A few times a year I travel home to London. Besides visiting family, I always gravitate to the same few destinations. The Victoria and Albert, The British Museum, Hyde Park, The Natural History Museum, Harrod’s Food Court, and Liberty of London.
Although Liberty boasts and extraordinary Tudor facade, it was actually opened in 1875. It’s one of the most well known High Street department stores (along side Selfridges which is just down the street). It’s situated over five floors and a basement and each floor is actually quite small, although every ‘room’ opened into a large bright atrium in the center. You can find Liberty off the Oxford Circus tube exit, down the corner and around on Regent’s Street, tucked in the entrance to Carnaby Street.
Arthur Lasenby Liberty’s Eastern Bazaar has stood at the heart of London for over 140 years. His globetrotting buying trips came at a time when London’s focus was firmly on the allure of the Orient, winning him and his store a reputation for luxurious, exotic goods.
One of the most famous aspects of the store is it’s prints. Liberty has a long standing tradition of collaboration with William Morris. There is an entire ‘look’ that is essentially Liberty.
The fabric shoppe, on the 4th floor features the world famous Tana Lawn. I have a quick video of the section on my IG account for better reference. You can see, there isn’t much to it!
Taking its name from Lake Tana in East Africa where the original cotton grew, Tana Lawn cotton is unique. Made from specially selected ultra-fine long staple cotton and finished without the use of crease-resisting chemicals or irritating allergens, the result is a famous masterpiece of fabric technology: fine, cool, comfortable and durable, with brilliant reproduction of colours and prints. Please note all Liberty Fabrics are produced in bolts of 25 meters, therefore orders over the maximum of 25 meters will be delivered in separate lengths.
The Lawn is much lighter than a traditional quilter’s cotton, but very nicely woven to easily substituted.
This go-round I picked up several of the new prints, including Sugar Rush and Royal Oak House as well as some very lovely older prints like Adelajda, Ciara and Gallymoggers. I tried in vain to get Queen Bee, but it’s been out of stock for some time. In all I ended up with 4 half meters, 8 full meters, and then a meter and a half of a poplin shirting to make myself a top!
They also have a lovely Haberdashery selection that includes little kits as well as a wide array of buttons, ribbons, trims, and books.