The MF® BALOO Jacket pattern is our take of the famous vintage “Grizzly” style, a popular garment of 1930’s working America, combining mouton fur and leather in one handsome waist-length fashionable coat. Originally designed with ease of movement in mind for outdoor activities in cold temperatures, the Grizzly style soon replaced the more cumbersome full-fur coats of the late 1800’s – early 1900’s.
Surviving vintage specimen are today highly-collectible, but often too dried-out for wear, most original 1930’s Grizzly jackets ending-up as wall display.
Our BALOO is not a straight-up replica of these early outdoor jackets, rather the morphing of a MF® Campus into a “Bear Jacket”, as Grizzlys are sometimes referred to. The resulting garment is a contemporary piece, easier to pull-off these days than a buffalo coat, yet retaining its vintage appeal.
We spent some time last year developing a black “tea-core” leather, and unveiled the “STALLION” last week, a Fall 2019 black version of our staple Campus Jacket. We are also adding a “Black BALOO” to the Mister Freedom® mfsc Sportsman catalog this season. A small batch of jackets using the same black tea-core leather with matching sheepskin panels was produced.
As previously mentioned, “tea-core” leather refers to an old-school tannery dyeing method, distinct from the more commun dip-dyed method. “Tea-core” dyeing results in the skin side color being different from the flesh side color. Traditionally, to achieve this, hides are first dip-dyed in a light brown color. This is followed by spraying the skin side with a darker color top-coating. Japanese industry experts refer to this type of leather as Cha-Shin (茶芯), Cha meaning brown, and Shin meaning core. It is a sought-after characteristic of vintage engineer boots and older leather jackets.
Starting with our MF® signature natural ‘pink’ veg-tan cowhide introduced in 2013 with the 1930’s style “Campus Jacket”, we worked with a tannery willing and patient enough to comply with our demands and high expectations, and added our twist on black tea-core leather. The idea was simply to combine the patina potential of veg-tan natural leather (a sun-tanning/wearing/conditioning journey mastered and well-documented by our friend USMC MGySgt John “VEB”) with a solid black appearance.
The BALOO being fully lined, the “tea-core” is initially only noticeable to the keen eye, on the edges of the side cinch straps, key-hole button holes, and arrow-head pocket stops. As the Black BALOO gets some mileage and naturally ages, normal abrasion of the thin black topcoat from wear will reveal the natural ‘pink’ underside, in turn evolving into a rich golden tone. With patience, regular wear, with the expected nicks, scratches, water spills, natural sun-exposure and occasional conditioning with products such as Pecard Leather Dressing, an attractive patina is likely to develop.
Anyone is free to experiment with his/her own method for a natural patina, understanding that actual wear and patience will always beat dragging the jacket behind a truck. I am not making this up.
The MF® “Black BALOO” Jacket in black veg-tan ’Tea-core” cowhide leather and matching sheepskin panels is designed and made in California by Mister Freedom®.
PATTERN: An original pattern inspired by 1930’s sportswear ‘Cossack’ type unlined leather jackets, 1930’s “Grizzly” type leather jackets, and other vintage sportswear and outdoor garments.
* Black vegetable-tanned “Tea-Core” full grain cow hide leather, black topcoat with natural-color flesh side, milled and supple, about 2-3 Oz weight. Exclusively developed for MF®.
* Soft-hand genuine sheepskin panels.
Lining: 100% cotton brushed flannel with a 1940’s-50’s-inspired vibrant plaid pattern, discharge-printed. Fabric milled in Japan.
NOTE: The Mister Freedom® Black BALOO Jacket is made of genuine leather. We use full-grain, and not top-grain leather (aka corrected or buffed leather, sanded to level surface inconsistencies). No two hides are alike and each panel may feature variations in texture along with natural imperfections.
* Vintage 1930’s style, inspired by our Cossack-style MF® Campus Jacket and Grizzly-style American sportswear jackets.
* Fully lined with a soft cotton brushed flannel featuring a vintage style discharge-printed plaid pattern.
* Single panel sheepskin back.
* Slash pockets with arrow-head pocket stops.
* Side gussets with adjustable side straps (NOS metal slide buckles)
* Keyhole button holes.
* Corozo ‘Cat Eyes’ wood buttons, backed by genuine bone buttons.
* Mister Freedom® woven “Sportsman” label.
* Made in USA.
The MF® BALOO Jacket is ready-to-wear and true to size.
The fit could be quite snug, depending on one’s body type. If planning on layering, with a heavy cable knit wool sweater and a denim jacket for instance, considered sizing up for a comfortable fit.
I am usually a 38 in mfsc jackets and opted for a 38 in the Black BALOO, with enough room for a lightweight layer underneath.
Refer to sizing chart below for approximate measurements. Please consider the thickness of the sheepskin when trying to match your chest measurements and the jacket’s measurements. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if in doubt about sizing.
No specific initial conditioning or pre-treatment is required. Just wear and enjoy the slow patina evolution.
According to frequency of wear and exposure to the elements, some conditioning might be applied to the sleeves if the leather feels dry, using products similar to Pecard Antique Leather Care. Be aware that conditioning should be applied with care and expertise.
* Do not use heavily-oily products designed for footwear, such as neatsfoot oil.
* Do not attempt to condition the sheepskin panels…
* Do not dry clean. Even professional leather cleaning facilities might not be competent on how to treat the specific BALOO jacket veg-tan leather/sheepskin/cotton lining combo.
* Should parts of your jacket get accidentally stained from normal wear, consider this a normal stage of the evolution of a garment made for the outdoors.
Embrace the fact that the black “Tea-Core” leather is prone to get nicked and scratched, revealing the natural color under-layer, unavoidably showing signs of wear. Occasional conditioning when needed (according to actual frequency of wear) will contribute to an attractive warm tone natural patina, and a healthy-looking leather.
Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email email@example.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
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