The Mister Freedom® RANGER Shirt, made in USA from New Old Stock authentic Indian Madras milled on shuttle powerloom.


















Paul Newman 50s

Paul, wearing Steve’s shirt

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 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.)

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 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”…

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.


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.

* 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.

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

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.)

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.

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.


14½ (Small)
15½ (Medium)
16½ (Large)
17½ (X-Large)

RETAIL $229.95

Available from, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.

Thank you for your support,
Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom® 2016

Indian Madras Plaid Sportsman Shirt, Spring 2014

Madras Sportsman Mister Freedom 2014

Madras Sportsman Mister Freedom 2014


Madras Sportsman Mister Freedom 2014


Madras Sportsman Mister Freedom 2014




Indian Madras Sportsman Shirt
The Sportsman” Catalog Spring 2014

Originally a plain cotton muslin of loose weave, madras textiles were lightweight and breathable fabrics, a perfect fit for the hot climate of the Madras (now Chennai) region, Southeast India.
In the 1800’s (I know, at least I left out the early Dutch settlers stories), the area many weavers were also producing ‘Madrasi checks’, a local interpretation of the Scottish tartans some occupiers were sporting. Out of some 200 weaving villages came out countless patterns of hand loomed plaids, in bold vegetable dyed colors…
The typical and desirable slubby aspect of a madras type fabric is due to the fact that the yarn is carded and not combed, resulting in variations of thickness and fluctuating texture. That slub is something close to impossible to duplicate for modern factories instructed to emulate random ‘imperfections’. In Chennai, they had it…

Photo Courtesy of A.K. Muralitharan

Photo Courtesy of A.K. Muralitharan

For those interested in historical anecdotes, here is a quite interesting twist of event. How a croaking problem turned into a oh-so-desirable effect, thanks to a last minute marketing strategy concocted to liquidate defective stocks of non color-fast madras fabrics.
One of the version of the “Guaranteed To Bleed” story goes like this. It dates back to sometime in 1958 or 1956 (according to the source) when…

“…  the leading textile importer William Jacobson embarked on a trip from the U.S. to Bombay in the hopes to return with this exotic fabric from India.
Upon his arrival, the local textile Commissioner Mr. Swaminathan directed him to Captain C.P.Krishnan Nair the proprietor of Leela Scottish Lace Ltd, a textile exporting company from Chennai ( modern day Madras) who presented Jacobson with a fabric that he fell for right away. It was a Madras plaid fabric with a strong smell of vegetable dyes and sesame oils that was dyed in vivid colors that was originally made for export to South Africa. Mr. Nair was delighted to supply Mr. Jacobson with the Madras fabric at $1 per yard, warning him that the fabric required utmost care when laundering because the color would run out if it wasn’t gently washed in cold water.
The American exporter sold ( 10,000 yards ) of the same fabric to Brooks Brothers who manufactured trousers and jackets (which sold for $50) . However Jacobson failed to fully explain the properties of the fabric and did not issue washing instructions to Brooks Brothers.
Customers were furious when they saw the colors run that ruined their expensive summer apparel. Jacobson was likewise furious and summoned Mr. Nair to the United States where his attorneys threatened to sue Mr. Nair and the Leela Scottish Lace Ltd.
Instead of fighting each other they came up with solution that was sheer marketing genius! One of the attorneys arranged an interview for Mr. Nair with the editor of Seventeen Magazine in which he created a story about this miracle Madras fabric from India that was exclusively made for Brooks Brothers in New York. In the following issue, the editor ran a seven-page article about fabric titled “Bleeding Madras — the miracle handwoven fabric from India”. And since pictures say more than 1,000 words, they added beautiful photographs with the caption “guaranteed to bleed”.
Within a days of the magazine hitting the newsstands, Brooks Brothers was flooded with thousands of requests for the Madras items and it became an overnight success. Both, Mr. Jacobson and Mr. Nair made a fortune from the sale and paved the way for future Indian fabric exports of millions of yards of Madras cloth.”

Of the power of a few photos and chosen words in a magazine, eh?
If only the Fashion media would put that magic formula to good use more often… But, paying sponsors are about moving more widgets, not about doing less damage. So we might never see the end of factory distressed garment ads…

Vintage Madras Mister Freedom 2014 Vintage Madras Mister Freedom 2014 Hathaway ad 1954

Randomly fast forwarding to the summer of ’65, direction the preppy side of Southern California. If you owned two shirts on Campus, chances are one of them was a short sleeved cotton Madras plaid shirt. For many preps, and even a few tambor beating beatniks, these were the go-to shirts. ‘Inland’ surfers wore madras plaid regatta shirts. Golfers figured madras plaid pants were a great idea. Greasers couldn’t be bothered…

For Spring 2014, we were fortunate to get our hands on two limited runs of genuine Indian Madras.
Although the lots we secure were not hand loomed by Anakaputhur villagers in the summer of 1912 and of a fairly recent manufacture, the fabrics are reminiscent of vintage Madras. Loose weave, light weight, breathy, slubby… These two specifically caught my eyes as I originally flipped through a few thousands swatches of available madras stock last year. There was, what I thought of, a cool sixties vibe to both, a non-contemporary feel.
In the 1990’s, I was lucky to be schooled on vintage madras shirting by my good buddy Kenny Thomas, then a designer for Ralph Lauren, constantly looking for inspirational plaids to adorn the little guy on a horse with. Kenny is now both the talented front man and designer behind the Grayers brand. Yes, he also takes photos and makes timeless comments on Instagram…

Back to our horses here, please note that our madras are not ‘bleeding madras’, as non color-fast dyes have proven too challenging for the average customer through the years, and have slowly disappeared from garment manufacturing.
Our Sportsman Madras Shirts will just fade like regular garments do when washed and worn repeatedly.

We arbitrarily called our two madras fabric options ‘Beach‘ and ‘Sierra‘, however tempting Padmanabh (One With Lotus In His Navel) and Gajanan (One With Elephant Face) were. We decided to go with simple on this one.

For the pattern, we used our ‘classic’ Sportsman shirt specs, featuring some MF® ‘signature’ details such as original pocketing, shoulder expansion pleats, inside green chain-stitch, metal cast buttons, side gussets, two arms…
Style wise, the unlikely pairing of a 60’s plaid madras vibe with workwear type shirting sounding like a big no-no, we immediately went for it.
The result is a simple, casual looking long sleeved cotton plaid shirt. It’s easy to match with denim, chinos, wheat jeans, pleather bikinis… Although not shirtjak (ie. cropped by contemporary streetwear standards), this shirt can be worn tucked-in or out.
For more exquisite pairing inspiration, the interweb abounds in illuminated suggestions. And so do, at times, vintage ads…

1963 Ad Madras

A fierce 1963 ad

Our Indian Madras Sportsman Shirt is designed and made in California by Mister Freedom®, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co. Made from genuine imported Indian Madras.


PATTERN: An original MFSC pattern, inspired by our usual vintage influences.

Two options:
a) Madras ‘Beach‘: 100% cotton woven plaid muslin, with dominant brown/sky blue/washed-out-plum, woven in India.
b) Madras ‘Sierra’: 100% cotton woven plaid muslin, with dominant turquoise/white/brown/yellow, woven in India.

* Relaxed silhouette and fit.
* Original chest inverted box-pleat double pockets.
* Slim chin strap.
* Full button front.
* MF® original olive green painted embossed metal buttons, combination solid and MFSC branding.
* White cotton popeline button facing strip.
* Double front & back expansion pleats on shoulder yoke.
* One piece cuff gusset.
* 100% cotton thread, high stitch count.
* Flat felled seams, with inside green chain-stitch MF® signature.
* Side gussets with self fabric.
* Original “The SPORTSMAN” woven rayon label.
* Limited run.
* Made in California, USA.

The Sportsman Madras shirt is pretty low maintenance. Wash and wear type stuff.
Due to the loose weave of the fabric however, we recommend to wash on delicate cycle, to avoid snagging.
Cotton madras looks and feels also better after laundry than when raw. When dry, the wrinkled aspect is desirable with this type of textiles. I am not a big fan of perfectly ironed shirts anyways, personal preference. My socks however…
Both fabric options will shrink to close-call same measurements, according to who takes them and how much pulling and attention is applied.
Our sample in-house rinse tests were done with cold water/gentle cycle/machine dry.
If you are usually a medium in MFSC Sportsman shirting, wear a medium in the Madras.
Shirts will shrink to tagged size. Please refer to chart below for measurements:

Indian Madras Shirt

Available RAW/unwashed.

Retail $289.95

Soon available on
Please call 323-653-2014 or email with any questions not answered above, such as the name of our fruit sponsor etc…
Thank you for reading and the continuing support 🙂