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!

No comments:

Post a Comment