William Morris Trellis

10th November 2018

One of our all time favourite Morris designs and one of our most recent ones that we’ve licensed, in this blog we wanted to put the spotlight on William Morris Trellis. First designed in November 1862, it’s remarkable to think that 156 years later, the design would be as current and stunning as all those years ago. It does truly show that good design is utterly timeless.


Trellis, designed by William Morris was inspired by the rose trellis in the gardens of his home Red House. Red House is in Bexleyheath and the only house that was commissioned, created and lived in by Morris. If you ever get the chance to visit the National Trust property, 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 the architectural beauty of the property.

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.

Trellis was the first wallpaper designed by Morris. It was done around the same time that two of his other famous designs were created; Daisy and Fruits. They were expensive to produce however as they were all printed by hand. It was therefore an expensive and labour intensive process.

If you look at Trellis for example, you’ll see the depth of colour in the print and each colour at the time required a separate blog for printing. 12 blocks were required for each of the designs to keep up the intricate design and colours. Hence, they were designed then print was put on hold until the early 1870s. At this point, Morris had joined together with friends and colleagues to join the Firm. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. and they had enough money to finance the designs. We’re so grateful they got the money to finance the designs so that we can all appreciate them today!

Philip Webb’s influence

The birds within Trellis were designed by Philip Webb, Morris’ close friend and colleague. Webb is often referred to as the ‘father’ of the Arts and Crafts Architecture. Along with Morris, Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, they created the Firm. This later became the interior decorating and furnishings company, Morris & Co. after the Firm was dissolved. Together with Morris, he was an important member of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Together they founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings in 1877 which is a key indicator into their passions.

Manufactured in the UK

As with all our products, Trellis is both printed and manufactured in the United Kingdom. Morris was so focused on the process of printing his fabric in Britain and was really against industrialisation. We think it’s therefore important that we carry that on when we’re printing his licensed designs.

Before we go on to show you some photos of Trellis and how wonderful it looks for our products. We also wanted to mention that with all our licensed William Morris designs, Trellis is printed both size and colour wise to suit our own specifications. This is to best suit our products. If you would like a sample of Trellis to see how it would work for your project, get in touch and we’d be happy to send a sample out to you!