1930 Liberty of London Jacket

There are a few things I’m always on the lookout for, and one of them is clothing made from Liberty of London fabrics.   Liberty started as an importer of exotic goods, but by the 1880s, they were printing their own fabrics in Oriental-inspired prints and colors, and making clothing from the fabrics.  They also printed and sold scarves.

Today, vintage Liberty garments are pretty scarce, especially items from before the 1950s.  I was really tickled to spot this jacket on ebay, and even more tickled when I was actually the high bidder.  It is so typical of the type of things Liberty produced in the 1920s and 30s.  It is actually cut from a 37″ scarf, or perhaps part of two (I’ll be figuring out the pattern later) and then sewn together.

In a bit of extremely good luck and vintage serendipity, I actually found the exact scarf printed in a 1930 Liberty catalog.  Unfortunately, I can’t show you the catalog page because it was being offered for sale on ebay.  The seller had taken the catalog apart and was trying to sell it page by page at $10 a sheet.  Madness, I tell you!  Complete madness to take apart a catalog for which the seller would have gotten a very nice price.  As it was, I could not bring myself to bid on something that was taken apart in this manner.

And the madness does not end there, because my sweet little jacket is a victim of a repair crime.  I’m talking about fusible web tape, that vile glue that one can use to iron two pieces of fabric together.

When fusible products came out in the 1960s or 1970s, we sewers thought they were an answer to a prayer.  No more hemming!  No more basing in interfacings!  Unfortunately this convenience came at a price.  If you have ever encountered a 1970s garment where the glue has failed, you know what I mean.  The residue is grainy and impossible to remove.

Vintage sellers, please don’t use fusible anything on the clothing you sell.  I’m very sincere when I say I’d rather have a tiny hole or two than a glued-on patch.  Buyers, if the seller says something has been patched, email them and ask how it was patched, which is what I really should have done.


The front, showing the tiny holes


Filed under Collecting, Viewpoint, Vintage Clothing

9 responses to “1930 Liberty of London Jacket

  1. Mei

    I am in love with Liberty of London! Going in the actual dept. store is magical.

    I would be grateful if you could decipher that pattern… I am intrigued and wouldn’t mind trying my hand at a scarf jacket or two.


  2. Em

    I am in love with that jacket! …Even with the glue and haphazard repairs (though it would be nice if people fixed things old school). I always really enjoy your Liberty of London posts.


  3. what a beautiful textile! And I’m not a fan of fusible either. I used it once when all else failed, but I wasn’t proud of it.


  4. What a shame about the patches, but oh, what a gorgeous jacket! Great find.


  5. I am waiting for your diagram of the top too!

    as for fusible mending: well, I do use fusibles when I can’t see any other way to close a hole without a pucker (usually a big moth hole). I use fusibles that can be re-heated and pulled off easily. I am adept at mending knits, and I can take in a pin width ‘dart’ to hide a tiny hole, but my techniques for re-weaving isn’t that great, so fusibles allow me to stabilize a hole. Yes, there’s some guilt, but since it can be reversed to the original condition, I can sleep at night.


  6. Okay, I might possibly see using a fusible on something that was going to be worn, provided its value is purely just as a wearable. Just make sure the buyer knows you used it.

    Would it even be possible to reweave something this fine. Maybe by an expert, but not by me! I do a pretty good reweave on woolens though.


  7. Pingback: Liberty Style Jacket from a Scarf | The Vintage Traveler

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