27th August 2018
Following on from our previous blog, we have too many beautiful William Morris designs to fit them into one blog! With our ever growing collection of William Morris designs, we wanted to show them all together with the stories behind them too. Each William Morris design and fabric has a story behind it; the naturalistic and family inspirations, the dates produced and the days of love and care that went into printing them.
William Morris Brother Rabbit was first produced in 1882. It was one of the first designs to be designed and created using the indigo-discharge method of printing. The printing process in total took around three days to complete. The process went that the cloth was dyed all over in an indigo vat which allowed a blue colour to dye the fabric all over in a uniform manner before being printed with a bleaching reagent. That would reduce the colour as much as was required for the colour of the desired design – of course this process is as much trial and error as you can imagine. The mordants were then applied to the bleached parts of the cloth and then immersed in a madder vat to give it a proper tint. Following this, the excess colour was cleaned off and then, to set the colour so that it wouldn’t run, the colours were set at boiling point by passing the fabric through soap. The cloth was then laid outside with the printed side facing upwards which allowed the design to be purified. The whole process over a three day period was a time consuming job!
We also produce William Morris Brother Rabbit in a red colourway – we love it in both colours too much to pick our favourites!
Golden Lily is one of our favourite William Morris designs, beautiful intertwining tulips, lilies and leaves within the design. With a similar name to Lily, don’t be confused – they’re two separate designs. Our licensed Morris designs are printed colour and size wise to our own specifications which best suit our products.
The last design William Morris created before his death, Compton was commissioned for Mr Lawrence Hodson’s Compton Hall in Wolverhampton. The cause of death by Morris? His physician gave the cause, “simply being William Morris, and having done more work than most ten men.” The original design actually required two sets of wooden blocks which were required to print all 28 colours.
A beautiful design that we love in the Autumn/Winter months in particular, the warm oranges giving it a comforting feel within the home.
Designed by William Morris in 1874, Lily is a beautiful design, incorporating a willow background design with lilies and wild flowers. The colours within the design are stunning and really brighten up a room, adding colour into a room and complimenting many different colour schemes due to the fact there’s so many colours within the design.
Morris himself must have really loved the design, it was the wallpaper he used to decorate his bedroom at Kelmscott Manor – his home in Lechlade, Gloucestershire.
Merton, in both blue and white and green and cream, was first produced in 1888. The design was named after their premises that Morris’ company, Morris & Co. moved to – Merton Abbey in Surrey in 1881. It was the first design that the company printed on rotary screens.
Sweet Briar was designed in 1912 as a wallpaper before being used as a fabric later on. The Sweet Briar design is a soft, almost romantic one, made up by a soft cream background with climbing rose stems throughout, in both green and soft brown. The pink Sweet Briar Roses are prominent throughout the design in an almost whimsical design.
Our products are both printed and manufactured in the United Kingdom, are licensed designs by William Morris, and are printed both size and colour-wise to our own specifications to best suit our products. If you’d like a sample of any of our fabrics to see them in more detail, please contact us and we’d be more than happy to send one to you!