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5 things you didn’t know about May Morris

30th June 2019

May Morris, daughter of William and Jane Morris, remains one of the most important figures of the Arts & Crafts movement. Unfortunately, her legacy and achievements continued to be overshadowed by those of her father. So, every so often, we like to dedicate a blog to her – our way of paying tribute to her legacy online. We’re not alone either, with exhibitions and articles focusing on – and celebrating – her work.

We thought in this blog, we’d give you five interesting facts you didn’t know about May.

  1. May was the most influential for her art embroidery. Along with her sister Jenny, she was taught by her mother and her work and expertise was in demand across the world. Growing up with her father and his friends, she was of course influenced and taught by some of the Victorian era’s most influential and celebrated artists. By 23, she took over the embroidery section of Morris & Co. – overseeing every new design.
  2. Her work was commissioned and exhibited in Arts & Crafts exhibitions in; the UK, Europe, Australia and America. Impressive in itself, but made especially so since this was the Victorian era and her work didn’t go global from a Tweet or Instagram it was reputation and the natural spreading of influence through word of mouth.
  3. “I’m a remarkable woman, always was, though none of you seemed to think so.” She wrote this in 1936 to George Bernard Shaw. The words may resonate with women around the world even today, and remains rather sadly true for May. Though her father (quite rightly!) has museums and more in his honour and memory and May is often overlooked when it comes to her contribution to decorative arts and the Arts & Crafts Movement.
  4. After William Morris died, May dedicated almost a decade editing the 24 volumes of his Collected Works. She worked hard to preserve his legacy to ensure his designs and writings stood the test of time. May also lectured on his life and in his will, safeguarded his and their families culturally significant possessions. Many of these were generously gifted to museums so that the Morris family legacies can live on.
  5. You may have heard of designs Honeysuckle and Horn Poppy that the firm produced. They’re sometimes assumed to be William Morris’s designs but are in fact, May’s work. Her inspiration did come from her father but the work was her own – so she is known to have taken this misconception as a huge compliment, though through the years she did correct the assumption.

There’s so much more to learn about May; you should really grab a coffee, settle in and give her a long Google, just like lots of the pioneers of the Arts & Crafts movement, Morris’s inner circle, friends and colleagues, she’s really fascinating.

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We hope you’re having a lovely Easter 🐣 Choccy treats galore with some beautiful Morris florals, what more could we want! 🌷🤍
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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! 🤍
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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! 🐣
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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! ☺️
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A fabric stack of William Morris floral dreams 🤍
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Spring floral ready with our William Morris Willow Bough table setting 🌿 Do your weekend plans also revolve around tea/coffee and baked goods? 🤍
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Monday done right, laying the table with our beautiful licensed William Morris Willow Bough green tablecloth, completed with a @bettys treat 🥰 
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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 📬
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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 🌿
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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 📮
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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 📏
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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 🤍
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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! 🌟
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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 🌙
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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! ☁️
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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! 🤍
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A few of our licensed William Morris designs all hanging out, aren’t they iconic! It’s amazing that you can see a Morris print and instantly know it’s his design 🌿
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