Mister Freedom® “TERRENCE” Sweater, 100% 2-ply Cashmere. Crafted in Japan.

 

Mister Freedom® Terrence Sweater, 100% 2-Ply Cashmere.
mfsc FW2022 Hooper collection.

Made in Japan.

I am not a “collector” of anything tangible, but I have to confess a bit of an addiction to vintage cashmere sweaters.
Comes sweater season, knowing that racks will be filled with fresh stock of woolens, I can’t help raiding my local vintage stores to snag up what is actually old and fits me. Done that for years, so I do admit owning enough 50s-70s vintage specimen – in all colors and knit patterns, crew necks, V-necks, turtlenecks – to last me several lifetimes at this point!

I actually do wear them all, and often, so I don’t feel that much of a dodo just hoarding them as moth food. Being allergic to wool, cashmere keeps me cosy in the winter, cool for most of the rest of the year in Southern California, and is a perfect light-weight traveling companion. Also, a good cashmere sweater never goes out of style, and always feels like a cuddle!

For anyone in the market for affordable cashmere, I recommend sourcing from used clothing stores and flea markets.
Fast-fashion labor-cost-cutting specialists and massive landfill contributors Shein, H&M and the likes may offer cashmere sweaters for less than a $100 (with zero transparency and usually disposable), but one can definitely score perfect pre-owned luxury specimens (with zero carbon footprint the second time around) from vintage stores for a mere third of that.

When considering buying a brand new cashmere garment, one needs to do so responsibly. Tantalizing low retail prices flashed by fast-fashion outlets have recently ramped-up demand of raw material, with, as always, an impact on the whole manufacturing chain. Heard about masstige? (must read 2014 article from the Guardian on the subject!)

According to the BBC via this article, nomadic herders of cashmere goats make for about 40% of Mongolia’s scarce population, a country that supplied 20% of the global demand for raw cashmere fibers in 2020.
To paraphrase, cashmere goats are known for overgrazing, causing desertification, and loss of grassland means lower cashmere fiber output per goat. Wholesale goat hair prices fall due to fast fashion’s new dictate on market prices. Shortchanged herdsmen take up slack by buying more goats… and there you have it: an unsustainable environmental goat rodeo.

Takeaway from all that? 100% cashmere is and should stay a luxury fabric, and cannot (shouldn’t?) be cheap. Not in an elitist sense, but for the fact that if one is not paying the price at retail level, someone certainly is along the production process.

A quality cashmere sweater should be considered as an investment. If well cared-for and properly stored, cashmere is known to last a lifetime. Besides considering brand transparency, provenance (not just “imported”), proper garment pedigree, cost-per-wear should also play in making a wise decision.

With this caveat emptor in place, now on with this new Mister Freedom® TERRENCE fella!

Considering the fact that the fine insulating undercoat fibers of the Capra Circus Laniger average 19 microns in diameter – human hair is about 100 microns – it is fair to claim that the cashmere goat hair used in the knitting of our Mister Freedom® TERRENCE sweater is finer than frog hair.
This article, amongst many others on the interwebs, dives into what defines cashmere in the garment industry, along with other considerations.

As mentioned, I’m a seasoned vintage cashmere sweater hunter, but the pickier I get about only selecting the right one (proper period fit, cut, proportions, knit, ply, quality, condition etc), the trickier the sourcing gets. Kind of a wild goose chase. I know there are great traditional cashmere knitwear brands out there, producing fine sweaters, but I never had an urge to invest in a brand new one, as the cut/fit always feels too contemporary for me.

So, for similar reasons as to why our basic Mister Freedom® undershirts exist today (the USA-made Skivvies and Stanleys Ts were conceived as an alternative to having to endless scour thrift stores for used and wearable tubular knit undershirts that fit like old school Hanes or Fruit of the Loom), we decided to come up with our own old-school cashmere sweater!

With the help of our Sugar Cane Co partners, we sourced our cashmere yarns from “FUKAKI Woollen Textile Co“, one of the most reputable source in Japan, a mill founded in 1887, specialized in spinning and knitting cashmere since 1931, a member of the CCMI, Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute, and ISO 14001 certified.
Side note, we could have slashed costs considerably by going the China route for this project (watched Death By China?), but stuck to our MF® guns and commitment to solely manufacture in Japan and USA.

With a full vertically-integrated operation in Japan, Fukaki imports some of the finest raw white cashmere fibers from Inner Mongolia – white fibers being the most expensive compared to grey or brown, as they can be dyed – sourced from ethical producers/jobbers.
A team of Japanese textile experts then sorts, selects, grades, dyes, and spins the yarns, using unique manufacturing methods, knitting some of the most reputable cashmere sweaters in today’s fashion industry.

After a loooong journey of trying to ramp up our knowledge on technical cashmere manufacturing, actual production R&D, crucial decision-making on design and fabric in the midst of supply chain challenges and a pandemic, multiple sample making, constructive criticism, … , we eventually had the MF® TERRENCE figured out!

We opted for 2-ply cashmere (meaning two twisted yarns make one strand), settled on NM 2/26 (where NM is Metric Number, 2 being the ply, and 26 the length divided by the weight of the cashmere yarn, defining its fineness, the higher the number the finer, 26 being a classic magic number for warmth, minimal piling, and longevity of the garment, to the best of my knowledge), and high gauge knit (how tightly-knit and dense the fabric is, measured by the number of vertical rows per square inch, I believe 12 in our case.)

The resulting cashmere fabric of our TERRENCE feels chunky yet breathable, tightly knit with pretty good mechanical stretch recovery, and soft to the touch as Joe’s show hair! (“show hair” is a term coined by our dear friend Jillian)

For the type of knit, we wanted something more textured and “special” than plain knit, so we went with cable knit, specifically a classic “Twisted Twin Cable” pattern, with “Chunky Rib Stitch” cuffs and waistband pattern combo. All that inspired by a 1960s vintage specimen from my stash, sporting a “BRAININ of Bond St… Made in Scotland” label.
We chose V-neck for the collar pattern, with a classic depth that worked for our esthetics, not too deep, not too shallow, chef kiss.

The major MF® twist is in the cut and fit of our sweater. We wanted a “vintage” silhouette that would set apart the TERRENCE from his contemporaries: slightly shorter body complimenting one’s natural waist and classic rise trousers, long foldable 40s-50s style sleeve cuffs, and old school 4 inch-wide waistband.
Longer torsos and thin waistbands being the norm for modern contemporary sweaters, our baby is quite unique in its style class, and has definitely quelled my personal quest for hunting down the perfect vintage specimen!

Color wise, it was hard to settle on the right palette, but we eventually opted for classic black, “Yale” blue, and “Ice Blu” (a nod to our Ice Blu denim.)
A beautiful gold color was also part of our first choice, but was unfortunately unavailable at the time of production.

Lastly, the “Terrence” moniker is a reference to a famous Hollywood actor who sure liked his V-neck sweaters, on and off screen. His simple and timeless style is often an inspiration for us, as relevant then as now.

The MF® TERRENCE Sweater, 100% 2-Ply Cashmere, is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan from a well-established reliable source, in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
PATTERN:
Inspired by classic and timeless vintage V-Neck wool sweaters, 50s-60s casual styles with period fits and silhouettes.

FABRIC:
Luxurious 100% 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere, fine NM 2/26 yarn, sustainable sourcing.
Available in three classic colors: black, “Yale” blue, and “Ice Blu”.

DETAILS:
* Original pattern inspired by vintage classic cashmere sweaters and timeless period fashion.
* Old school 50s-60s silhouette.
* Luxurious 100% 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere, fine NM 2/26 yarn, sustainably sourced.
* Raw white wool material processed/dyed/knit in Japan.
* High 12 gauge knit.
* Classic depth V-neck style with ribbed stitch collar roll.
* “Chunky Rib Stitch” long foldable cuffs & wide waistband.
* Classic “Twisted Twin Cable” knit pattern.
* Panel knitting construction.
* Original mfsc woven rayon label.
* Crafted in Japan by a reputable source member of the CCMI.
* Produced in limited quantities.

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® TERRENCE cashmere sweater comes ready-to-wear, it does not need any pre-soaking shrinking routine before wear.
At 5’7 ~145 Lbs, I opted for a MEDIUM, for an old school silhouette.

Please remember that the specific proportions and “vintage fit” of this original garment are part of its design and DNA. Our TERRENCE features a slightly shorter body (pairing well with classic high to mid-rise pants), wide ribbed cuffs and wide ribbed waistband (typical period details of 1940s-50s vintage specimen), setting it apart from the modern design twist of the vast majority of contemporary mens sweaters.

CARE:
Hand wash only, every 5 to 10 wears, according to one’s activities, and layering choices.
When laundering is needed :
* Soak in cold water for ~30mn, using biodegradable woolen mild detergent. Some use baby shampoo, Dirty Labs (USA), Eucalan (Canada), The Laundress (USA) etc…
* Hand agitate to loosen dirt, gently moving the sweater around.
* Gently squeeze sweater, fill sink with fresh cold water, rinse.
* Gently squeeze sweater again (do not wring!), lay sweater on clean white towel, flat surface (do not hang!)
* Let air dry, gently fluffing and flipping garment occasionally if necessary.

We do not recommend dry-cleaning as the harsh process tends to break the fine and fragile cashmere natural fibers.

At the end of your sweater season, properly launder your TERRENCE before storing it in a moth-proof environment (sealed bag/plastic bin) with natural herbal scents (cedar blocks/lavender bags etc.)

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2023

Mister Freedom® MEDALIST Crewneck Sweatshirt, all-cotton tubular fleeced jersey, mfsc FW2021 “PODIUM” Collection. Made in Japan

 

 

MF® Medalist red naturally sun-faded.

MF® Medalist UCLA blue naturally sun-faded.

 

MF® Medalist Olive Green naturally sun-faded.

 

Buncha winners.

Mister Freedom® MEDALIST Crew Sweatshirt, all-cotton tubular fleeced jersey
FW2021 mfsc PODIUM collection.
Made in Japan.

The Mister Freedom® MEDALIST is our take on the iconic American SWEATSHIRT (or “sweat shirt”, “sweat-shirt”, the top part of a “sweat suit” or “training suit”… just don’t call them “sweaters”). We’ve been working on this one for a while, as plenty of contemporary options already exist and we wanted to make sure that our version be classic yet special. 

First, if you get asked on Jeopardy and your friend Bob can’t get to the phone, sweatshirt material consists of a single knit fabric, with a flat texture jersey on the face (outside), and a French Terry reverse with loops mechanically shredded/brushed into a soft fleece pile (inside). It has been the fabric of choice for warm-up athletic gear for about a century.

Classic vintage sweatshirts (~ pre-1970s) are usually cut from tubular fleeced jersey, meaning the sock-like cylinder body has no side seams.

With roots in the 1920s, modern tubular fleece has been produced since the 1950s on elaborate single-jersey circular knitting machines, puzzling pieces of engineering resembling the 1969 Apollo LEM, and, I suppose, about as equally easy to operate and maintain.
Using this knitting technology, and due to the cylinder shape and fixed circumference of the finished material, several machines and tedious set-ups are required to produce different sizes of the same tubular sweatshirt fabric. Meaning, the body of a size Small tubular sweatshirt is knitted on a different machine than the Medium. This doesn’t help with cost of production, but vintage clothing purists will appreciate the seamless tube body.

To add to the challenge of milling this special fleece fabric, we also insisted that our waistband ribbing be tubular, without the joining side seam typical of modern fashion sweatshirts. We also were set on a special “5×1 needle-out” type of ribbing, a cool feature of certain rare and desirable vintage 1940s-50s specimen. With this tall order, we sent our friends at Toyo Enterprise on a double wild-goose chase, and, as always, they sourced-out not only the perfect tubular fleece, but managed to mill the special needle-out tubular ribbing.

For the design and construction of our MEDALIST, we wanted to stay away from anything contemporary. So we scrutinized and dissected several vintage specimen collected over the years, studied classic proportions and cuts, found inspiration in period silhouettes from old photos and athletic goods 1930s-1960s catalogs, tested prototypes with traditional stitching options… and basically came up with a very old-school looking winner, the MF® MEDALIST!

Pattern-wise, one of the key point for us was the “drop shoulder” look. Modern sweatshirts and even contemporary vintage replicas tend to prefer an updated non-slouching shoulder seam, for a “more tailored” look. The drop shoulder cut may be an acquired taste, like the leg twist on a pair of old Levi’s for instance, but we went for the “anti-fit” cut of authentic 1940s-50s vintage sweatshirts.

Regarding the double neck insert detail, scoring a “double V” sweatshirts in my 1990s rag-picking days always meant bingo! Double Vs were to vintage sweats what XXs were to vintage Levi’s, an extra $500+ at the flea market.
Initially intended as a stretch gusset on the neck band so that the pull-over warm-up shirt (made of wool in the early days) would fit over, say, a football helmet, the “V” was a good substitute to a ½ zipper. Our MEDALIST 40s-style double Vs are of the “functioning” type, as they actually are double-layer stretchy ribbing inserts, and not just the decorative V-shaped flat lock stitching typical of later productions of sweatshirts. Many “V”s on contemporary sweats are also purely decorative.

On that note, some of you may remember that, during a 2010 interview with Valet Magazine, yours truly asserted that the “V”s on sweatshirts were originally designed to, wait for it, sponge-up sweat. An opinion, as they say, is the perfect compromise between knowledge and ignorance.

Online Valet Magazine, April 2010, and 2017 Sponge Bob IG post.

Another feature of our MEDALIST is the underarm expansion gusset, a detail and intricate construction challenge lifted from a rare 1950s vintage sweat from our archives. Like the double Vs, these arms gussets are also double-layer inserts of needle-out rib.

Anyone familiar with vintage sweats knows of the common sleeves-are-too-short issue, the result of excessive shrinkage and improper shrink tests from the maker. McQueen was a specialist at quickly solving that problem, on and off screen, and is probably responsible for a few chopped-off vintage sweats out there!

SMcQ, 1963 (John Dominis, courtesy GETTY IMAGES)

This is one of the liberties we took with “authenticity”, as we carefully balanced the drop of the shoulder seam, calculated optimal sleeve length while considering the extra-long (foldable) ribbed cuffs, factored-in fabric shrinkage, adjusted sleeve width… to achieve a proper post-wash fit that will work for most.

As a touch of modern practicability, we mounted a back pocket to the MEDALIST rear panel, with an original flat-lock construction “sandwiched” in the waistband. This discreet storage will come handy when cycling, to carry a smart phone or small bidon without obstructing the front of the shirt. Just avoid using it for your phone or wallet while riding the metro in Paris…

We are introducing the MEDALIST in six original yet classic color options. The heather grey is yarn-dyed, a much darker shade than the traditional “silver” heather grey of Champion® sweats, a fleece color characteristic of some older athletic collectibles. The Arctic White model features contrasting oatmeal heather grey ribbing trims, for an attractive subtle two-tone effect.
The Scarlet Red, “UCLA” Blue, Gold Yellow and “Nam” Olive Green MEDALISTS will fade over time with normal wash/wear routine and sun exposure, just like your favorite butter-soft sun-bleached vintage sweatshirt. For reference, we included some naturally-faded prototypes in the photos above.

Pair it with blue jeans, khaki chinos, piques… for the gym, the beach or to lounge around at home, our MEDALIST is versatile, comfortable, functional, ethically-produced… and just ridiculously good looking!

The MF® MEDALIST Crewneck Sweatshirt, in all-cotton tubular fleeced jersey, is designed by Mister Freedom® in California, USA, and produced in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

SPECS:
FABRIC:
Heavy weight 12 Oz. 100% cotton tubular fleeced jersey knit, soft brushed pile back for warmth and absorbency. Milled in Japan.
Color options:
a) Yarn-dyed Heather Grey.
b) Arctic White with contrast oatmeal needle-out ribbing.
c) UCLA Blue.
d) Scarlet Red.
e) Gold Yellow.
f) “Nam” Olive Green.

DETAILS:
* An original mfsc pattern inspired by vintage 1940s-50s classic American sweatshirts and period athletic wear.
* Tubular body (no side seams).
* “Drop shoulder” pattern.
* Fancy all-cotton 1×5 needle-out ribbing waistband, cuffs, neckband and gussets.
* Double “V” neck inserts, dual layers of stretchy ribbed knit.
* Vintage-style extra-long waistband and cuffs.
* Underarm expansion gussets.
* Rear panel smartphone or bidon pocket.
* Four-needle flat lock stitching construction.
* Original mfsc “PODIUM” rayon woven label.
* Made in Japan

SIZING/FIT:
The MF® MEDALIST Sweatshirt comes pre-rinsed (i.e. pre-shrunk), and is ready-to-wear. No need for any initial soaking process.
All different color options fit the same.
Depending on your own personal style, preference of silhouette, body type, and whether you’re going old-school vintage or contemporary streetwear, the size that will work for you is subjective.

I opted for a size SMALL in all color options, for a shorter “period” look, matching one’s natural waist rather than covering the back pockets of jeans. Just a personal preference for the vintage vibe. I am 5’7 / 145 lbs.

CARE:
Low maintenance garment. Launder when needed.
Machine wash, normal cycle, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Tumble dry or lay flat to dry on clean towel.

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2021

 

 

Mister Freedom® “PRIVATEER” Rollneck Sweater, Indigo and Ecru Cotton Rib Knit, mfsc FW2020 “Waterfront Surplus”. Made in Japan.

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

 

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® “PRIVATEER” Rollneck Sweater, Indigo and Ecru Cotton Rib Knit.
FW2020 mfsc “Waterfront Surplus”.
Made in Japan.

The pattern of the MF® PRIVATEER Rollneck is inspired by an older crew neck casual cotton sweater from our archives, to which we mounted a classic high rolled collar, turtleneck or rollneck, giving the resulting hybrid its nautical vibe.

Vintage prototype of the MF® PRIVATEER (rollneck is Photoshopped in) with pattern edits ©2020

We kept the textured 1×1 “fisherman” rib knit of the original, along with the raglan sleeve construction, but extended the seamless cuffs and bottom webbing for an older sweater vibe. The overall proportions were tweaked for a shorter vintage silhouette that pairs well with high-waisted pants.

We opted for 100% cotton knit, a more SoCal-friendly and less allergy-inducing option than traditional rollneck wool sweaters. Our PRIVATEER is definitely not intended as a contender to a wool submariner’s jumper in the warmth department, but is rather devised as a casual mid-season piece for temperate climates, leading to extra playtime disguised as Captain Haddock in Sunny California.

The original sample that inspired our PRIVATEER was pure white and we chose to hand-dye it indigo during R&D. We liked the results, so for production, we settled on two color options: a specific warm tone of ecru matched from an old vintage Aran sweater, and the medium indigo blue shade matched from our back-yard dyed prototype.

The MF® PRIVATEER is designed in California by Mister Freedom® and manufactured in Japan in collaboration with Sugar Cane Co.

FABRIC:
100% cotton 1×1 rib knit, “fisherman” rib pattern or “Brioche” stitch type.
Two color options:
1) “Aran” ecru.
2) Indigo blue.

SPECS:
* An original hybrid mfsc pattern, inspired by casual sweaters and vintage nautical jumpers.
* Single fold ribbed rollneck.
* “Fisherman” rib knit stitch body.
* 100% cotton knit.
* Raglan sleeve pattern with contrast rib pattern mounting.
* Large seamless ribbed waistband.
* Foldable extended and seamless ribbed cuffs.
* Original mfsc “Waterfront Surplus” woven rayon label.
* Made in JAPAN.

SIZING/FIT:
The PRIVATEER Rollneck, in both ecru and indigo, comes pre-shrunk and is ready-to-wear as-is. No soaking required.
This garment is considered true-to-size. I opted for a medium, for a comfortable fit.

The specific “Fisherman” rib allows horizontal (crosswise) stretch, with good natural recovery (= the knit’s ability to return to its initial size after being stretched.)
Therefore, measurements can be misleading, as with all stretchy knit garments.
We do recommend sticking to your usual MF® size with the  PRIVATEER Rollneck. If you are a Medium in mfsc shirting, you are more-likely a Medium in this sweater, regardless of our chart measurements. The arms might feel a bit snug and first, and pulling your head though the neck might feel a bit tight, but the sweater will settle naturally after a few minutes of wear.
I am wearing a chambray Snipes shirt underneath a Medium PRIVATEER in the fit photos, and am 5’7 approx 150Lbs.

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

Mister Freedom® PRIVATEER Rollneck cotton rib sweater ©2020

CARE:
Turn sweater inside out. Machine wash on DELICATE, cold water, mild eco-friendly detergent. Air dry flat on a clean towel, or hang dry on a well-padded hanger to avoid shoulder stretching.
Light fuzzing or piling may occur temporarily and will subside.
Wash with similarly-colored garments.
Do not use the washer’s heavy-duty cycle. Heat dryer is also not recommended and may result in excessive shrinkage.

Available PRE-SHUNK
Sizes
Small
Medium
Large
X-Large
XX-Large

Available from www.misterfreedom.com, our Los Angeles brick & mortar store, and fine retailers around the World.
Email sales@misterfreedom.com or call 323-653-2014 with any questions unanswered above.
Thank you for your support.

Christophe Loiron
Mister Freedom®
©2020

“Campus Cardigan” Mister Freedom® x Ohio Knitting Mills, Made in USA

 

Mister Freedom® x OKM Campus Cardigan ©2013

Mister Freedom® x OKM Campus Cardigan ©2013

 

 

 

The “CAMPUS CARDIGAN”, Sportsman Collection
Mister Freedom® x Ohio Knitting Mills

Walking past a table of folded vintage 1950’s cable knit shirts last year at ‘Inspiration’ in Long Beach, I noticed the “Ohio Knitting Mills, Since 1927″ sign on the booth.
I’ve always loved these shirts, having first seen one in the 80’s on the cover of the ACE Records “Hollywood Rock’n’Roll” LP, featuring that famous photo of two thirsty fellas from the Booze Fighters MC in 1947…

Hollywood RnR Ace Records

Turns out, “if it was knitted, wool or cotton, it was probably from OKM” said Steven Tatar, now running the show at Ohio Knitting Mills.

Well maybe they made this one too?

Sophia-Loren-1954

I’ll call Sophia later, back on topic…
We spoke regarding a potential future MF® x OKM project… and months later decided to put words into actions. And that’s how the journey of the “Campus Cardigan” started…
Wool, as i was about to learn, is similar to denim. In the sense that not all is created equal.
I also was about to get some tech terms thrown at me. A ‘Milanese stitch having to be attached to a jersey body‘?… Soprano material to me. But not to Mr Tatar.

As for inspiration for the project, I used a cream color vintage 50’s Letterman sweater, found a while back. I liked that it didn’t have the ‘Frankie Lymon & the Teeenager’ vibe, but rather a versatile cardigan for grown-ups vibe with interesting construction and unusual details that still looked ‘simple’ and not overly designed.
I also had attempted to indigo dye that vintage sweater, since when I get going, anything that doesn’t move is a potential candidate for getting thrown in the vat.

Mister Freedom® ©2013 Mister Freedom® ©2013

Not being sure what to expect with wool, I was happily surprised with the result.

Mister Freedom® ©2013

Well all that sounded like a good challenging puzzle for our new collaboration.
And a challenge it was, for all involved.

Mister Freedom® x OKM Campus Cardigan ©2013

From sourcing the right unbleached domestic wool, spinning the yarn to specs, milling, cutting, sewing, solving construction challenges, adjusting patterns and machines… to the (fun part for us) indigo dyeing…

We wanted the buttons to remain their original natural color (and not get dyed, as seen on the 1rst prototype shown in some of the photos), so, finally sewing on the corozo buttons and dual labels was quite satisfying.

The natural wool yarn OKM sourced has a beautiful ‘slubby’ texture and subtle color variation. This makes the natural color option as interesting as the second color option… Indigo.
Back in California, we put some long hours into relentlessly dipping the heavy pre-soaked/dye-ready sweaters in our indigo vat. One by one, some 3 or 4 dips depending on the resulting hue, stopping only when we thought the indigo color looked nice. The result of that ordeal is an assortment of various shades of blue that will change overtime, with wear and outside exposure.

INDIGO PHOTOS

Designed by Mister Freedom® in collaboration with Ohio Knitting Mills. All made in USA by OKM. Indigo vat dyed in California.
Thanks Steve, Paula and the OKM team for their expertise and for making this project happen.

SPECS:

PATTERN: Inspired by a vintage 1950’s Letterman wool sweater, cardigan type. ‘Dropped shoulders’ pattern. Single wrap body panel (no side seams). Relaxed silhouette.

FABRIC: unbleached 100% wool knit jersey, American yarn spun and milled in the USA.
Two options:
a) Natural
b) Indigo

DETAILS:
* Wool Jersey body and sleeves, ribbed end knit.
* Single piece body wrap knit (no side seam).
* Milanese knit button placket.
* Wide wrist knit cuffs for roll-up.
* Fold over double layer pockets.
* Blind stitched bottom hem, folded end knit.
* Natural Corozo buttons, aka vegetable ivory or coconut wood.

SIZING/CARE:
I could go with a Small, but decided to wear a Medium, for layering options with heavier shirts/henleys this winter…
The natural option comes unwashed. The indigo has been rinsed. The loose jersey knit tends to stretch slightly after being rinsed and dried. The sweater will eventually adapt to your body with repeat wear, looking more natural than it did on the first day. This is normal.
Refer to the charts below for measurements.

Natural Campus Cardigan Size Chart

Size Chart NATURAL

 

Indigo Campus Cardigan

Size Chart INDIGO

When needed, the “Campus Cardigan” can be hand washed in cold water, with minimal mild detergent. NO machine wash, NO boiling. Machine spin dry, then lay the sweater on a towel, flipping it around until dry. NO electrical/gas dryer. The sweater is quite heavy when wet, so do not hang dry on a hanger, as this will result in unattractive stretching…
Your sweater can also be professionally dry cleaned.
Same care for the natural or indigo options, making sure you wash the indigo by itself, as bleeding will occur for some time.
DISCLAIMER: Due to the natural of indigo dyeing, some color rub-off will occur on light color shirting worn underneath the indigo cardigan, noticeably in the armpits .
This crocking should eventually stabilize, and also eventually wash off stained garments.
All this comes with Indigo Territory.
Available sizes:
Small, Medium, Large, X-Large

Retail:
a) Natural $399.95
b) Indigo $449.95
(ordering this option may take some time should we run out, as we are not sure when we will be able to do another dye batch.)

Available from www.misterfreedom.com
sales@misterfreedom.com will gladly answer any questions unanswered above 😉

Thank you always for your support.

…and at last this evening’s cargo MFSC “Deck Sweater”

 

SWEATER, MAN’S, DECK

Type MFSC 0415

To wrap up the MFSC fall 08 collection, our sailor’s last issue: a navy blue wool/cotton button neck sweater. A warm garment with a very soft hand to be layered with MFSC645 chambray shirt or cotton under shirt.

(Unissued. Size S, M, L, XL. Retail $449.95)