Anyone who calls this fabric ‘woven fabric’ does it zero justice. The famous Tana Lawn™ by Liberty London, is indeed everything – but not just any ordinary woven fabric.
Tana Lawn™ is woven from particularly fine, long staple cotton fibres in Italy near Lake Como. The cloth is then subjected to a series of finishing processes such as mercerization. In the end, the fabric is indescribably smooth, dense and shiny. Although the weight per square meter is rather low at 76g, the lawn is neither transparent nor threadbare. These characteristics are strongly reminiscent of real silk. This is why the Tana Lawns™ are very often described as silky, even though they are made entirely of cotton.
Another typical feature of the Liberty Tana Lawns™ is the high quality rotary or digital printing. Since the fibres are swelled by mercerisation and the fabric is thin, the colour penetrates almost completely to the wrong side of the fabric. This is not a flaw, but in this case a sign of quality. In terms of design, the fabrics are ‘very British’: small patterns and floral motifs dominate, but also paisleys and geometric designs are part of the typical Liberty style.
Although the company releases new designs several times a year, a basic stock of fabric designs forms the stylistic backbone. Most of the patterns have been in the range for many decades and are only varied in terms of colour.
Tana Lawn™ is a registered trademark and may only be used by Liberty London. Tana refers to Lake Tana in Ethiopia. It is said that the owner of the luxury department store Liberty London William Hayes Dorell travelled through East Africa in the early 1920s and stopped off near the lake. Cotton plants of exceptional quality grew there, which immediately caught his eye. Whether this anecdote really happened that way is difficult to prove. But every good product needs a founding myth.
Belsay Mauve is part of the spring 2020 ‘English Gardens’ collection. It features ten exclusively-designed prints inspired by the grounds of famous castles and country houses. Each archival print has been reworked by the Liberty Fabrics design team, curated into a capsule collection of lush botanicals with a contemporary touch.