Liberty Fabrics has been at the cutting-edge of design and decorative arts since 1875 – and this resolution is embedded in our legacy today: distinctive prints, unmatchable fabrics and exciting collaborations. Liberty’s London store acts as the iconic brand home – and at the heart of it is the Liberty Design Studio. Connected to Liberty’s flagship building by a wooden bridge, the unique in-house studio is occupied by 18 highly-skilled creatives, who conceptualise, re-work and hand-draw artwork creating over 250 fabric designs every year.
“We’ve got two archivists who work in the studio with us who are constantly updating the archive with our new artwork whilst working on a library system so we can access everything for new collections,” explains Design Director, Mary-Ann Dunkley. “We can find things that were done in the early 1900s and then take elements of them, redraw, rescale and give them a new energy. In terms of drawing, everyone in the studio has different handwriting, we have some incredibly talented artists in the team. Actively recruiting people who can bring something different to the archive - that has always been the case. That’s why we have so many different styles of work to revisit and take inspiration from".
New technologies have transformed the way the design team works today: “Digital printing facilities are getting better and better every season,” says Mary-Ann. “Because we have our own factory in Italy, we work closely with them to make sure that when we are printing digitally, we’re doing it better than anyone else. We’re working hard to achieve similar qualities that you get with screen printing, one of them being the penetration of the ink on the fabric.”
What remains is an unparalleled investment in every single design. “We have design meetings at every stage of the process. We all look at the artwork on the body and from a distance to make sure that nothing stripes, spots or jumps out of the repeat. Our textile designers are experts at creating artwork that has balance, flow and rhythm, making fabrics that are flattering and beautiful.”