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  • Writer's pictureTeam @tCf

Liberty Fabric at The Crafty Fox!

Being able to offer world-renowned brands to our customers is a delight, and to be an authorised retailer of the iconic Liberty fabric, a great thrill. Our Liberty Fabrics have proven to be extremely popular and it is with great pleasure that we can announce we have just taken delivery of the Carnaby Collection. This is the latest quilting collection from Liberty Fabrics, inspired by the historic epicentre of popular culture that is Carnaby Street – located just around the corner from the Liberty flagship store, which is well worth a visit on a trip to London!

The Carnaby Collection draws inspiration from the music, art and fashion of the 1960s and ‘70s, featuring original designs of this period from the Liberty Archive. Influenced by a colourful patchwork that was painted on Carnaby Street’s pavement during the 1970s, prints reflect the free-spirited, optimistic mood of that era – the magical landscape of Sunny Afternoon creates a psychedelic and colourful London park, while the hand painted, bold and simplified flower forms in Bohemian Blooms are reminiscent of Pop Art patterns. The mesmerising swirls in Carnation Carnival draw influence from the Art Nouveau revival of the 1960s. Traditionally screen printed onto soft Lasenby cotton, which is of a quality specifically woven for quilters, the collection is available in our store (and online of course) in two distinct colour stories.

Arthur Lazenby Liberty opened his store on Regent Street in 1875, selling imported goods from the Far East, tapping into the fascination of the day with all things Oriental. Already familiar with the textile business as his father being a draper by trade, Arthur followed in his footsteps, apprenticing at the age of 16 as a draper on Baker Street, London. After two uninspiring years, he left for a job at the highly fashionable Farmer & Rogers Great Shawl & Cloak Emporium on the elegant shopping mile of Regent Street, rising through the ranks to Oriental Warehouse Manager. It was here he met many artists including Whistler and William Morris who later worked for Liberty.

After ten years in the company he decided to branch out and start his own business, opening the East India House in a tiny premises at 218A Regent Street, from where he imported beautiful and high quality fabrics, particularly silks, from Japan, but also from Persia, India and China. Very soon his wares comprised an astonishing range of exotic goods, including ceramics; Japanese fans; screens; wallpapers; matting and Oriental carpets, alongside all manner of antiques, curios and objets d'art. As the business prospered, so the shop expanded, and from the late 1870's it became known as Liberty & Co., the destination of the artistic shopper. Shortly after opening Liberty of London, Arthur printed the first Liberty fabrics. The business flourished and by the 1890s Liberty Fabrics was a byword for the very best of avant-garde textile design. Stepping into this exotic emporium from the busy street, shoppers would feel like they had been transported to far-flung parts of the world and had entered an enchanting treasure cave.

Today, every bolt of Liberty fabric is the product of a bespoke production process: hand-drawn by the in-house design team and printed in its factory a stone’s throw from Lake Como and cared for by skilled technicians who oversee the production of over 150 different designs a year. Liberty's vast print archive is a national treasure, encompassing well over 45,000 designs dating from the 1800s to the present day - including collaborations with artists throughout its history. Today’s in-house print designers draw from the breadth of these designs to produce each new collection including the aforementioned Carnaby Collection, which we hope you will love as much as we do!

Keep Crafting

The Crafty Fox Team

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