A Closer Look: William Morris Trellis

19th August 2020

In November 1862, Morris designed Trellis. One of our all time favourite William Morris designs, isn’t it funny to think that 158 years later, it’s still a stand-out, stunning design. Proving that true design never ages or goes out of fashion.


So let’s share some more about Trellis. One thing with William Morris designs; there’s usually a story behind them. Whether it’s from his inspiration or simply the history behind them. The rooms they’ve decorated, where they’ve been featured within English history.

Trellis pattern was designed in 1862, then registered and manufactured in 1864. The gap in dates is simply because with 12 blocks needed to hand block print the intricate design, it was laborious and importantly, expensive. That means, he needed to wait until his company Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. had enough money to finance the designs. This also included other notable designs including Daisy and Fruit.

Inspired by nature

Like many of his other inspirations, Trellis was inspired by nature. More specifically by the rose Trellis in his garden of Red House, his Bexleyheath home. When you study the design, you can almost put yourself back there, can almost hear the bees buzz and the flap of the birds wings.

Nature runs through the entire design, can’t you just feel the wind blowing as the roses grow up the trellis. We always find it completely incredible that this design has been adorning the walls and soft furnishing of homes over 158 years – we wonder the stories of all these families and who they were!

If you ever get the chance to visit the National Trust property, Red House, you’ll see why Edward Burne-Jones described the property as “the beautifullest place on earth.” Completed in 1860, we hope you visit it on a sunny day. Then you can stand outside and wonder at it’s architectural beauty.

There’s so much passion behind the build and design of the house. Morris and Philip Webb worked together on lots of the ideas, collaborating on the features. Edward Burne-Jones created some stained glass and paintings which can be seen at the house today. Plus Jane and Bessie Burden created beautiful embroidery to decorate the home.

Philip Webb

The birds within the design were designed by his good friend and colleague, Philip Webb. Webb was the architect of Red House and they worked together lots over the years much to our enjoyment as they created such beautiful designs! If you’d like to learn more about Philip Webb, we’ve written lots of blogs about him. A fascinating and talented man, we’ve written blogs such as this one.

Made in the UK

As with all our products, Trellis is printed and manufactured here in the United Kingdom. If you’d like a sample of any of our fabrics, please contact us.

Our William Morris designs are all licensed and are printed both size and colour-wise to our own specifications . This is to make sure they best suit our products.

To see the full range of Trellis products and fabric, take a look at the collection here!