Tana Lawn by Liberty of London. And we've just placed an order for more, due mid-2014. But what is it about Liberty that makes it so coveted among sewists? Let us count the ways....
It feels so luxurious.
Liberty Tana Lawn is an extremely tight weave of very fine, long-staple cotton. This produces a silky feel and drape that is simply addictive to wear! 'Lawn' refers to a crisp, light and tightly woven cotton fabric and 'Tana' came from Lake Tana, near the original source of the cotton in the Sudan. (Find more history here.)
Yet it's easy-care cotton.
Wash-and-wear just like any other cotton: the strength of the fabric holds up beautifully, creases iron out easily and the prints stay sharp and vivid. Its washability (and dense prints) actually make Liberty great for children's clothing.
It's stable and accurate to cut and sew.
Liberty Tana Lawn produces crisp, precise edges and rarely distorts or frays as you sew. Its fineness and willingness to conform under a steamy iron makes it an ideal fabric for French seams. Quilters love Liberty not only for its beautiful prints but also for the pleasure of working with such fabric. Tip: use a sharp, fresh machine needle for each Liberty project. It does a lot of hard work pushing through those tight fibres.
The Classic Prints.
Do you have a favourite Liberty Classic print? Some designs like those by William Morris go right back to Liberty's beginnings in the late 1800s. Many of the Classic prints bring back memories of people's childhoods, and precious garments sewn for them by loved ones. Old prints are revived in new colourways, although always in a distinctive Liberty 'palette'.
The Seasonal Prints.
Liberty has a team of artists (and sometimes well-known guest artists) working on new designs for seasonal releases. These are generally the quirkier or more polarising designs. Some will go on to join the Classic range. (Our vote's on Jess & Jean, the second from the left here.)
The density and sharpness of the prints.
Like the feel of the fabric: simply, in a class of its own.
The print names.
Ranging from the obvious (Apples) through the lyrical (Betsy, Heidi Maria) to the curiously odd (Ranga, Kevin). It's charming to be able to refer to your fabrics fondly by name.
Many prints are suitable for men and boys.
Liberty's not all pink florals as some may imagine. In fact at The Drapery, simply due to personal taste, we probably err on the side of more 'unisex' designs and colourways.
From a sustainability point of view, it lasts and produces heirloom-quality items.
No, it's not organic cotton. But it's a natural and biodegradable, highest quality fibre. Treated with respect, it should make garments, quilts or craft items that are used with great appreciation for years, even generations.
We could go on and on. We are thrilled to have Liberty Tana Lawn at The Drapery, and we are gradually investing in a growing range. When you purchase Liberty from us you are supporting local small business and you have the opportunity to see the designs in daylight, drape yourself in front of a mirror, purchase the precise amount you need and experience our friendly service.
So go on. Don't you deserve some Liberty?
Have you made anything in Liberty or would you like to share some links to great Liberty projects in the comments below?
- Jane & Fiona xx