Focus on…Buying Liberty Tana Lawn

Working with Liberty cotton lawns has got to be one of the most wonderful sewing experiences – the soft, silky feel of the fabric, along with the gorgeous colours and patterns make using them an absolute pleasure. Happily, it gets easier and easier to get hold of, even for quilters who want to get hold of a nice variety of smaller pieces, rather than yardage. If you are lucky enough to have some Liberty lawn in your stash, but are scared to cut this (rightly expensive fabric) for fear of messing up – you might like to read my tips for sewing with Liberty lawn.

I wanted to say a quick word of warning about Ebay. You are not always getting a bargain! I feel that some sellers complicate matters selling fabric in odd amounts, sizes and quantities – so it is extraordinarily difficult to work out whether you are getting a good price. It’s worth doing a little maths to make sure you are getting a good deal.

Some maths tips for buying Liberty Tana Lawn:

  • One metre of Liberty lawn is 13,600 square cm, or just over 2,067 square inches.
  • A good price for Liberty lawn on Ebay is anywhere between £15 per metre (for seconds) and £23 (new, quality Liberty lawn, not seconds) per metre.
  • Take into account a fair price for accurate cutting if you are buying precuts like hexies are squares

So, for example, a listing for twenty-five 2.5inch squares is £4. To work out the amount of square inches this involves multiply 2.5 by 2.5 and then multiply that by 25. This gives you 156.25 square inches. Next work out the price per square inch – this is 400 pence (£4) divided by 156.25, which works out at 2.56 pence per square inch. To calculate what the equivalent price for metreage is, multiply the price per square inch by 2,067 (the approximate number of square inches in a metre of Liberty lawn). The answer is approximately £53 – which means you are paying 2.3 times the standard price of a metre of Liberty lawn. You then need to weigh up whether it is worth paying this much extra for the variety of prints and the cutting service.

I am also afraid to say that some of the fabric listed as Tana Lawn is definitely not  – I have been caught out by that on several occasions. Complain and ask for your money back if the fabric does not match your experience of Tana Lawn. Also check the photos very carefully for faults in the fabric not included in the descriptions.

All the pics in this post are my own. This is a guide for UK-based sewers, so only includes retailers based in the UK.

Liberty tana lawn patchwork hexagons

Liberty

Here’s where you can find the current range of Liberty fabrics – including the new season prints.

The fabric is priced by the metre (£23) and is not available in smaller pieces, plus there’s an enormous delivery charge of £5.95. Liberty also sell Liberty Patchwork bundles (£50 each) supplied by Kim Porter of Worn and Washed (you can also get them direct from Worn and Washed).

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Shaukat and Company

Shaukat have the current season’s Liberty prints and a lovely collection of classic prints available at £16.50-£17 per metre (they are listed at a lower price but that is without 20% VAT). Delivery charge is around £3, but beware that there is also a packing charge, so it’s more like £5 in total.  They also have a special little department for quilters – where you can buy bundles of 4 FQs in a particular colour, but Shaukat is best when you want Liberty yardage.

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Truro Fabrics

Truro Fabrics sell a variety of Liberty fabrics including Tana Lawn, which you can find in their Liberty Cotton section. There is a very nice selection of prints in stock, and the photography of the fabrics is excellent – you feel you really know what you will be getting. The minimum cut of Tana Lawn is half a metre, and it’s priced at £21 per metre. There is a flat rate delivery charge of £5.99, so it’s probably not cost effective to come here for small amounts of fabric.

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Sewbox

This dressmaking specialist fabric shop stocks a small (but well-chosen for dressmaking) selection of Liberty tana lawn prints, alongside other Liberty fabrics including jersey, poplin and cord. The tana lawn is priced by the metre, but you can order as little as 1/4m, so you don’t have to break the bank if you just need a small piece. The delivery charge is affordable too, with a flat rate of £2.50. Sewbox is also a stockist of super-pretty Liberty bias binding.

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Clothkits

Another dressmaking specialist, Clothkits has a gorgeous selection of Liberty tana lawn fabric from £15 per metre. Sells both Fat Quarters and yardage.

Duck Egg Threads

An excellent shop for quilters and crafters who want smaller amounts of Tana Lawn.  You can buy pieces as small as Fat Eighths and there are also scrap packs and pre-cut hexagons available. There’s also a much in-demand Liberty Monthly subscription club – so much in demand, in fact, that sometimes you have to wait for access to the club.

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White Tree Fabrics

A good selection of fabrics, sold by the metre – from £15 per metre.

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Alice Caroline Supply (Etsy)

A great range of fabrics, and lots of different buying options.

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Kat’s Fabrics (Ebay)

An Ebay seller with a wide variety of Liberty Tana Lawn for sale on an auction basis – the lengths are usually between 2 and 3 metres, but there are some longer and some shorter, and she sometimes sells assorted bags of Liberty lawn by weight. Her postage charges are very fair, and she allows bidding on a monthly basis. A really excellent Ebay seller.

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Love Liberty Lots (Ebay)

This Ebay seller has  buying options that make it a lot easier to buy smaller pieces of Liberty fabric. There are options to buy pre-selected charm packs, and pick and mix selections, as well as larger pieces of fabric. Some of the fabrics are auction rather than Buy It Now, so there’s even the possibility that you might pick up a bit of a bargain.

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Sunflower Fabrics

Sunflower Fabrics specialize in traditional style patchwork fabrics, and have a fair few Liberty prints. They have a monthly Liberty fabric club, and some sweet scrap bags. They also have some really pretty bundles, patterns for Liberty fabric quilts and Liberty fabric quilt kits.

Lots of people are enthusiastic about Sunflower Fabrics, and I have heard nothing but good things about their prices and delivery times, but I have had one report from a customer that they’ve had some difficulties with their customer services. Hopefully that’s just a one off… I find their website a little difficult to find my way around, but the photos are very clear, so it’s definitely worth a look.

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Annie’s Patch (on Etsy)

A lovely selection of Liberty fabrics in a variety of useful formats. She has quilt patterns and kits, a beautiful collection of colourful charm packs, scap bags and jelly roll strips.

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Miss Elany (on Etsy)

A selection of small single pieces (mostly 6″ x 27″), so if you’re after a few good value pieces, this would be a good place to look.

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The Organic Stitch Company (on Etsy)

Jo has a lovely selection of Liberty fat 8ths, colour coordinated charm packs, and you can also put together your own Liberty fat 8th bundle – great idea.

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ditzy scrap pack

19 thoughts on “Focus on…Buying Liberty Tana Lawn

    1. Hi there Leigh.. my personal favourite choice for plain cotton to use with Liberty lawn is Kaffe Fassett shot cottons, because they have quite a similar weight. But they are quite tricky to work with, and the weave in them can sometimes be very defined, so it almost isn’t a solid colour! My other standard are Kona solids, which are great quality solid cottons and widely available in the UK. They are a bit less drapy than the Liberty lawn, but for purposes like patchwork, they work really well. Another nice choice is Essex yarn-dyed linen from Kaufman – although these are quite thick in comparison to the lawn, they do have a nice drape, so work well and look gorgeous with the lawn. HTH!

  1. I would love to hear an explanation of the difference between Liberty Tana Lawn and Liberty craft fabric. I know the Tana is a much higher quality fabric, but are there other comments you can make? I am confused because some fabric pieces I bought last summer at Shaukat (small scraps from their scrap bin) were said to be Tana but I now suspect they are not.

  2. Thank you so much for this! I’m hoping to add liberty accents to some nice simple dresses for my daughter, so this is perfect. I’d love to use Liberty all over but at £22 a metre… 😀 I’ve also had no joy with Shaukat online, although I know that others have done better.

  3. I have just received a pack of four Liberty fat quarters from Shaukat. Really disappointed. They don’t particularly go with one another and they are not particularly nice designs. However, I would say that I have been in there with a friend who does a lot of sewing and really knew what she wanted. She is used to shopping in fabric stores where the bolts are piled high and you have to be willing to haul things out. Possibly also helped that she is French and not looking for friendly service. She had a wonderful time, bought loads of fabric and was incredibly impressed especially as many places she had shopped in in France had insisted on minimum orders of several metres. I guess it just depends on the type of service you Going to look at your other suggestions for fabric for the above friend’s surprise quilt

    1. I have visited Shaukat twice now and have never been anywhere where the staff are so totally disinterested in my custom and look at me as if I’m something the cat’s dragged in.

      1. I thought it was me! I visited there last summer and was dismayed by their rudeness. Was in London again this summer but made no effort to go there.

      2. I agree the same when I went there,wonderful amount for Liberty fabric lovers but the customer service stinks!

    1. Hi! Great question. Plain tana lawn is so tricky to get hold of… Robert Kaufman do Cambridge Cotton Lawn (which I have no experience of but Kaufman fabrics are always high quality) – Seamstar and The Village Haberdashery both have them in stock. I have found Kaffe Fassett shot cottons very good to use with lawn because they have a similar drape. I also think Kona cotton is good to use with Liberty lawn, but it doesn’t have quite such a lovely drape. Another option is Oakshott shot cottons, again, no experience, these are very high quality fabrics.

    2. I think that Fabrics Galore may sell plain tana lawn – I bought a couple of metres of white tana lawn from them at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC over the weekend.

  4. I agree totally with Abby about Shaukat and rudeness. I was attempting to make quite a large purchase on-line and was being misunderstood. When I persisted in trying to get it right I was asked, “exactly what is your problem” . Well – you were Shaukat! I will not shop there again.

  5. I would say that if you value good customer service and don’t like people being rude to you, you shouldn’t go anywhere near Shaukat. I went into their shop desperate for a particular print which was showing as available on their website. It wasn’t and I am not exaggerating that I nearly left the shop in tears they were that rude to me.

  6. You can also find Liberty fabrics @ Roschmoquiltingco.
    They are professional besoke patchwork quilters with a shop on ETSY that sells Liberty fabrics from fat 8ths
    up to yardage , hard to find patterns as well as new season…..

  7. I run a small handmade handbag company Constance Handcrafted and just love Liberty prints (especially Hera) so this has been a wonderful resource – thank you very much x

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