FAQs

Your Cart

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

“It was my good luck only of being born respectable and rich, that has put me this side of the window among delightful books and lovely works of art.” – William Morris

6th August 2017

We’ve covered most aspects of William Morris’ life in this blog. A man who gave us such beautiful designs and has a lasting legacy which influences bloggers, artists and fashionistas of today (Marc Jacobs included) we can’t help but be fascinated by his life. What inspired him? How did he get to be in such a position that he managed to leave us such beautiful work that’s somehow still relevant and fitting today – not only in his textile designs but visit many churches around the UK or even St James’ Palace and you’ll see his work. His reach is much farer and wider than you’d ever imagine – you’ve just got to keep your eye out for it.

We’ve been reading a lot recently about Morris’ childhood and teenage years. It’s unsurprising to learn that both his literary and his artistic tastes emerged at an early age. An avid reader, he formed passions he would carry on with him throughout his life – romance, architecture and the natural world – which was clearly his biggest inspiration, look at his designs and you’ll see wildlife galore!

Of Welsh descent, his grandfather left Wales in the later half of the 18th Century to Worcester. His mother and father, William and Emma moved to Walthamstow in 1833 with their two children, Emma and Henrietta, and here had their third child – William on 24th March 1834. It was here one of his strongest social beliefs was born at a young age – it was the year of the Tolpuddle Martyrs. The whole of his childhood coincided with the working man’s struggle with the affects of industrialisation. He despised this throughout his life and it pushed him to many of his later achievements. His parents had two more girls and four more boys and though he was close to his sister Emma during their childhoods, historians have found little evidence of a sustained relationship during adulthood. It was only his youngest brother Edgar that would join him in his work at Merton Abbey.

From Morris’ birthplace in Elm House, they moved to Woodford Hall and later to Water House in Walthamstow in 1849 after his father’s death. It’s this mid 18th century property that today houses the William Morris Gallery and has done since 1950. If you visit you’ll find an unbelievable – and permanent – collection of a full range of his work throughout his life and examples/ explanations of his influence on the famous Arts & Crafts movement.

His father left the family with a substantial sum of money – due to very successful speculation in copper shares. His father bought shares at West Country copper mine at £1 a share for 272 and these soared to a whopping £800 per share – please remember how much £800 would have been worth in that time! With over £200,000, his childhood was undoubtably carefree of money troubles and very comfortable – which continued into his early adulthood and allowed him to be free of the restraints of working for just money and concentrate on his own passions – free of money worries. He’d be the first to have agreed to his privileged status in life saying, “it was my good luck only of being born respectable and rich, that has put me this side of the window among delightful books and lovely works of art.”

Ironically then – and historians have noted it was a source of embarrassment for Morris – the very thing he hated most, industrialisation, allowed him to be immersed in the world of decorative arts which was based on a very conscious reaction against the mechanisation of the Victorian Industrial Age.

His schooldays began in 1848 – the year of the foundation of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, Morris  began school at Marlborough College. The school was a new one and seemed lax in it’s approach, meaning he had little formal education and appears to be largely self taught, visiting the well equipped library here. Many credit Morris throughout his working life to be largely self taught, perhaps it was here at school he learnt this skill as the library had a bias towards books on ecclesiastical architecture and archaeology – meaning he took an avid interest in the subjects.

Many know how he attended Oxford University, however we must remember that when we’re speaking about his experience here, Oxford wasn’t like we know it today, it was still a medieval city in 1853. The years he spent here were, as described by himself, the happiest of his life. Formative in terms not only of his art but also learning his surroundings and forming lifelong friendships with like minded people who would inspire him and work with him throughout his career. He studied Theology at Exeter College and though he passed, he never appeared to be over enthusiastic in his opinion of the academic teaching of Oxford but instead, again, the ability for him to be self taught and receive opportunities outside of academia that were the real highlights for him.

He was incredibly happy at Oxford, forming lifelong friendships and making both artistic and literary discoveries which would shape his career. Many of his ideals were born here. An opinionated man, he passionately believed in everything he wrote or spoke about. The fact remains that he did alter many peoples views on the issues of the time, not only through his art but also through his writing.

Make sure to check the blog next week for the next instalment on his later years at Oxford and his apprenticeship following the completion of his degree.

Related Articles

Post Title

Happy Halloween!

The Celts used to celebrate All Hallows Evening because it signified the ending of Harvest and the beginning of Winter, this change between the seasons...

Post Title

Born on this day: Philip Webb

Born on this day in 1831, he was an architect, designer and long time close friend with William Morris; the two worked together many times throughout...

Post Title

William Morris Strawberry Thief

Strawberry Thief is one of William Morris's most well known repeat design. The process of printing it in 1883 meant it would have taken days...

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