Liberty Florals Are Still Fresh After Nearly 150 Years

These colorful mini florals are a staple in British design dating back to the 1800s. See why these playful prints feel just as fresh today.

Liberty prints represent a staple in British design, with a colorful history that spans nearly 150 years and global admiration that still endures today. Synonymous with the department store Liberty of London, these small-scale florals deliver a dose of happiness on home accessories, apparel, stationery, and more.

Founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty, Liberty & Co. was established in 1875 with the goal of introducing Londoners to luxury goods from faraway places. Shortly after opening a small shop on Regent Street, the company began printing its own fabrics inspired by traditional Japanese designs. The avant-garde textiles, which featured floral motifs, paisleys, and abstract patterns, achieved immediate, widespread acclaim. That success led to several store expansions, and the grand Tudor revival building that still serves as the brand's flagship today was completed in 1924.

floral bedsheet and bedding in styled room
Courtesy of Liberty London

To this day, original Liberty fabric designs are drawn or painted by hand at the company's in-house design studio and printed in Como, Italy. Renowned for its collaborations with artists and designers, the brand boasts an archive of more than 45,000 unique designs.

"It's a little bit of joy in a fabric," says Mary Everard, a 2021 Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker and the lifestyle blogger behind Mary & Crew. Everard says she typically wears at least one article of Liberty-print apparel every day, whether that's a floral-patterned scarf or a colorful pair of flats. "It's art as clothing."

The intricate detail is what sets Liberty prints apart from other floral patterns. "Every single flower is a piece of art in this larger puzzle of a pattern," Everard says. Rendered in bright, contrasting colors, the mini florals work well with solid colors or neutrals as well as other patterns like stripes, checkered designs, and larger-scale floral motifs.

Although these iconic patterns are more than a century old, Liberty prints feel as fresh as ever on products that capture the originals' joyful spirit.

01 of 06

Tana Lawn Cotton Fabric

Tana Lawn cotton fabrics floral liberty prints
Jacob Fox

Named for Lake Tana in Ethiopia, Tana Lawn cotton is a signature Liberty textile. With a cool, silk-like feel, the ultra-fine fabric was originally block-printed by hand to produce brilliantly colored designs. Highly durable and breathable, it's great for clothing or quilting.

02 of 06

Floral Print Napkins

Little Flower Fabric liberty cocktail napkins
Jacob Fox

A patch of Liberty fabric lends a playful air to crisp linens. These cocktail napkins measure about 6 inches square and come in some of the company's most iconic prints. They're sold in sets of two, four, or eight.

Buy It: Liberty Cocktail Napkins ($14-$52, Etsy)

03 of 06

Pink Flower Wallpaper

Prim Society poppy wallpaper Spoonflower
Jacob Fox

A small-scale pattern of poppies echoes the colorful whimsy of Liberty designs. Try this wallpaper in a powder room, kids' room, or home office for a fun floral pop. It's available in prepasted, nonpasted, and peel-and-stick options.

Buy It: Poppy Floral Wallpaper by primsociety ($18-$72, Spoonflower)

04 of 06

Colorful Washi Tape

mini flower and zinia washi tapes liberty prints
Jacob Fox

Washi tape comes in many colorful designs, like these floral options. It's easy to tear and remove, making it ideal for decor or craft projects. Use it to tape up photos or in place of gift ribbon.

Buy It: MT Washi Masking Tape ($10, Amazon)

05 of 06

Patterned Journal

Violets are Blue floral notebook Anne LaFollette
Jacob Fox

Jot down to-do lists or journal entries in a pretty floral-print notebook. The design wraps around the front and back of the matte-finish cover. It includes 52 pages of lined or unlined paper measuring 6x8 inches.

Buy It: Violets Are Blue Floral Print Notebook, $16 (originally $19), Society6

06 of 06

Floral Face Mask

cotton liberty floral print face covering mask
Jacob Fox

Project happiness when wearing these soft cotton masks. Made from Tana Lawn cotton, they come in five Liberty fabric patterns. The masks include a flexible band that adjusts around the nose and an inner pocket to add a filter (not included).

Buy It: Face Covering in Liberty June Blosson ($43, Invited Journal)

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