Freedom Fabrics

The name Liberty art Fabrics is synonymous with quality silk fabrics featuring gorgeous designs inspired by nature. In 1875, Arthur Liberty opened the now iconic Liberty Art shop in London, and soon afterwards, the company manufactured its first printed silks. In 1904, the company took over a print-works that specialized in block-printed silks based on William Morris’s print works in southwest London. Thus was born the extensive Liberty archive, which is now an important resource for designers.

Arthur Liberty had a clear business philosophy, the essence of which is summed up in his own words, “I was determined not to follow existing fashions but to create new ones.”. This philosophy has served Liberty Art Fabrics well and continues to this day, now aided by modern digital print making techniques.

Sample the lustrous world of Liberty Art Fabrics:

Frederick Silk Satin. Frederick is a geometric design, inspired by the bright florals of the Andes Mountains and hand-drawn in the Liberty Fabrics studio in fine liner pen. Its multi-directional floral shapes are obscured beneath a camouflaging canopy of overlapping colour.
Pavilion Silk Satin. The sumptuous 19th century chinoiserie wallpapers of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is the inspiration for this design. Stylised roses and apple blossoms are hand-painted in gouache in the studio, offering a British twist on a classic Chinese tradition. The design is printed by experts in Italy onto Belgravia silk satin – a fabric prized for its lustrous drape and its luminously high-shine surface.
Butterfly Rose-Silk Blend. This silk-blend fabric features a design of butterflies and roses, blend and is printed in the Lake Como region, a scenic part of Italy globally renowned for its historic textile production.
Palm Paisley Silk Fabric. Palm Paisley is an ornamental botanical design inspired by an image found in a Liberty archive book. Hand-drawn flower trails are set among elegant paisleys and feathery leaves, giving the fabric’s Belgravia silk satin a lustrous fluidity on a luminously high-shine surface.
Prospect Road Silk Satin. This is an archival classic, based on a Liberty London design from 1968. A revival of traditional Art Nouveau landscape prints, it features subtly arranged clusters of trees in a dreamy, jewel-toned setting. The design is printed on Belgravia silk satin.
Moon Dust Clemments Hammered Satin. The popularity of Chinese silk with the West, particularly in Italy, ignited an enduring shift in Occidental fashion. This print celebrates this coveted commodity through fanciful, free expression and otherworldly color saturations.
Woven Leaves Clemments Hammered Satin. Taking the motif of the leaf, this ornamental print evokes the woven detail of warp and weft entwined.
“Castille” captures the wonderful watering machines, sunflowers and wildlife among flora and fauna. There is also a distinct ‘elephant and castle’ motif that pays homage to the “guerrilla gardening” movement founded by Richard Reynolds based in the Elephant & Castle area of Central London.
“Archipelago” is one of a number of designs that was inspired by a visit to Tresco Abbey Gardens on the isles of Sicily.
“Pointillism” is an abstract, impressionistic print based on the wild flora fields of Tresco. Layers of thickly applied oil paint create a multicolored texture.

Further study:

Simon Clarke, Print, Fashion, Interiors, Art, Laurence King Publishing, London, 2014.

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