Liberty Fabric Guide

The brand Liberty is created by the legendary British company Liberty of London and represented primarily with cotton printed textiles. Actually, the floral prints are what the company has gained its fame for. Liberty fabrics are particularly renowned for the plethora of skillfully crafted designs the large designer team never ceases to create since the early days of company foundation in 1875.

For more than 150 years, the company has been enjoying the reputation of the living heritage and is widely associated with the print styles introduced into European fashion by Sir Arthur Lasenby Liberty.

Liberty fabric collection at Tissura online fabric store

Print Motifs

"I was determined not to follow existing fashions, but create new ones."

– Arthur Liberty

Floral prints. That’s the core, the true essence of the Liberty brand design frameworks and one of the main reasons for its global recognition. Since the launch of the Liberty‘s first shop and up to these days, the floral motifs keep ruling the roost in the company’s designer workshop.

What’s the secret of the owner’s deep passion for flowers? To cut the long story short, it’s all about the Japanese culture that drove Arthur Liberty crazy when he first visited the Japanese section of the International exhibition held in London in 1862. That day, he persuaded the higher management of the company he worked in to purchase the entire collection of the fabrics and home furnishings brought from that country, and soon managed to promote the oriental style all across the London nobility. Not surprisingly, after popularity came and Sir Arthur Liberty launched his own company, floral and ditsy motifs became the true hallmarks of the brand.

Liberty fabrics

The manufacturer is not rigidly obsessed with one motif though. Its pattern profile incorporates botanical, animalistic, Paisley, ikat, conversational and a range of other motifs, while the floral one still prevails. Liberty fabrics can be vibrant or pastel, mysterious or playful, infused with motifs addressing to Western or Eastern culture, but never solid and boring. Why? The reason is that inspiration and creativity are in the very soul of Liberty as a company — it was the inspiration by Japanese motifs that spurred Sir Arthur to found the company named in his honour, after all.

Not surprisingly, its workers have been passionate not only to rethink the designs from the corporate archive, but also put their heart and soul into them. Such sources of inspiration vary a lot: those can be the favourite places in their parents' countryside when they were young, some picturesque natural places like the vicinity of the Glencot House in Somerset, caves, paintings in the National Gallery, and so on. There’s always a bit of personal affection infused into the fibres of Liberty fabrics, a certain emotional vibe expressed with that portion of love and diligence that such innermost feelings and precious personal memories can only be filled with.

Printing Technique

As we’ve learned, Liberty is mostly about colourful floral motifs. What about the printing technique? Is there the dominant one that the company keeps following perversely? Well, not really. In fact, the company uses a range of dyeing techniques:

  1. Screen printing. Today, it is the company’s main printing technique applied at Standfast & Barracks in Lancaster, England. This technology works the following way: every colour is printed on a separate screen, then the colours are layered one after the other until the print is complete.

  2. Digital printing. This technology enables the company to create vibrant colourful prints that stay on the fabric for ages. The printing process principle pretty much resembles that of your office one: just like paper, the fabric is fed into a textile printer, the inks are applied onto the surface through thousands of miniature nozzles. After that, the process is finished off with heat or steam, although in some cases washing and drying are required as well.

  3. Flatbed printing. The application of the flatbed printing method results in the highest printing dimensions (2,880 dpi and more), providing an extremely detailed pattern design. It is performed by applying UV inks remarkable for their resistance to the harsh influence of external conditions for more than 5 years.

Despite the specific properties, advantages and disadvantages of each method, the company allocates outstanding amount of time on each design to guarantee its impeccable pattern accuracy and dyeing quality.

Up to the 1970s, the company applied the traditional block printing technique, which is still used by lots of textile printers in India. This fabric dyeing method consists in dipping a hand carved teak wood block in dye and manually stamping it onto cotton, linen or silk. Passed down from father to son for centuries, this method could be mastered perfectly enough to achieve an incredible pattern complexity which exceeds some of the modern techniques. The downside of such dyeing method is its economic inefficiency. In the 70s, such a big fish as Liberty just couldn't withstand the market competition with low production volumes despite the exceptional level of its prints. As we see today, this decision led to the brand's economic success in the next decades.

Tana Lawn Cotton

Tana lawn is the sort of cotton fabrics Liberty takes a particular pride in. As fine as silk, this cloth has much more commonalities with the precious ancient fabric than we could expect: it features a similar fluid hand-feel, colour saturation and hypoallergenic properties. Moreover, in a range of other metrics, it supersedes various silk weaves:

  • this cotton sort is soft yet durable;
  • It can either cool you down or warm you up whenever you need it;
  • Tana lawn cotton is machine washable, which means you can enjoy your favourite cloth made out of it on a daily basis.

Striking with the vibrancy and kaleidoscopic multitude of patterns, this invention by Liberty is designed to lift the mood — not just yours, but everyone’s enjoying the outburst of colours produced by your dress. Who doesn’t want to exude happiness?

How to Meet the Liberty S/S and A/W Trends in 2018?

Just follow the guideline below:

Table 1. Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter trends 2018

Spring/Summer

Autumn/Winter

Opt for the shades of yellow. It doesn’t really matter whether this colour will be placed on a background, or used in prints. Just find as much yellow as you can! The main idea is to achieve the vibrant and warm look we all love this sunny colour so much for.

The 1930s vibe. Liberty has prepared a rather pastel palette with prevailing pink, blue and white. Along with classic floral motifs, the designers have gone for the range of quite non-traditional ones inspired by the decadent glamour of the 1930s: butterflies, retro cars, musical instruments, monkeys and paddle-steamers.

Large petals. This season, Liberty promotes the floral concept by concentrating on the elegance of large petals. Don’t bother with the proper colour selection here, as all you need is just the print with blooming tropical flowers. That’s it.

Floral patterns in the Art Deco style. These are inspired by the vicinities and interior of the Eltham Palace decorated with bold geometric motifs and hand-painted floral walls.

Tissura Collection

Tissura offers the world’s most exquisite and precious fabrics, and Liberty has always taken its decent place in the list of brands we partner with. We regularly update our collections to let you always stay en-vogue and enjoy the above-listed fashion trends of 2018.

At this point, it would be wrong to conceal the fact Liberty has polished its mastery not only in the production of cotton fabrics. Besides legendary cotton lawn and poplin we also offer the following outstanding materials by this British brand:

  • Silk georgette,
  • Rainwear fabric,
  • Stretch jersey knit.

The fabrics with such decent historical background as Liberty’s probably couldn’t but retain the continuity of the corporate design. The below placed selection of the textiles from the Tissura range clearly represents that particle of the brand’s ‘Britishness’. At our online store, you can buy online Liberty fabrics and order their delivery right to your doorstep. Check out the complete collection of textiles by this iconic brand by clicking on the button in the end of the article:

Liberty fabric

Cotton lawn fabric, 32 € (40 US$) per one running metre;

Liberty fabric

Cotton lawn fabric, 32 € (40 US$) per one running metre;

liberty fabric

Cotton lawn fabric, 32 € (40 US$) per one running metre;

Liberty fabric

Cotton lawn fabric, 32 € (40 US$) per one running metre

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