From a story William Morris read to his daughters to an iconic design; Brother Rabbit

22nd May 2017

Welcome to our new blog series which revolves around all our current designs before we launch our new one! Below is a sneak peak of the new design as well as an insight into how colours are chosen for a new design of ours. Throughout the process, we work closely with the printers and receive many strike offs to make sure it’s perfect. Our new design is excitingly close to being perfected so stay tuned!

Our Brother Rabbit design was first produced in May 1882. It was one of nineteen designs registered at the Patent Office between 1881-1882 by Morris- seventeen of these were designed for the indigo- discharge method of printing. This method stands in stark contrast to the printing we see today on machines; this took three days to complete. The cloth was submerged in an indigo vat in order to dye it all over to a uniform blue colour. Then it was bleached with a bleaching reagent to reduce the colour to the desired shade of blue for the base colour. Mordants are then applied to the bleached parts and then the cloth immersed in a madder vat to give it the proper tint. The excess colour was then cleaned off and to ensure the colours on the fabric won’t run once produced, they were set at boiling point by passing the fabric through soap. Laid outside with the printed side face up, the white of the design was purified to finish the job- a laborious job to create a work of art; worth it though to see the beautiful and intricate designs Morris produced.

The Uncle Remus Stories were written by J.C. Harris and Morris read them to his children Jenny and May at their home Kelmscott Manor. The birds in the design were drawn by Morris’ close friend Philip Webb.

Nowadays, our products are both printed and manufactured in the UK, are licensed designs by William Morris, and are printed both size and colour-wise to our own specifications to best suit our products.

Below are a few of our Brother Rabbit design items- our tote bags fitted in perfectly in Venice, but our full range is viewable here- it would look great on your table and throughout your kitchen in accessories this summer time!