FAQs

Your Cart

Close
Paper Plane Your order qualifies for free standard delivery
Subtotal £0.00
Delivery £0.00
Order Total £0
Checkout Securely

Emery Walker, William Morris & The Kelmscott Press

27th November 2017

Producing William Morris designs and being such incredibly big fans as we are of William Morris, it’s not surprising that we spend quite a bit of time reading about his life, work and friends. One person we wanted to learn more about was Sir Emery Walker​.

Born in 1851, Emery Walker was born in Paddington, London. From a contrasting background to Morris’ more affluent upbringing, Walker was born the son of a coach builder, growing up in a working class family, he was forced to leave school aged 13 so he could start earning and contributing to the family’s finances. Despite this, Walker believed wholeheartedly in self-education which we can see truly held high value for Walker as later in life his writings were read by audiences that far out did his own education and his intellect was appreciated by them. He also had associations with a few organisations we’ve written about multiple times on our blogs – the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and the Society of Antiquaries.

After his experience as an apprentice draper that he didn’t care for, in 1873, he joined the Typographic Etching Company based in Chiswick. The company produced blocks which were used in the printing process for illustrations and was done using photographic negatives. After learning his trade, in 1886, Walker set up his own company which became well known for their expertise in photogravure. Photogravure is an intaglio printmaking which uses a copper plate, coated with a light sensitive gelatine tissue – exposed to a film positive which is then etched. The results are a high quality print which reproduces the detail of a photograph. Walker used the technique to reproduce art, photographs and book illustrations – which infact helped revolutionise the book making industry.

 So where’s the link to Morris?

It was actually Walker that was a silent partner in the Kelmscott Press, he offered him a partnership with the company due to Walter’s expertise. May Morris spoke about the lecture Walker gave to the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society in 1888 as a ‘eureka’ moment for Morris. Using the Jenson as a basic (a 15th Century Venetian printer called Nicolas Jenson who printed early books) he planned to draw on this and create his own typeface which would help him product ‘The Ideal Book.’ From here, the Kelmscott Press began two years later in 1890, by his own admission Morris wrote, “I was not much of a typographer before Mr Walker took me in hand.” It’s reported that Walter refused the offer to be a partner in the Press as, he wrote, “I had refused at the outset to be his partner, having some sense of proportion,” Morris said “I shall want to do everything my own way” so whether it was Walker’s self deprecating view of himself or if it was because he knew Morris would have been a hard person to work with if everything was his own way, we don’t know. Either way, Walter played an incredibly large part in the Kelmscott Press with the two talking most days and Morris often receiving advice from Walter.

As we’ve written before in our blogs specifically on the Kelmscott Press, that as with many parts of 19th century life, Morris was determined to not allow mass production and industrialisation to completely overtake quality craftsmanship. Though during this time, there was an increased level of literacy and so the demand for books increased in turn, however the high print runs that were demanding meant the reproduction standards were falling. Careless inking and poor paper meant the quality was low. Morris set out to change this.

Emery Walker’s home still stands overlooking the Thames at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, Morris’ neighbour and close friend, the house is a trove of Morris treasures so be sure to visit!

Related Articles

Post Title

The Portrait of a Lady

This dress is on display at the Barley Hall, York.  It is the dress worn by the lovely Nicole Kidman in The Portrait of a...

Post Title

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower is an amazing piece of Victoriana which was first opened to the public in 1894.  The tower was designed by the Manchester firm...

Post Title

Snowdrops

Snowdrops, usually the first sign that spring is on its way, are always such a welcome sight.  Amongst other things, snowdrops make me think of...

A William Morris fabric stack 😍 What would you make from our licensed William Morris floral fabrics? 🪡🧵
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #fabric #fabricdestashuk #fabricstack #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric
We hope you’re having a lovely Easter 🐣 Choccy treats galore with some beautiful Morris florals, what more could we want! 🌷🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabrics #williammorrisfabric #floraldesign #tablescapestyling #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #preraphaelite #floral
Morris fan? There’s 15% off our entire collection of licensed William Morris fabrics and products, this Easter weekend only! 🐣 Use code: EASTER15 at checkout, on our website only, until Monday at midnight 🌙 Enjoy this Easter treat from us! 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #onlinefabric #onlinefabrics #preraphaelite #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #floraldesign
We love all the beautiful spring florals this time of year 🌷 We’ve also not been able to resist starting early on the Easter treats! 🐣
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabrics #willowbough #tablescape #tablescapes #eastertablesetting #upholsteryfabric #upholsteryfabrics #curtainfabrics #eastertableideas
Introducing Daisy, our latest William Morris licensed design 🌿 Daisy was the second wallpaper William Morris designed, but the first to be produced in 1864, so it remains a special design to every Morris fan ✨ It must have been a favourite of Morris himself, as embroideries of Daisy were used to decorate at the stunning Red House, Morris's home in Bexleyheath. 
We hope you love Daisy as much as we do! Available now on our website, in a limited range of products, fabric is coming soon! ☺️
-
-
-
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric#onlinefabricstore #preraphaelite #williammorrisdesign#upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #daisy
A fabric stack of William Morris floral dreams 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #floralfabrics #onlinefabrics #onlinefabricshop #upholsteryfabric #upholsteryfabrics #curtainfabric #curtainfabrics #strawberrythief #fabricstack
Spring floral ready with our William Morris Willow Bough table setting 🌿 Do your weekend plans also revolve around tea/coffee and baked goods? 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #willowbough #springfloral #preraphaelite #spring #florals #floralfabric #tablescape #onlinefabric #onlinefabricstore #curtainfabric #upholsteryfabric
Monday done right, laying the table with our beautiful licensed William Morris Willow Bough green tablecloth, completed with a @bettys treat 🥰 
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #willowbough #tablescape #tablescapes #tablescapestyling #bettys #preraphaelite #preraphaelites #tablecloth #floraltable #onlinefabric #onlinefabrics
A little fabric stack of our William Morris florals, waiting to be crafted into a project 🪡 Can you name them all from the little peak? 🌿 
All our fabrics are printed in the UK and are licensed William Morris designs, printed both size and colour wise to our own specification ✨ If you’d like a sample, just send us a message 📬
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabricstash #fabricstack #morrisfabric #preraphaelite #floralfabric #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #onlinefabricshop #onlinefabricshopping
Showcasing our licensed William Morris Lily fabric, it’s so light and bright it’s making us excited for Spring! 🌿
Designed by William Morris in 1874, it incorporates the willow background with lilies and wild flowers ✨ The design must have been well loved by Morris himself- it was the wallpaper he used to decorate his bedroom at Kelmscott Manor, his home in Lechlade, Gloucestershire 🌿
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #floralfabric #lily #onlinefabricstore #onlinefabrics #onlinefabric #independentbusiness #preraphaelite
Thrilled with our reupholstered chair, brought back to life with our heavyweight William Morris Willow Bough Green 🌿 It’s amazing what a pop of colour and a floral will do to a room 🤍 If you fancy learning how we did this upcycle, we’ll write a blog on it ☺️ 
& if you’re in the UK and would like a sample of any of our fabrics, please let us know 📮
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #morrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #willowbough #reupholstery #reupholstered #upholsteryfabric #upcycledfurniture
The different weights of fabric 🧵 We have four weights of fabrics; cotton, heavyweight, drill and pvc, all work well for different projects. For a free sample, please feel free to message us and we’ll get them sent out to you 📮
✨ For our 100% cotton, it’s great for quilting, dress making and more, our lightest weight of cotton
✨ Our heavyweight cotton is perfect for curtains and light upholstery, a heavier fabric than our 100% cotton 
✨ Our drill cotton fabric is our heaviest weave fabric, suitable for light upholstery 
✨ Our PVC is our pvc/oilcloth coated cotton fabric, brilliant as a table covering, it’s sold by the half metre and as it won’t fray, is great to put straight on the table 🌿

The cotton, heavyweight and drill cotton are all 152cm wide and the pvc fabric is 140cm wide. All are sold by the half metre 📏
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #morrisfabric #goldenlily #onlinefabric #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabrics #quiltingfabric
In January when the Christmas sparkles come down, we’ve got to bring out even more Morris florals to make sure the house still feels sparkly and beautiful ✨ if you’re also looking to revamp any of the home and looking for a licensed William Morris design for a pop of colour, get in touch for any samples so you can choose which works in your home 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #strawberrythief #preraphaelite #onlinefabric #onlinefabricstore #fabrics #williammorrisfabric
Our blue Strawberry Thief oven gloves are back in stock, just in time for Christmas! 🎄 will you be gifting some Morris floral magic this year? Or hope to be receiving some! 🎁 Our matching sets of kitchenware and tableware are very popular this time of year, remember if you’re sending direct to your loved one, you can select for the items to be gift wrapped at checkout on our website! 🌟
•
•
•
#williammorris #strawberrythief #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesigns #ovengloves #christmasgiftsideas #kitchenware #tablescape
Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #preraphaelite #willowbough #tablescape #placemats #floraldesign
Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
•
•
•
#strawberrythief #williammorris #preraphaelite #morris #williammorrisdesign #totebag #summerdreaming #williammorrisfabric #coronado
We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #onlinefabrics #countrykitchendecor #christmasgiftsideas #newwebsitelaunch