Our William Morris Collection
29th August 2020
Fancy taking a closer look at some of our William Morris designs? Then we’re so glad you’re here! There’s a lot of Morris designs within our collection so we’d invite you to take a look through them all to pick your favourite, but we thought we’d highlight a few in this blog.
You can see our swing tickets on each photo. It’s how we label each William Morris fabric order we send out and features a little information on each design. You can always find more information on each product category page if you wanted to read more about the design. It’s what’s nice about William Morris designs isn’t it, that they all have such a rich past and story.
Golden Lily was designed in 1897, one of our best loved designs by William Morris. Isn’t it so beautiful with intertwining tulips, lilies and leaves. Adding a pop of colour to your home, we love Golden Lily for brightening up spaces. Just by adding a tablecloth or kitchen accessory, it can really change how bright a room feels!
Brother Rabbit we have in both Red and Blue colour ways so that you can enjoy them in your favourite colour. First produced at Merton Abbey by Morris, it was inspired by a book Morris used to read to his daughters, Jenny and May. There was a character it was named after in, “Uncle Remus, His song and His Sayings” (1881) by J.C. Harris. It’s also known as Brer Rabbit.
Inspired by nature, as many of Morris’ designs were, the birds and rabbits within were drawn by Philip Webb, his lifelong friend and colleague.
This is Compton, commissioned for Mr Lawrence Hodson’s Compton Hall in Wolverhampton. Morris was redesigning the interior for Compton Hall and we’re so glad that we get to share that commission! Compton was actually the last design Morris designed before his death that same year. His cause of death given by his physician of, “simply being William Morris, and having done more work than most ten men.”
Compton originally required two sets of wood blocks to print all 28 colours due to the large vertical repeating patterns. It’s since been scaled down and adapted for a wider audience.
Pimpernel is another design we have in multiple colour ways, in both green and in cream. The design was first produced in 1876 and named after the small flowers within the design rather than the large poppies which dominate it.
Pimpernel can be seen in the Billiard Room at Wightwick Manor and is incredibly beautiful there if you ever get the chance to visit.
One of William Morris’ most popular designs, we have Strawberry Thief in both red and blue colour ways. First produced in 1883, it was a triumph for Morris as it marked the perfecting of the indigo-discharge technique of printing at Merton Abbey. We have lots of blogs about the Indigo-Dye method of printing if you’d like to learn more!
Strawberry Thief was inspired by Morris’s observations of the thrushes stealing the strawberries from under the fruit nets at Kelmscott Manor. His daughter May Morris spoke about the design, “You can imagine my Father going out in the early morning and watching the rascally thrushes at work on the fruit beds and telling the fanned who growls ‘I’d like to wring their necks!’ that no bird in the garden must be touched. There were certainly more birds than strawberries in spite of attempts at protection. And the walls of the little dining-room are hung with this note of the June garden and the little lords of it.” What a lovely insight into the Morris family life!
Willow Bough is another design we have in multiple colours; blue and green. It’s one of our favourites, it really feels like you’re bringing nature indoors doesn’t it. May Morris used Willow Bough to decorate her bedroom as her wallpaper. It was then adapted for fabric in 1895, block printed in Merton Abbey.
May wrote about the design, “We were walking one day by our little stream that runs into the Thames and my father pointed out the detail and soon after the paper was done.”
We print and manufacture all our products within the United Kingdom. All our William Morris designs are licensed designs and are printed both size and colour wise to our own specifications. Within the UK and would like to see our fabric before you buy? Let us know and we can send you a sample swatch to you!