I didn’t actually need another tunic top but I have been possessed by a sewing demon and I simply cannot stop buying fabric especially when I came across this.
Liberty Tata Lawn.
It was in Abakan a Manchester fabric shops At first I thought it was some strange kind of silk. Maybe even a synthetic fibre. It was so fine and was covered in lovely design of what looked like pomegranates.
Abakan is a rather grim no nonsense shop which sell huge heaps of synthetic fabric by weight. For sure they have a small craft fabric department but since the disaster of the endlessly creasing Tabard Dress I am right off craft fabric. To find something so lovely and so obviously suitable for shirts was rather a shock.Which led to a quick bit of research.
Liberty Prints & Fabrics
I can tell you that Liberty is an amazing fabric shop in London. But also a huge part of British design history. In 1875 Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened Libertys the shop selling ornaments, fabrics and objets d’art from the east. By 1884 Edward William Godwin a distinguished architect joined the team and Liberty’s started making clothes. By the 1890s Arthur was working with English designers connected with the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movement and his fabric designs had become massively popular. In the 1920s, Liberty began to produce small floral prints known as Liberty Prints. They were printed on one of their most famous fabrics Tana Lawn, still a Liberty best-seller.
In 1924 the mock-Tudor flag ship store store was built. It was designed by Edwin T. Hall it used, timbers from HMS Hindustan and HMS Impregnable. In proper Arts and Crafts style it was built using authentic and original Tudor techniques.
By the 1940s Liberty was firmly established as the supplier of must-have silk scarves.
Come the 1950s and 60s, an Arts & Crafts revival meant even Libertys old designs were still cutting edge. Art Nouveau designs were redrawn and coloured to make them more appealing to modern designers. They were used by all the great names.
But back to me and my fabric revelation.
is extremely high quality cotton. This was taken form the Liberty website….
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.
Fabric & Purchase Details
While Abakan might be a little bit grim they sell at a discount. Tana lawn normally retails at around £22.00 a meter I got mine for 12.00. If you cant get to Manchester they have an online store. They don’t stock the whole Tana range – for that you will have to try Liberty or other shops.
As far as I know Tana Lawn boasts no organic or fair trade credentials but it was bought locally from Abakan in Manchester and buying locally and keeping fabric shops open are both very important to me.
It is 100% cotton. I prefer to use natural fibres because on consideration they are the greenest, biodegradable option and, even better, they don’t shed plastic microfibres when washed. Just in case you need it, here is a quick intro to synthetic, regenerated, combination and natural fibres here. And more reasons why I prefer natural fabrics over the others can be found here.
Design & Pattern
McCalls M6102 1 hour dress. Really easy. You can see my patterns here.
Fixtures & Fittings
It was cut out with all metal scissors from the C. Booths Hardware Shop in Huddersfield, sewn together using organic cotton on a wooden reel and made using plastic free sewing supplies (you can find them here).
Fabric was bought plastic free – no packaging
Supporting a local fabric shop
Homemade by me
Made with plastic free sewing supplies
Weighs In At g.
Why the weighing? Well this item of clothing is counted as part of my fair share fabrics project. This is a self imposed rationing system. I use no more than my global share of fibres and they have to be sustainably sourced. Whats a global share? 11.74 kg per person of which 3.8 kg is natural fibres. As I don’t like synthetics I try to stick to 3.8 kg of natural fibres.