Eyebright was designed by William Morris in 1883 - to begin with it was to have the specific use of a lining fabric; of course, it's way too beautiful to be hidden in a lining! In 1883, Morris’s designs seemed to develop to have a tendency to have a marked diagonal arrangement. This has been said to have been inspired by a 15th century Italian cut velvet acquired by the South Kensington Museum the very same year. The fabric was printed using a technique called the Indio dye-method.
The Indigo- dye method was a long process; it took three days to prepare and had to be extremely accurate; it was therefore the most arduous and time consuming method to print. First the cloth was dyed all over in an indigo vat, for a uniform blue colour to be washed all over the fabric, it was then printed with a bleaching reagent- this would then reduce the colour as much as required to achieve the desired base colour. Mordants are applied onto the bleached parts and the cloth was then completely immersed in madder vat in order to give the proper tint. The excess colour is then cleaned off and, to set the fabric so it won’t run, the colours are set at boiling point by passing the fabric through soap. The cloth was then laid outside with the printed side face up so the white of the design can be purified- as you can tell, a laborious job! All our fabric is still printed and our products manufactured in the UK- just as Morris did.
Our products are both printed and manufactured in the United Kingdom, are licensed designs by William Morris, and are printed both size and colour-wise to our own specifications to best suit our products. If you'd like a sample of any of our fabrics, please contact us and we'd be happy to send one to you.