Love of Liberty

When I was a teenager, we would have an occasional family trip to London during the summer to enjoy tourist sights, exhibitions, the theatre and the parks.

One place my sister and I always wanted to go was Liberty of London, the incredible old department store on Regent Street which was almost literally creaking with treasures from around the world.  I would save my pocket money to buy blue and white china, gorgeously fragrant sandalwood soap, rough silver charms from Guatemala for my charm bracelet, pretty stationery and scraps of flowered fabric from the remnants box that they had in the wonderful haberdashery department.

Unlike most of my childhood pocket money purchases, some of my Liberty treasures remain in my possession to this day.

Pocket money Liberty treasures

I still love Liberty (although I doubt it’s quite such an easy place to find pocket money treasures these days).   I no longer get completely lost in there, but I can still lose myself for a while in amongst  their wonderful collections, particularly the fabric department.  Liberty’s iconic fabrics have been part of its heritage since the business began in the 1870s.  I’ve been collecting pieces of their patterned Tana Lawn cotton fabric since my teens (and you can see some my collection in the photo at the top of this page).

Liberty prints have enjoyed a renaissance in the twenty-first century, as the Liberty design studio has started to design new prints, not only taking inspiration from the Liberty archive, but also producing new designs.  Many of these have been collaborations with artists, musicians, designers and other creatives from around the world.  The fabrics have also been used in product design collaborations with a wide range of different designers and labels.

I’m planning a few projects using Tana Lawn over the next few months to showcase my own collection…

Do you have a favourite Liberty Tana Lawn project or one using other fabric that is special to you?

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