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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Liberty fabric shopping at Shaukut in London

Our whirlwind trip to London for our goddaughter's wedding (3 nights in London, 1 night in Vancouver at each end of the trip, and 1 night on an airplane - we left on home on Tuesday October 4 and got home to Denman Island on Monday the 10th in time to cook a Thanksgiving dinner) did not include many other activities other than the wedding.

We did manage one lovely pub dinner at the Duke of Clarence pub on Old Brompton Road around the corner from our friends' house in Brechin Place where we were gratefully staying.

Also on the Old Brompton Road very nearby is Shaukat Fabrics. Here is nutshell description of Shaukut Fabrics, "Not known for their customer friendliness or innovative web design, but a good source of relatively affordable Liberty fabrics." That quote is from the Did You Make That blog, https://didyoumakethat.com/2015/01/31/fabric-focus-liberty-tana-lawn/ . This particular posting has an excellent description of the characteristics of Liberty lawn fabric.

My purchases at Shaukat. I have to comment here that when I visited the shop four years ago on our last visit to London, the staff were downright surly. But last week they were actually quite helpful and friendly, so it just goes to show that we can all improve :-)

I bought five fabrics, all in pre-cut three metre lengths.

First up is my favourite - the classic Strawberry Thief from the original William Morris design.  I bought the blue version. Wikipedia:  "Strawberry Thief is one of William Morris's most popular repeating designs for textiles. It takes as its subject the thrushes that Morris found stealing fruit in his kitchen garden of his countryside home."
I paid £54 for the 3 metres, thus £18 per metre. On the Liberty website the price is £22.50 so Shaukut is definitely offering reduced prices.
Here is the fabric description from the Liberty website:

"Strawberry Thief Tana Lawn from the Classic Tana Lawn collection by Liberty Art Fabrics.Strawberry Thief was designed by William Morris in 1883. It was part of a group of designs incorporating animals with flowers. Liberty first produced it as a furnishing fabric in 1979 and it has since been redrawn for Tana Lawn on a smaller scale. Strawberry Thief has been on classic Tana since 1955."
This lovely Japanese style fabric is Hiro Liberty lawn. It is no longer on the Liberty website, so I think that it is a seasonal offering. I paid £54 for 3 metres, so £18 a metre, the same as for Strawberry Thief. 
Shaukut prints their own Liberty style cotton lawns. This piece of fabricfeels the same as the super fine tightly woven Liberty lawns, but it differs in that it has a white selvedge along one edge. The true Liberty lawns are printed right to the edges. The price reflects the fact that this is not a copyright Liberty print. I paid £24 for 3 metres, thus £8 s metre - wow! At the time of purchase, a Canadian $ was $1.62 to the £. So this fabric cost me $13 a metre - amazing value. 
Another Shaukut design I presume, as the price is less than Liberty, but I cannot find this particular design on either website. Cost £35 for 3 metres, thus £11.66 a metre.
This design is on the Shaukut website in the list of seasonal tana lawn. It is printed right to the edges of the selvedges, and cost £51 for 3 metres, so I think that it is real Liberty. 
Thus, my purchase of 5 pieces of fabric, 3 metres each, with taxes cost me £218. Thus £14.43 per metre, in Canadian $23 per metre. Fantastic, as the only online Canadian site that I could find selling Liberty lawns is charging about $42 per metre.
My plans for all this wonderful fabric? First up, a couple of shirts.

For hints on sewing with Liberty lawn, the best that I have found is http://sewaholic.net/my-liberty-print-granville-shirt/ on the Sewaholic blog.

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