After working with naval architect William Francis Gibbs (1886–1967) of Gibbs & Cox and interior designers Smyth, Urquhart & Marckwald on the SS United States, Dorothy Liebes collaborated with this team again, in 1958, for the Grace Line’s two remodeled luxury liners serving destinations in the Caribbean and South America, the SS Santa Rosa and the SS Santa Paula. The twelve-day voyages, with ports of call in Aruba, the Bahamas, Curaçao, Jamaica, and Venezuela, were promoted for their easygoing luxury paired with new amenities such as individual air-conditioning controls and private baths in each room. The interiors, furniture, and fabrics were chosen with modernity and practicality in mind, with a focus on fire retardation, durability, and easy maintenance. As a profile in Handweaver & Craftsman explained, “Handwoven fabrics, along with the work of contemporary artists, sculptors, ceramists, and craftsmen in metal, enamel and glass help to create a fresh, cool, relaxing modern atmosphere, a new-ship look in keeping with holiday travel in tropical waters.” The décor was created to reflect historical motifs from the countries and cultures of the ships’ Caribbean and South American routes. This marriage of carefree splendor and durable materials was highlighted in a 1958 advertisement for Tycora Yarns that promoted a who’s who of designers using its product, declaring, “Dorothy Liebes . . . has just sent Tycora out to sea in a luxurious, passenger-proof upholstery designed for Grace Line.”
For the Santa Rosa, Liebes designed floor-to-ceiling curtains that spanned the ship’s dining room (Fig. 1). The first thing a viewer notices are the vibrant red roses, spread dramatically over a yard across, with complementary green leaves printed on the fabric (Fig. 2). Inspired by an “old Mexican rug,” the printed effect of the roses resembles the look of cross-stitch, in contrast to printed roses without color, creating an overall look of motion and depth. These roses are printed on fabric panels handwoven in a combination of off-white plastic straw made from nylon and rayon with other fibers. Liebes believed “that the mixture of fibers produces a more interesting fabric.” Liebes was known for her distinctive combination of fibers and her adoption of new materials and synthetics; she blended manmade and natural fibers to create a rich texture that created a “contrast in the visual expression of the two fibers” in which, as she matter-of-factly put it, “each helps the other.”
For the SS Santa Rosa’s sister ship, the SS Santa Paula, Liebes continued to reference the cruise liner’s Central and South American destinations. The curtains for the Santa Paula’s First-Class Dining salon feature large serape stripes that run vertically over the length of the fabric (Fig. 3). Woven on a double beam, the foundation of these curtain panels is a plain-woven Dupont-manufactured rayon straw in off-white, creating a simple yet rich background for the hand-pulled loops in a variety of fibers that make up the serape stripes. These intricately handwoven curtains were made in the Liebes studio, where “as many as three or four beams are used for one piece of cloth” and “the warp threads are pulled up on one beam” (Fig. 4). These two-inch loops were, as Liebes wrote to the Victoria and Albert Museum in a 1965 letter, “not knotted into the back cloth,” creating panels that were lush yet needed to be handled with care. The stripes are each roughly ten inches wide and incorporate cotton, chenille, nylon, raw silk, and “masses of colored Lurex.” The loops of the stripes overlap in rows of color, “giving the stripes a fringe-like effect.” The stripes are woven in three color combinations: one in yellow greens, chartreuse with touches of blue green; another in warm reds, oranges, and yellows that give the feel of a sunset; and a third in a collection of reds that include “lighter shades . . . deepening into cerise and on into bluish reds.” To accompany the curtains, Liebes designed a power-loomed tweed for the dining room chairs in her signature blue and green.
The SS Santa Paula also included the Techo Bar, decorated in nautical blues and featuring panels depicting pre-Incan figures by Peter Ostaci, marbleized black-and-white tiled floors, navy leather banquettes, and blinds designed by Liebes “in clear plastic reeds interwoven with white cord, executed by Columbia Mills” (Figs. 5 & 6).
 “Handwoven Fabrics in New Ships,” Handweaver & Craftsman, Fall 1958: 19.
 Tycora Yarns advertisement included in Dorothy Liebes’s 1958 scrapbook. Series 8, Box 32, Folder 2, Dorothy Liebes Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
 “Handwoven Fabrics in New Ships,” 19.
 Ibid., 20–21.
 Dorothy Liebes, letter to Barbara J. Morris, assistant keeper of Circulation at the Victoria and Albert Museum, May 21, 1965.
 Dorothy Liebes, describing the curtains for the SS Santa Rosa and the SS Santa Paula, and there is no metallic yarn in the curtains for the SS Santa Rosa in a June 18, 1958, letter to Ellen Grotto, Home Furnishings publicity director, The Dobeckmun Company. Series 5, Box 6, Folder 39, Dorothy Liebes Papers.
 “Handwoven Fabrics in New Ships,” 20.
 Description of the SS Santa Paula pasted into the scrapbook of Dorothy Liebes. Series 8, Box 32, Folder 3, Dorothy Liebes Papers.