BOOK REVIEW: LIBERTY IN THE FIFTIES & SIXTIES

I’ve just bought some vintage Liberty fabric. Woo. It was a combination of going to Merton Abbey Mills and the purchase of Liberty & Co. in the Fifties and Sixties: A Taste for Design (A. Buruma 2009) that did it.

The fabric I bought was made by Liberty of London Prints Ltd, although the book doesn’t illustrate my exact fabric, it does make reference to the fact that these words were written on the selvedge by their subsidiary print company which was set up in 1967. So my fabric would have had to have been produced after that (I think early 70’s?).

The book is a fascinating read. It is written by one of Liberty’s archivists. I’ve picked out a few of my favourite images. I must say I’m not really a fan of the classic Liberty floral and paisley prints such as those Liberty is best known for, but the book opens your eyes to all the other wonderful abstract and geometric prints that were also designed for Liberty. Many of these prints produced during the 50’s and 60’s were purchased wholesale by large fashion houses such as Carcharel and made into scarves, dresses and shirts. The book mainly focuses on how Liberty fabrics became popular fashion prints during these decades and allowed Liberty to focus on dress fabrics and scarf designs. Of course the book also takes you through the history of Liberty with some fabulous images.

If you’re interested in buying the book it’s available on the Liberty website.

About Vicky Grubb

Once a kitchen table Upholsterer, now a fully fledged tutor, author and hoarder of vintage fabrics. My Upholstery studio is based in Bournemouth, Dorset, where I live with my husband and two tinkers.

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