released in assorted vintage textiles around 2011. Here is a quote from that old blogpost mentioning Biribi, the carceral system active in the French colonies from about 1830 to 1945:
“ The term Biribi encompassed penitentiaries in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Often associated with the Bat’ d’Af’ (French military disciplinary battalions of North Africa), Biribi was the solution chosen by the French government to tame hard headed rebels, anarchists and other misfits. Youngsters with a misdemeanor police record, individuals who had tried to dodge the draft (common practice was to stick a rusty fork in your thigh to invalidate yourself…), or just had an issue with authority, ended up doing time under the blazing sun in the ol’ African French Colonies. Fun activities included breaking piles of hot rocks, building never ending roads, enduring constant humiliation such as the infamous crapaudine, but mainly learning the ropes for a future life in the underworld. Biribi made the tough tougher and buried the weak. Biribi and other French colonies penitentiaries (Bagne de Cayenne…) disappeared in the mid 1950’s, after numerous testimonies of survivors had shaken public opinion, and international pressure had forced the government to change its penal system. The year 1972 marked the official dissolution of the last Bat’ d’Af’ unit.“
Our graphics were freely inspired by “bousille”, an obsolete style of French Body Art with roots in the maritime and disciplinary world, well-documented thanks to Alphonse Bertillon and official photographic criminal records of the early 1900’s~1940’s. The verb bousiller (pronounced boo-zee-yeah) means ‘to destroy/ruin’ in French slang. That term properly conveys the characteristic sloppiness of bousille artwork, complimented by the crude inking techniques and scarring side effect. Any object sharp-enough would do, the edge of a tin can, rusty razor blade, old bodkin… and Indian ink or charcoal powder.
A forbidden practice in the French military at the time, the inking was mostly limited to the covered parts of the body, no neck no hands, unless you insisted on the chaouch (dreaded prison guard) making your life even more miserable once promoted to one of Biribi’s finest Sahara resorts!
Original bousille motifs were often heavily charged with real-life experiences. No ‘appropriated’ tribal art or cute dolphin ordered-off the tattoo flash wall of an air-conditioned parlor for the chiourme (convicts)! Each tattoo often carried cues that only insiders who had done time could decode. For the future caïds who made it back to the (under)world, these indelible Biribi souvenirs worked as solid street credit and were the perfect Curriculum Vitae.
The MF® “Biribi” shirt features a mixed bag of historical graphic references, some plausible some anachronic, pieced together in an old-school photo-print style familiar to the vintage Aloha shirt collector.
One will spot a Joyeux sporting a “viscope” (the long visor cap of the Bat d’Af’), a tiger chasing a snake (tigers are not native of North Africa, but do exist in local folktales and mirages), a papillon (a classic escape symbol, see Henri Charrière), a Tatahouine desert minaret, a pick axe/shovel (tools of the trade for building roads), a shiv (revenge), the de rigueur risqué mermaid, the classic Cheri-Bibi “Fatalitas” or “Souviens-Toi” (remember), a nautical star (the way home), a gigolo wearing a bachi missing his gigolette… Note that “Cosette” on the ribbon is not the name of a Marine Nationale ship, but a nickname for Tina😂.
Tailoring-wise, we selected one of Sun Surf®’s time-tested classic body pattern, a typical 1940’s rayon Aloha shirt model with the traditional loop open collar. We opted for a 100% rayon fabric this time, for that breezy, cool feeling and fine drape.
The MF® “Biribi” Rock & Roll shirt, aka. the Rock-a-Biribi shirt, is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan by Sun Surf® and Sugar Cane Co, both divisions of Toyo Enterprise.
SPECS: FABRIC: 100% rayon fabric, woven and printed in Japan with traditional techniques.
Two color options, white or dark navy.
DETAILS: * Limited edition collaboration with the Sun Surf® label.
* Body pattern inspired by classic vintage 1940’s-50’s Aloha shirts.
* Original MF® ‘novelty print’ fabric inspired by 1920’s-1940’s Body Art from French penitentiaries in North Africa known as Biribi, and early maritime tattoos.
* 1940’s-style open ‘loop’ collar.
* Matching-pattern chest pockets.
* Genuine indigo-dyed corozo wood buttons.
* MF® x Sun Surf® “Rock & Roll” shirt woven rayon label.
* Packaged is a fancy re-usable cardboard shirting box, featuring original MF® artwork inspired by vintage LP covers.
* Made in Japan.
SIZING/FIT: Both white and dark navy “Rock & Roll” Biribi shirts come ready-to-wear. Do not soak.
We adopted the time-tested sizing of Sun Surf®’s Aloha shirts for this garment. I wear a Medium in most mfsc shirting, and opted for a comfortable Medium in the “Biribi” shirt. True to size, not intended to be worn tight, or tucked-in.
See sizing chart for approximate measurements, measured straight out of the packaging box.
CARE: Professional DRY CLEAN ONLY, in your local eco-friendly facility.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes Small (14-14½) Medium (15-15½) Large (16-16½) X-Large (17-17½) XX-Large (18-18½)
Mister Freedom® “BERKELEY” Pull-over Shirt, indigo ‘bleeding’ madras plaids. Spring 2018 mfsc “The SPORTSMAN” catalog. Made in USA.
For Spring 2018, we are adding a new shirt pattern to our on-going production of all made-in-USA originals, regrouped under the Mister Freedom® “Sportsman” catalog.
We were aiming for a vintage preppy vibe for this shirt, so we put together a no-frills pull-over type, button-down collar and short sleeves, a nod to 1960’s American campuses attire. The moniker is an obvious reference to UC Berkeley, and its rich history.
To complete the reference to old-school collegial wear and casual Ivy-League style, we opted for madras plaids to introduce our BERKELEY shirt Birdie Num Num-style…
But to make things a bit more challenging, and instead of replicating one of the hundreds of traditional madras plaid patterns (for a taste of variety, read the saga of the limited edition MF® RANGER Shirts released in 2016, all cut from a lucky score of assorted vintage New Old Stock madras fabrics), we tapped into our in-store archives of antique Japanese textiles for inspiration. After heartbreaking deliberations, we selected two 1920’s~1940’s plaid specimen (see our Boro Shorties for a range of these end-of-Taishō/early-Showa beautiful shuttle-loom Japanese fabrics turned into neckwear.) We then had limited yardage milled in India on old-school shuttle powerlooms, all that under the supervision of our friends and textile experts of Toyo Enterprises. The weaving process on antiquated machines contributed to the characteristic slub and charming ’imperfections’ typical of authentic madras fabrics.
Power Loom operator. Photo courtesy of Alex at NaturalDyePot.com
Powerloom weaving (Photo courtesy M. Govarthan)
The loot of vintage New Old Stock madras fabrics…
Vintage New Old Stock madras fabrics, before turning into MF® Ranger shirts.
Original Mister Freedom® Ranger shirts, made from vintage NOS Madras fabrics.
Antique textiles corner at the MF® HQ.
A selection of antique Japanese woven textiles, indigo and vegetable dyes.
Because our vintage Japanese swatches involved indigo-dyed yarns, it took some convincing to have the Indian mill use actual indigo, a reluctance probably dating back to woven madras plaids’ early days on the international scene… Besides its novelty popularity as resort garb for lucky travelers to the West Indies, the debut of madras garments in the American casual wear market got a cold shoulder, as 1940’s US consumers were not ready for unstable colors in their wardrobe. Savvy buyers had yet to be convinced to embrace the factory-distressed look, so it took a clever marketing stunt to start a non-colorfast madras fabric craze, allegedly involving an American textile importer , Brooks Bros, and Seventeen Magazine ! That interesting advertising story is related here, and if anyone managed to locate a copy of the original magazine article, we’d love to see it!
Anyways, after the 1960’s heydays of “bleeding madras” loomed in India, traditional indigo blue and vegetable dyes were to be gradually replaced by colorfast chemical dyes, and, today, fabric fading is somewhat a thing of the past for thriving Chennai textile mills.
The Mister Freedom® BERKELEY shirt will subtly “bleed” and naturally age and fade with repeat wear and wash, like vintage madras garments did, to the delight of the fashionable boys and girls of American campuses in the 60’s!
The MF® BERKELEY shirt is designed and made in California by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co, from fabric milled in India inspired by antique Japanese textiles.
SPECS: FABRICS: Two distinctive selvedge woven plaids inspired by antique Japanese indigo textiles and vintage madras fabrics, 100% cotton, milled on shuttle powerlooms in India.
DETAILS: * An original MF® shirt pattern inspired by vintage 1960’s Ivy League style and American campuses attire.
* Pull-over type.
* Short sleeve.
* Button-down collar.
* Corrozo wood “Cat-Eyes” buttons.
* Two inverted-pleat chest pockets.
* Selvedge side gussets.
* Tailored-style sleeve setting.
* Chain-stitch construction, featuring “Sportsman” green thread accent on inside.
* MF® woven “Sportsman” rayon label.
* Designed and made in USA from madras fabric milled in India.
SIZING/FIT: Both options of the Mister Freedom® BERKELEY shirt come raw/unwashed and will shrink to the same tagged size after an initial 30mn cold soak, spin dry and line dry.
I wear a Medium (15-15½) in most mfsc button-down shirts and I opted for a comfortable yet trim Medium in the BERKELEY shirt.
Please refer to sizing chart for approximate raw/soaked measurements. Soaked = 30mn cold soak, spin dry and lightly heat-dried for 5mn.
CARE: The BERKELEY shirt can be machine-washed on delicate cycle, cold water, minimal eco-friendly detergent. Line dry. Wash separately to avoid color transfer of the indigo.
Available raw/unwashed. Sizes Small (14-14½) Medium (15-15½) Large (16-16½) X-Large (17-17½) XX-Large (18-18½)