As mentioned in a previous post, I got to visit London a few weeks ago. This time I visited some favorite old haunts as well as some new-to-me locations. I also paid a return visit to a couple of fabric stores: The Cloth House and Liberty of London. I’ve visited and shared both shops before, but they’re both full of so much pretty eye candy, I thought I’d share them again.
POST UPDATE 2022: The Cloth House is sadly no longer located in Soho (central London) and has moved to Camden. But the eye candy from my last trip is still so pretty. I’ve also got a fun Liberty announcement to share below, so keep scrolling!
Liberty of London is a London shopping landmark, located right off posh Regent Street in central London. It’s literally a one-of-a-kind department store housed in an iconic Tudor-revival building with carefully curated collections of clothing, furniture, stationary, household goods and beautiful haberdashery. (How’s that for a great British word? A much more lovely way of saying “sewing notions”.)
Outside the door there are always beautiful fresh flowers.
The tudor revival building was constructed in the 1920’s from the wood of two ships. The open balconies and giant skylight in the ceiling contrasted with the dark wood create a dramatic atmosphere.
I love the details of the wood – even if you’re not planning to buy anything, it’s worth visiting the store for the architecture and the colorful displays.
It was fun to see quilts on the balconies – turns out they’re made by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. How cool is that?
Liberty is most famous for their timeless Tana Lawns. You can read more about Tana Lawns, their history, and what makes them so special here.
They have bolts and bolts of these gorgeous fabrics.
They also seemed to have an increased number and variety of precut bundles and charms than they did when I was there 4 years ago. Which is smart. If you want to buy yardage, you are required to buy at least a meter (or metre) of fabric.
The little bundles make a nice souvenir if you want to bring home a little bit of Liberty love. (To be honest, you don’t save any money buying it directly from Liberty themselves. I’ve found that by the time the VAT tax is added and depending on the exchange rate, it’s sometimes cheaper to buy it from a local seller. In the US I’ve purchased from Westwood Acres, Duckadilly, and Pink Castle Fabrics. Amitie Textiles is a great option in Australia.)
Another option if you would like to buy some Liberty lawns in London is the shop Shaukat. I didn’t visit this time, but did go 4 years ago and they will let you purchase half meters. They also had scrap bins available when I was there at that time.
In addition to the fabric, there are lots of sweet items made with the fabric including pincushions in lots of shapes and sizes, scissors cases, and other gifts.
The department store also carries lots of other items featuring the classic Liberty prints including home goods, clothing, and these cute water bottles.
In addition to selling wares, the store is full of beautiful, eclectic displays.
Alright here’s the fun announcement: Liberty has just announced that they will be producing quilting cottons in their some of their classic prints! This will mean a much more affordable price point for quilters to use those gorgeous prints.
Riley Blake Designs will be the distributor for these prints. The announcement was just made at Quilt Market this past weekend so details of when they will be available is still in the works. Stay tuned!
Just a few blocks away from Liberty is The Cloth House at 47 Berwick Street.
This store is much smaller and more compact, but still full of beautiful and inspiring curated collections of woven fabrics, vintage notions, and trims. Here is some eye candy from The Cloth House.
Please try not to drool on your computer/phone. Are those some gorgeous items? I felt like there was more color at the Cloth House than there was when I visited 4 years ago. Just a beautiful, inspiring space. They did cut ¼ meters if you are looking for smaller pieces, but mostly cater to garment sewers.
There are other fancy fabric shops along Berwick Street that specialized in garment fabrics. This shop carried only silks – can you imagine?
Here’s some detail on a dress in the Silk shop window. I can’t even imagine the time it took to create this…
One last shop that I always love to visit in London is Cath Kidston. Me and Cath go way back. Isn’t this arm chair the cutest? It’s made from a wholecloth pre-printed patchwork pattern (which is probably wise, considering the wear and tear if they were all seams…) But STILL! So darling right?!
I noticed that Cath no longer seems to have the haberdashery section that they used to have. A few rolls of fabric available, but mostly looked like closeouts. So it looks like Cath is moving on from the sewing world.
Cath is still full of lots of pretty eye candy though! Their displays are so fun – whether it’s a wall full of plates, teacups, or hand mirrors.
Well, there you go. Lots of colorful, fabric-y inspiration. I’m totally in the mood now to pretty up my space and then to make more stuff!
POST UPDATE 2023: Sadly, all Cath Kidston shops are now closed. BIG sad.