William Morris Designs
11th January 2021
Our collection of licensed William Morris designs are all beautiful and work year round to inject some colour into your home and bring some nature indoors. All of the Morris designs are inspired by nature; full of florals and leaves, they’re a stunning way to introduce that into your house.
We thought with January here, it’s a good time to redecorate and spruce up the house with the glitter of Christmas trimmings gone. So, let’s take you through a handful of our William Morris designs. Remember, you can peruse our entire collection here.
Let’s start with one of the best known Morris designs with Strawberry Thief. We have this licensed design in both a red and a blue colour way so it will suit various colour schemes within the home. The design marked the start of his triumphs with the indigo dye technique which is what he at Merton Abbey. We’ve written many blogs on Merton Abbey, so you can take a read through those if you’re interested! It’s amazing how he took the works that had been printing textiles for years and from 1881 to 1888, housed the incredible Morris and his business, Morris & Co.
Strawberry Thief was inspired by Morris’ observations of nature at his own home, Kelmscott Manor. His daughter, May Morris, spoke about the design to tell us of the scene, “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.” Isn’t that a lovely insight into the life of Morris and his family!
William Morris Golden Lily is an explosion of colour and floral design. Isn’t it just stunning! Each time we look at it, there’s different colours and flowers that stand out to us more. Golden Lily was designed in 1897 and remains such a stunning Morris design.
Willow Bough is a beautiful naturalistic design, designed by Morris in 1887. It was first produced as a wallpaper design. May Morris, William’s daughter, had it on the walls in her bedroom. It was adapted for fabric in 1895 when it was block printed at Merton Abbey.
A common theme with Morris designs, it was inspired by a walk in the countryside. 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.”
In Willow Bough, we have a blue colour option and a green. But which is your favourite?
Trellis is a very well known Morris design because it’s known for being inspired by the rose trellis in the garden of Red House. Red House was his home in Bexleyheath, designed by Philip Webb and commissioned by Morris, Edward Burne-Jones described Red House as ‘the beautifullest place on earth’.
Trellis was the first wallpaper Morris designed (along with both Daisy and Fruit.) They were all produced using a hand-printing process of which each colour required it’s own block. This of course was intricate and expensive – so they were put on hold to be produced until the early 1870s. It was then that Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. had enough money to finance the designs.
With many Morris designs, friend and colleague Philip Webb designed some of the elements. This also includes the birds within the Trellis design.
Eyebright is another beautiful Morris design, first designed in 1883. Originally designed to be a lining fabric, it’s incredible to think such a beautiful print might have been hidden! Luckily, it wasn’t just hidden in the lining and now continues to be a beloved pattern of his.
We love the intricate design of this and, just like all his designs, this timeless design remains one we put on our own tables time and time again.
Our products are both printed and manufactured in the United Kingdom. These are licensed designs by William Morris, and are printed both size and colour-wise to our own specifications. This is because we want them to best suit our products. If you’re within the UK and would like a sample of any of our fabrics, please contact us and we’d be happy to send one to you.
Any questions? Let us know, message us!