Friday, August 20, 2010

More Lee Jofa!

I just added a new Lee Jofa piece to my store Nancy's Fabric Shop, which isn't what I usually think of when I think of Lee Jofa:

I love these prancing elephants on the blue ground. This pattern must have been inspired by the British Empire in India rather than the exuberant English garden roses, like this piece:

And then, while I was digging around (you have no idea how much material I have and where I stash it in my studio apartment) I discovered this Lee Jofa Book of discontinued patterns by David Hicks for Ashley Hicks. David Hicks was an innovative English interior designer who died in 1998. His son Ashley is now working with Lee Jofa/Kravet and designing new lines of fabrics and carpets, combining David Hicks' strong geometry and colors in a new softer, gentler sensibility for the modern market. This book of now discontinued patterns contains 5 different patterns each in 5 different colors, for a total of 25 pieces of cloth bound at the top, and with paper labels describing each piece, including fibre content.

They range from 100% silk

to 100% jute

and include sheers

and stripes

and a geometric pattern

And imagine my surprise to see this pattern on the front page

I had this exact piece in a 24" square sample, and made a pillow with it, now for sale in Custom Designs by Nancy

I really like the way these two fabrics work with other, and the colors and patterns complement each other so well.

Each piece in the book measures 21 1/2" by 14". The labels are stapled to the lower left corners and are easily removeable without damaging the fabric, and the screws binding the book can be removed with a flat head screwdriver. This book is available at Nancys Fabric Shop for $50 plus shipping! Think of all the great things you can do with these fabrics! My mind is boggling. Your excitement is high, so don't hesitate! Oh what fun you'll have!

Monday, August 16, 2010


I know, I know, you're not really interested in the ancient history of Lee Jofa, you just want to know what they have and how much it costs, hahaha.

When I think of Lee Jofa fabrics, this is the kind of thing I see:

Notice the exuberant elegance, the subtle shadings of color, the quality of the design, how exotic it looks. I had one piece of this, about 48" square, for the longest time, and I couldn't figure what to do with it, it is so gorgeous. Then I paired it with a similiar, complimentary fabric, heavier, in a soft cotton, and make a bedspread for myself!

I had another piece, much smaller, that I used to make a tablerunner. This is for sale in my other shop, Custom Designs by Nancy:

Now I am offering the Lee Jofa pieces themselves, for you to use in your projects. These fabrics are of the highest quality; Lee Jofa has a centuries-old reputation for elegant luxury materials. You will be very happy with these pieces:

I do have some other pieces I will be listing soon, so stay tuned!

Friday, August 13, 2010


I recently added three new Lee Jofa pieces I have for sale in my shop nancysfabricshop, and I thought I'd tell you a little about the company that makes this fabric, so you can further enjoy their beauty and quality. The company is actually three companies that over a century have merged and now comprise Lee Jofa. The oldest company was founded by an Englishman, George Johnson, in 1823 as a rope maker for ships in New York harbor. I know, amazing, isn't it? How do you get from making ropes to making gorgeous luxury fabrics? From ropes for ships they expanded into horsehair for sofas during the 19th century, and from there, after partnering with Mr. Faulkner, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Faulkner (which became JOFA) imported and sold fine fabrics.

Later, in 1888, Arthur Lee began his company in England. Using innovative weaving techniques developed during the Industrial Revolution, he produced high quality fabrics for discriminating customers who disdained the cheap cloth produced by other companies. Both companies, JOFA and Arthur H. Lee and Sons remained in business until 1965, when Arthur H. Lee bought JOFA. Their combined names became Lee Jofa, and they continued to import and produce some of the most luxurious fabrics available.

In 1995 Lee Jofa was acquired by Kravet, Inc., a leader in products for the interior design industry. As a Kravet employee, I toured the New York City Lee Jofa showroom, which was MARVELOUS. We had a small lecture and discussion about production techniques around the world, and held 19th century wood blocks that were used to hand print fabrics. It's amazing to think of people handling these large, heavy blocks of carved wood, and printing precise patterns on textiles. (While researching for this blog post I came across this article by Bess Darnley describing her experiments making wood blocks and printing fabrics, which is very interesting.) Many of the original prints from JOFA and Arthur Lee are in archives, and are being re-worked for modern production while maintaining the integrity of the exuberance and spirit of the 19th and 20th century prints. So colorful! Such fantastic patterns! And the quality can be seen and felt. These are not cheap knock-off fabrics that will fall apart after one cleaning. Properly cared for, these fabrics can become heirlooms; that beautiful pillow can be passed onto your children.

You can purchase Lee Jofa fabrics online. Here is one site, and a sample of their offerings. You can see the typical pricing of these gorgeous high quality luxurious fabrics:

On nancysfabricshop I am currently offering four pieces of discontinued patterns, including Evasham Rose and Ainsleigh Rose:

I am sorry I only have these small pieces, but they are extremely reasonably priced and will make something lovely for you and your home. I do have more patterns and will be listing them as well. Please check back often for more choices!