Liberty of London fabric is so expensive because it is made from very lightweight cotton fabric that behaves like silk with brilliant colors and many intricate patterns.
It is now a known and well-loved brand that offers a wide range of products, but its main and best-selling products are fabrics, especially the Tana Lawn cotton fabric.
Liberty of London was launched in 1875 by Arthur Liberty on London’s Regent Street. The fabric store became well-known for importing gorgeous, high-quality fabrics from the far east. Arthur Liberty is famed similarly for his skill and a keen eye for styles and trends. By the 1980s, Liberty of London was the epitome of the best textile designs.
At present, Liberty of London carries womenswear, menswear, children’s wear, furniture, and homeware made from heritage prints and fabrics. But the vividly colorful floral fabrics are still the bestselling items you can find at the equally enthralling store at Regent Street.
It is understandable why Liberty of London fabric is so expensive because the quality is exemplary and is designed exclusively by in-house studio Liberty artists.
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What is special about Liberty fabric?
Liberty fabric is made from thin and long staples of cotton, meaning the fabric quality is closer to silk, considered a luxurious fabric. Another feature worth noting that makes the Liberty fabric stand out from the rest is its fabulous prints.
Liberty fabric is a unique type of cotton because of the level of fineness reached by the weave. The ultra-fine yarn and the ultra-tight weave give the Liberty fabrics a silky texture.
The long staples of cotton fibers measure 3.5 cm or more than the standard 2.5cm. The extra-long staples of cotton make thinner but more solid yarns to create fabrics with a higher thread count. You must know that fabric with a higher thread count assures a better quality.
The benefit you get from a tight weave is that the fabric becomes less easy to wrinkle but still soft at the same time.
The most popular and staple fabric among the Liberty fabrics is the Tana Lawn cotton. This cotton fabric is most famous because of its ultra-fine texture like silk, intense colors, and gorgeous patterns. The Tana Lawn cotton fabric has a thread count of 240, is made from specially selected ultra-fine long-staple cotton and is woven from 70 and 100 ply yarns subjected to a long production process.
The Tana Lawn fabric is perfect for clothing, especially dresses and blouses with a lining, heirloom apparel, button-up shirts, and expensive loungewear. The cotton fabric is excellent dress material because it is soft yet durable and machine washable. The bright colors and artistic patterns will allow you to do various creative projects.
The Tana Lawn fabrics of Liberty of London are woven from ultra-fine long-staple cotton that gives just the right drape.
The Tana Lawn name was adapted from Lake Tana in Ethiopia, where Liberty buyer William Hayes Dorell found these interesting cotton fibers.
Tana Lawn fabric became popular because of its unique qualities achieved from a series of preparations. After weaving, the Tana Lawn fabric goes through the process of mercerization. It is the process of applying alkaline treatment that will make the fibers of the cotton swell, improve luster and stabilize the fabric finish.
Mercerizing the cotton fabric also increases dye absorption using rotary screen printing or the latest digital print technology to print perfectly.
The delightfully soft but durable Tana Lawn fabric is an excellent material for summer clothes but is also perfect to wear in the winter under wool.
Is Liberty Fabrics the same as Liberty of London?
Liberty is a fabric brand created by the famous British company Liberty of London, named in honor of its founder, Sir Arthur Liberty. It is highly known for its beautiful and unique prints, especially the floral motifs.
So, it is safe to say that Liberty fabrics were created by the company Liberty of London, and it is clear that the two are linked to each other.
Liberty fabrics are represented mainly by cotton printed cloths, and the floral prints are what carried the company’s name. The in-house artists have made it possible to create magnificent designs since the company was established in 1875.
The floral motifs are considered the core of the Liberty fabric brand and are also why the brand is known globally. Since the establishment of the Liberty of London up to the present, the floral prints still rule the design department.
The Liberty fabric fixation on floral designs dates back to the discovery and then the ensuing fascination for the Japanese fabric collection and home furnishings by Arthur Liberty at the International exhibition in London in 1962. The rise of popularity of the oriental style in London made Arthur Liberty create a company of his own, the Liberty of London, which has floral and ditsy motifs as the brand carrier.
Liberty fabrics are not dull and boring because they come in pastel or vibrant colors with mysterious or playful designs. Aside from the famous floral motifs, Liberty fabrics also have a wide range of designs to choose from, such as botanicals, animalistic, paisley, conversational, and many more. You can also see an eclectic play in colors.
Liberty fabric designs have various inspirations which explain the creativity in each fabric pattern, some of which come from favorite places visited in the countryside, paintings in art galleries and museums, picturesque places, and a lot more. Sometimes old designs are brought back from the rich collection of the archives since the 1800s, which are redrawn and re-scaled to bring a new vibe to the pattern design.
Inspiration plus the different drawing styles of the incredibly talented Liberty artists add to the variety and uniqueness of the fabric designs.
Liberty of London has been enjoying 150 years of being a living heritage because of its internationally-known fabrics and has adapted modern methods in printing to produce the quality of a screen-printed fabric that is thoroughly penetrated with ink.
The company uses three dyeing techniques at present that still makes sure to achieve an excellent fabric quality. The methods used are screen printing, digital printing, and flatbed printing. Despite the challenges and disadvantages of each process, Liberty of London ensures an impeccable fabric print quality, making it a prime brand with more than a century of fame.
The hard work, time, and talent invested in making the Liberty fabrics explains why this brand is special and thrives for many generations to adore.
Where is liberty fabric manufactured?
Liberty fabrics are printed in Como in Italy. The printing process used is traditional screen-printing techniques and modern digital printing.
Liberty fabrics has its own phenomenal in-house design studio attached by a wooden bridge to the iconic flagship store. The artists have been devoted to drawing and painting prints for every seasonal collection since the early 1950s.
These artists create hundreds of new Liberty prints every year, added to the 50,000 prints archived by in-house archivists. Many of the early designs are still printed up to this day.
The magnificent designs created by these dedicated in-house artists are printed on different textile bases, but Tana Lawn is the primary and bestselling signature of the Liberty brand.
At present, every bolt of Tana Lawn fabric goes through the essential production processes, designed by the in-house studio Liberty artists and then printed at the Italian mill in Como, using a mix of traditional screen printing and modern state-of-the-art digital printing techniques. The cotton fibers used for the Tana Lawn fabrics are now grown in India, Egypt, and the US.
If you are interested to know the designs available in the market up to this day, here are some of Liberty’s bestseller floral and graphic fabric prints available on Amazon:
Michelle is a floral design that dates back to 1933. It was a design created by D.S., an artist of Liberty who also created two other iconic Liberty fabric designs, the Betsy and Wiltshire. Michelle is a 100% lightweight cotton fabric with orange flower prints.
Buy it here: Michelle
Mabelle is a pink print pattern inspired by Indian chintz designs from the 17th and 18th centuries. This bestseller design created by the Liberty Fabrics in-house studio joined the Tana Lawn classics in 2007.
Buy it here: Mabelle
The Strawberry Thief design has appeared on Classic Tana since 1955. William Morris originally designed it in 1883. The Strawberry Thief is a Liberty favorite and has been returning to the scene since 1979. It was first introduced as a furnishing fabric in 1979 and has been redrawn for Tana Lawn on a smaller scale design.
Buy it here: Strawberry Thief
Christelle’s defining design is the Tree of Life-style flowers. It was inspired by the marvelous Indian chintzes first introduced to Europe in the 17th Century. It was first designed in the early 1990s as a furnishing fabric.
Buy it here: Christelle
Betsy Ann is a small-scale design of Betsy, which came out first in the 1930s. The Betsy Ann version was created and included in the 2013 Autumn/Winter Seasonal collection.
This sweet new version, Betsy Ann, was created for the Autumn/Winter seasonal collection in 2013. Betsy Ann is a small-scale sort of the Betsy print. It was first designed for Liberty Fabrics in the 1930s.
Buy it here: Betsy Ann
Poppy and Daisy
Poppy and Daisy is a typical Liberty floral print and has been a part of the Liberty archive since the 1910s. You can find a paper impression from Liberty’s Merton Print Works of this standard design in the collection.
Buy it here: Poppy and Daisy
Wild Flowers by Su Blackwell is a recollection of early childhood journeys across the British landscape in the discovery of native flora. This joyous Liberty Fabrics print was initially inspired by illustrations from an early 19th-century book, ‘Field Guide to Wild Flowers in Britain.’
Buy it here: Wild Flowers
Ianthe is a well-loved design by a well-known French Art Nouveau designer R. Beauclair around 1900 but was later redrawn by David Haward’s Studio.
Ianthe means purple or violet flowers in Greek, suggesting that the violets may have inspired the flowers in the prints.
Buy it here: Ianthe
Ffion is a pretty floral design that comes in purple, pink, and yellow. It was created in 1959 and was inspired by the fresh and simple floral Liberty Fabric favorite, Mitsi.
Buy it here: Ffion
The Archive Lilac design is inspired by a part of the Alice in Wonderland story. It is Alice’s journey through the Garden of Live Flowers, where flowers talk to her and help her on her way.
Buy it here: Archive Lilac
Queue for the Zoo
Queue for the Zoo is a product of a collaboration of Liberty’s design team with children’s author and illustrator, OK David. The charming animal print is hand-drawn and painted only for Liberty Fabrics.
Buy it here: Queue for the Zoo
Liberty fabrics, especially the Tana Lawn fabrics, are easy to wear and very easy to work. The soft, silk-like woven fabric carries enough weight to drape the body effortlessly. The fabric is very versatile, and you can use it for any project you may think of, from dresses, fashion pieces, accessories, homewares, or quilted artwork.