This licensed William Morris 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. The printing took three arduous days to complete. First the cloth was dyed all over in an indigo vat, for a uniform blue colour to be washed all over the fabric, it was then printed with a bleaching reagent- this would then reduce the colour as much as required to achieve the desired base colour. Mordants are applied onto the bleached parts and the cloth was then completely immersed in madder vat in order to give the proper tint. The excess colour was then cleaned off and, to set the fabric so 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 face up so the white of the design can be purified- as you can tell, a laborious job!
The Brother Rabbit design, also referred to as ‘Brer Rabbit,’ alludes to the Uncle Remus Stories by J.C. Harris, of which Morris and his children Jenny and May were fond of reading at their home, Kelmscott Manor. The birds within the designs 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.
We also produce William Morris Brother Rabbit in a red colourway.