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“We were walking one day by our little stream that runs into the Thames” – May Morris on William Morris’ Willow Bough

18th July 2017

Willow Bough is one of our all time favourite designs from William Morris. Though it’s a relatively new design within the last few years for us to have printed and manufactured into products, we’ve loved it for years. Reading an article last week in the Telegraph newspaper about Morris and how the, “19th century textile titan is inspiring a new generation of designers and Instagram stars,” we realised we’ve not featured it that much lately on the blog (however for more pictures of the design make sure you’re following our Instagram!) 

The design was first licensed in 1887, produced for a wallpaper design before being adapted for fabric in 1895 when it was block printed at Merton Abbey. May Morris loved the wallpaper design so much, she used it to decorate her bedroom. When talking of the design, she obviously had a sentimental attachment to it, “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.”

The wallpaper can now be seen in Jane Morris’ bedroom in Kelmscott Manor if you visit. Kelmscott Manor was the Cotswold home of William Morris and acted as a countryside retreat for his family, friends and colleagues. He signed a joint lease for the property with Dante Gabriel Rosetti, a fellow Pre-Raphaelite artist.

Described by Morris as looking like it had just ‘grown up out of the soil’ it looked so natural in its setting. It’s a house of true craftsmanship, in a setting so unspoilt, in a picturesque village, if you visit you’ll understand why he felt so strongly about this house that it’s such a beautiful home, unaltered since it was built. If you’ve read our past blogs, we’ve referenced Kelmscott many times as it inspired so many of his designs – most of his designs have strong naturalistic elements and so the gardens, meadows and streams provided him strong inspiration throughout his time here until his death in 1896.

Following his death, his wife Jane purchased the house and their daughter May spent much of her adult life here. Both William and Jane and their two daughters, Jenny and May are buried in the nearby St George’s Church, showing how strongly they all felt they belonged here.

 

As well as the design in blue, we also sell this in green and cream – which do you prefer?

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Lazy Sunday mornings 💤 our William Morris Strawberry Thief tablecloths are now back in stock in all sizes if you fancy adding some floral magic to your table ✨ Hope you all have a lovely Sunday! 🩷
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We’re going to have to look at this English summer through our rose coloured specs we think and set the table summery despite the rain!☔️🩷 We thought this made the perfect table setting; a bouquet with blooms out the garden wrapped in a Daisy napkin cone, doesn’t it look great! 🫶🏻 We’re going to put a small bunch at everyone’s seat and then they can take them home to enjoy at their houses 🌿
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✨ It’s the last day for 20% off our whole website! ✨ Use code: floralsummer at checkout on our website today only! 🫶🏻
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We’re thinking of selling our William Morris Daisy fabric by the half metre 🫶🏻 It’s a much narrower fabric than our usual fabrics, but we’ve had some customers interested in it in cotton and heavyweight for projects such as upholstery, curtain and dress making and quilting projects, what do you all think? ✨🌿
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✨✨ Offer extended ✨✨ We forgot to give you warning that our 20% off code was expiring and we thought it would brighten up some rainy July days, so now until the 14th July, take 20% off our website using code: FLORALSUMMER ☂️ 
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Cut this wonderful fabric stack yesterday 🫶🏻 All these beautiful Morris florals together in our heavyweight fabrics 🪡🧵
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#williammorris #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabrics #fabricdestashuk #fabricstack
Our biggest summer sale alert! ‼️ Fancy 20% off our entire website?✨ Including our timeless Morris Strawberry Thief licensed design and everything else in our collection, just use code; floralsummer at checkout, hurry, it ends on the 7th July 🫶🏻
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One of our favourite Morris quotes 🫶🏻
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Enjoying peony season with some fresh blooms 🫶🏻
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Breakfast featuring Strawberry Thief taking pictures whilst waiting for the toast to pop! 🍓
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Can’t go on holidays without our Strawberry Thief windbreak to huddle behind! ⛱️ We upcycled this using the posts from our old one, if you’ve got one hanging about the garden shed, the how-to is on our blog so you can craft your own using our William Morris fabrics that we sell by the half metre 🫶🏻
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Bertie’s been loving Bridgerton and thought he’d pose with the wisteria wearing his Daisy cravat 😉
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When the audio accurately sums up how you feel about a design 🫶🏻 Beautiful Sweet Briar was first designed in 1912, we love the sweet little pink flowers in the climbing rose stems 🌹 This licensed Morris design is now back in stock, let us know if you’d like a sample! ✨
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Our William Morris Willow Bough green placemats are now back in stock! ✨ They’re a beautiful addition to the table for every meal time 🫶🏻
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🌷 William Morris month day 30 🌷 As we come near the end of Morris month, we’re celebrating with a fabric stack, full of beautiful licensed designs, which is your fave? 🌿 “Remember that a pattern is either right or wrong. It cannot be forgiven for blundering, as a picture may be which has otherwise great qualities in it. It is with a pattern as with a fortress, it is no stronger than its weakest point.”- William Morris 🤍 
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