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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lovin' London's Liberty (Fabric Shopping in England)

Just back from a trip to England. I started out my week in London visiting Liberty to buy lengths of Tana Lawn fabric for two shirts (At 20 pounds a metre that was pretty much my whole souvenir budget! ). What a pleasure to visit this store with all it's beautiful things! 

Arthur Liberty first opened this wonderful store in 1885 to sell gorgeous imported products associated with the Aesthetic Movement. There's been a lot written about this store. Here's a history link from the store's page.
Tana Lawn, named after Lake Tana in the Sudan, is one of the delicate, gorgeous, high quality fabrics the store is known for. The material was created by Liberty. Color and pattern is carefully orchestrated to produce a quality product, and one I can't wait to start sewing. 

The orange and burgandy print on the left is Poppy and Honesty. The green print on the right is Strawberry Thief. The store calls them "classics" since they come from original William Morris designs, originally used in wallpaper and home dec weight (known in the U.K. as "soft furnishing") fabric.

There's a nice display of William Morris's role in the Arts and Crafts Movement, in the British Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. You can also search the Victoria and Albert collection (for free) online through their site. 

When I sew my William Morris fabric shirts, I'll be sewing up history. That's the kind of thing that keeps me... enchanted by sewing.

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