Liberty Champions

    The Liberty Champions Collection celebrates the thrills, spills and epic highs of competitive sports – with artworks inspired by the archive, alongside brand new prints drawn and painted in the Liberty Fabrics design studio.

    The collection pays homage to the Sports Day events that were once held for the Liberty community by our founder Arthur Lasenby Liberty on the grounds of his Lee Manor country estate in Buckinghamshire. The design team searched the archive to discover accounts and photographs of these fun-filled sports competitions, translating their findings into colourful new designs brimming with vitality and movement.

    Look closely at the prints in this collection to discover a colourful camo formed from the blur of faces in a crowd, or little golf clubs and tee flags hidden within a classic mirrored Art Nouveau layout. ‘Winning Rings’ was created for the collection by Japanese artist Yuri Himuro, while the bold geometric layout of ‘The Games’ was reworked from an archival design to commemorate the Tokyo Olympics – the gold standard of sports competition.

    WINNING RINGS – Created by Japanese textile artist Yuri Himuro, this playful modern conversational design features small figures leaping and running across the fabric among giant rings.

    VELODROME – Disguised as a geometric, this secondary conversational design features speedy velodrome cyclists whizzing across the fabric.

    FLORAL ANTHEM – Originally created for Liberty in 1990, this majestic botanical includes a variety of flowers including carnations, pinks and sunflowers. The word ‘Liberty’ was hand-written and added into the background in repetition, like a sporting anthem.

    RIBBON TWIRL – Painted using watery inks, Ribbon Twirl depicts the dancing and leaping of rhythmic gymnasts, complete with twirling ribbons and colourful hoops. Graceful figures are surrounded by spring flowers and champions medals in this charming, conversational print.

    THE GAMES – Based on an artwork from the Liberty archive, this design offers a nod to the iconic Olympic symbol. The five interlocking rings are a reminder of the five colours associated with the games – blue, yellow, black, green and red, thought to represent the union of the five continents.

    CLUB NOUVEAU – Created in a traditional mirrored Art Nouveau layout, Club Nouveau is a whimsical conversational print with a modern twist. Originally inspired by an artwork from the Liberty archive, the design features golf clubs, balls, medals and tee flags camouflaged within the structured flower, tree and leaf motifs.

    GYMNASIUM – a quirky conversational design of practising acrobats and gymnasts, all competing in their various athletic events; parallel bars, still rings, balance beams, vaults and weightlifting. This simple and illustrative line drawn print was recreated from a 1970s Liberty design.

    CROWD CAMO – At first glance, this textural design appears to be a small-scale mottled camouflage – but look closer, to see that it is formed from an excitable crowd of spectators, making their way to the stadium to support their national team. Painted in the Liberty design studio, this multidirectional print could be considered a secondary conversational.

    GOING FOR GOLD – This fun scenic design leads you energetically across the fabric from one sport to another. Painted in gouache in the Liberty studio, it features the five debut sports introduced to the Tokyo Olympics; Baseball, Sport climbing, Skateboarding, Surfing and Karate.

    TROPHY – This ornamental conversational print is reminiscent of neoclassical-style panelling and decoration – on closer view, its elegant urns and scrolling panels hide fun and unexpected illustrations of tennis rackets, balls and trophies. The design was reworked from an archive drawing created in 1958.

    CHAMPION’S BOUQUET – This energetic design is inspired by an archival paper impression originally created and printed during the 1930s at Liberty’s Merton Printworks. It features small abstract bunches of flowers dotted over sweeping leaves – much like the celebratory fireworks at the Olympics, these flowers embody a spirit of joy and jubilation.

    OFFSIDE – This clever geometric design takes inspiration from the shapes and markings of team courts found in the Olympics games – from squash and tennis to hockey and netball. These shapes form a tapestry of dense colour and pattern.

    BADMINTON BLOOMS – Painted in gouache in the Liberty studio, Badminton Blooms is a fun-filled multidirectional print that features badminton shuttlecocks cleverly disguised as florals.

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