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Liberty’s Tana Lawn Fabric: Summertime in the City

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Liberty’s Tana Lawn Fabric: Summertime in the City

May 21, 2012

Every summer, as I attempt to wade through London's withering heat in style, I fantasize about having seven crisp, cool cotton dresses made from Liberty’s Tana Lawn; one for every day of the week.

Liberty’s Tana Lawn has been the gold standard of lightweight cotton since Liberty began manufacturing it in the 1920s soon after the First World War. Taking its name from Lake Tana in Ethiopia, where the raw cotton was grown, the fine thread count of this durable fabric gives it a luxurious, silky feel. Known for its floral patterns, Tana Lawn is Liberty’s best-selling fabric; evoking memories and inspiring designers for many years. Here are some of our current favorites.

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Above: Using Tana Lawn fabrics, Valerie Goad and Josh Sykes (mother and brother of the fashionable Sykes sisters) create shirts using Valerie's original 1960s patterns. For more information, go to Valerie Goad.

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Above: New York man-about-town Simon Doonan is a well-known aficionado of Liberty shirts; photo of his collection via The Coveteur.

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Above: Gabrielle Murray of Tinker & Belle bought her first meter of Liberty's Tana Lawn on a school trip to London from Edinburgh in the mid-eighties. "It seemed like a very extravagant purchase, and buying Liberty fabric today still feels like a treat," she says on her website. Her clothes for children made from Tana Lawn are available on Etsy.

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Above: The Puff Sleeve Zoi Dress is $135 at Soho, NY, shop Makie.

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Above: New online shop MillieManu uses Liberty prints to capture a quintessential British style from the designer's childhood. Tommy Dress (above L) £42.50; Emmanuelle Dress (above R); £45.

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Above: Spotted on Portobello Road (via Liberty Blog): this is the kind of dress made from Tana Lawn that I want seven of to take me through summer. Unfortunately, as this dress was made by the model herself, I'll need to come up with my dressmaking pattern.

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