FAQs

Your Cart

Close
Paper Plane Your order qualifies for free standard delivery
Subtotal £0.00
Delivery £0.00
Order Total £0
Checkout Securely

Our new licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief design

28th August 2019

You might have seen our new William Morris design; Strawberry Thief on our social media, but if you haven’t or you’d like a closer look, this is the blog for you! As with all of Morris’s designs, we absolutely love the stories surrounding the designs and the inspiration too. This blog will be full of photos of Strawberry Thief in blue and red and the inspiration/ story so settle in for a long scroll!

A close up photo of the detail within the design:

 

Design details

The birds were designed by Morris’s lifelong friend and colleague, Philip Webb. Webb also designed aspects of other designs including the details within Brother Rabbit.

As well as being a stunning design, it marked a triumph for Morris as it signified his perfection of his indigo-discharge technique. He achieved this at Merton Abbey. Walter Crane tells a friend of popping into see Morris at Merton Abbey and asking for him, he recalled, “hearing a strong cheery voice call out: ‘I’m dyeing, I’m dyeing, I’m dyeing!”’ When he was experimenting with his dye technique, Henderson recalled Morris’, “hands and arms up to the elbow remained permanently blue”.

Merton Abbey was situated on the River Wandle, flowing northwards to Wandsworth. It lies in the parish of Merton in London and was where Morris moved his textile works so that they could use the water from the river. The various buildings they moved into were adapted for various aspects of his business including stained glass making, textile printing plus tapestry, fabric and carpet weaving. He didn’t want to destroy the buildings they moved into and so they were simply adapted to be fit for purpose. The water was an important part of the dye process and the river also came in useful to wash the fabrics of the dyes and tints used – many of the dye’s came from the gardens in which he grew dye plants.

Morris chose to produce his own prints due to his love of traditional print and drive to avoid the industrialisation that was occurring. He used hand blocks (which had mainly disappeared in Great Britain by 1840.) He uses mordants and discharge techniques – a mordant is a metallic compound which is used in dyeing that combines with the dye to fix the colouring matter and the discharge is the removal of the colour by chemical means.

The Indigo- dye method was a long process; it took three days to prepare and had to be extremely accurate; it was therefore the most arduous and time consuming method to print. 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 is then cleaned off and, to set the fabric so it won’t run, the colours are 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!

“I was a great deal at Merton last week… anxiously superintending the first printing of the Strawberry thief” – William Morris

We no longer use this method as it’s really lengthy, taking days to print. However, we still print and manufacture all our products in the United Kingdom and find it incredibly important that we do, to keep the heritage of the British textile industry.

Story behind the design

We’ve always loved the story behind Strawberry Thief and the insight to Morris’ personality that it shows. The inspiration came about as Morris sat and watched the birds steal his strawberries from under the fruit nets at his home, Kelmscott Manor.

The thrushes swooped in to steal the fruit – according to his daughter May, it was quite a sight to behold. “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.”

A look at the range

Remember that we do fabric by the half metre, so whatever your project is, big or small, you can purchase fabric to the nearest half metre. If you send us your photos to: [email protected] – you will receive a 20% discount code off your next order.

We hope you love our new Strawberry Thief design as much as we do. The colours and sizing took months for us to perfect and we worked hard to make sure it was utterly stunning before we launched. So all that’s left to do is to let us know which is your favourite – red or blue?

Related Articles

Post Title

Buttercups

"... Still they pressed on without speaking; a dog barked not far off and the cocks were crowing, and close by them in the meadow...

Post Title

How to make: a William Morris Dog Bed

Our new arrival Bertie is a young Labrador puppy, as a family business we knew we needed to get him settled into being a William...

Post Title

All the beautiful things…

Over the past few weeks, we've been putting together some photos our customers have sent of the ways they use our fabrics! We sell both...

Bertie’s been loving Bridgerton and thought he’d pose with the wisteria wearing his Daisy cravat 😉
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisdesign #daisy #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #fabrics #williammorristextiles #preraphaelite #preraphaelitebrotherhood #fabricstore #bridgerton
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! ✨
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #fabricstash #ukfabric #ukprinting #floralfabric #preraphaelite #floraldesign #floraldesigner
Our William Morris Willow Bough green placemats are now back in stock! ✨ They’re a beautiful addition to the table for every meal time 🫶🏻
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #placemats #tablescape #floraltable #preraphaelite #floralhome
🌷 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 🤍 
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #floralfabric #floralfabrics #fabricstack #fabricstash #fabricstore #onlinefabrics #ukfabricsonline #independantbusiness
🐭 William Morris month day 29 🐭 We’ve been loving William Morris month to celebrate Morris’s birthday month, spreading his floral magic by posting everyday - have you discovered a new favourite design of his this month? 🌿 We absolutely love these little mice and the banner by @mini_and_bob - aren’t they so lovely! 🐭🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #fabriccrafts #craftersgonnacraft #crafting #williammorrisprint #strawberrythief #willowbough #shopsmall #independantbusiness #ukbusiness
🌷William Morris Month Day 28🌷 Happy Easter weekend everyone! 🐥 We hope everyone has a lovely long bank holiday 🌿 We’re already planning some beautiful William Morris tablescapes, nothing too complex, all you need is some Morris florals, some flowers and lots of chocolate! 🐰
•
•
•
#wiliammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #fabrics #eastertable #eastertable #easterstyling #preraphaelite #preraphaelites #floraltable #preraphaelitebrotherhood #victoriandesign
🌷 William Morris Month Day 26 🌷 Absolutely loving a spring time floral on the table right now, especially when paired with an Easter craft or two! 🤍
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabrics #williammorrisfabric #morris #fabric #fabriccraft #fabrics #crafting #independantbusiness #indiebusiness #preraphaelite
🌿 William Morris Month Day 25 🌿 Florals on florals on florals; all of the William Morris florals just look so beautiful together and, as Morris said himself, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” 🌷
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabrics #williammorrisfabric #morrisdesign #quoteoftheday #florals #modernflorals #teatowels #preraphaelitebrotherhood #preraphaelites
🐥 William Morris Month Day 23 🐥 Loving the sunshine this week for springtime 🌿 We absolutely love Willow Bough on the table in the sunshine paired with spring blooms 🌷
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrismonth #williammorrisdesign #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #willowbough #easter #eastertables
🌷 William Morris Month Day 22🌷 A themed table is always our favourite, we’ve been loving setting the table lately with an Easter theme- especially when it means we can eat the eggs after! 🐣✨ 
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrismonth #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #preraphaelite #eastertables #eastereggs #eastertablescape #springflorals
🌿 William Morris Day 20 🌿 William Morris fact of the day; did you know he founded the Kelmscott Press? 🖋️ He wrote of the venture – “Here is a new craft to conquer and to perfect.” Printing began at the press in Spring 1891 🪴 He designed multiple fonts including “Golden” Roman typeface and “Troy” Gothic type along with “Chaucer” and he worked to create beautiful books in regards to their designs which took into account their type, image and decorative elements – you can see beautiful examples of what he achieved today if you do a quick search on the Kelmscott Press- it’s well worth a Google! 🌷
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #preraphaelite #preraphaelites #kelmscottpress #morris #williammorrismonth #williammorrisdesign #victorian #victorianart #victorians
🌷 William Morris Month Day 19🌷 Happy first day of spring everyone! 🪴 We celebrated in our favourite way; coffee and cake of course! 🍰 Now we love florals all year round of course, but especially love adding in even more this time of year to reflect the blooms in the garden 🌷 What’s your favourite Morris design this time of year? 🌿
•
•
•
#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #williammorrismonth #spring #spring2024 #preraphaelite #florals #floralfabric #springflorals #springflowers
📝 William Morris Month Day 18 📝 Did you know that as well as being an incredible designer, William Morris was also a brilliant writer and poet; have you read any of his writing? What’s your favourite quote? 🌷🌿
•
•
•
#williammorrismonth #williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #morris #strawberrythief #quotesaboutlife #quotestoliveby #quotes
☀️ William Morris Month Day 17 ☀️ The sunshine today has made us feel so excited for spring, it’s almost officially here! 🪴 This William Morris bunting is the dreamiest backdrop to all the spring summer days in the garden, it’s by @ellejoycreations - isn’t it fabulous!🌷
•
•
•
#spring #williammorrismonth #williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #fabric #fabricstash #smallbusinessuk #printedintheuk #etsyshop
🐰 William Morris Month Day 16 🐰 A Sunday spent Easter decorating, these cute little bunnies were a craft a few years back and they are always a firm favourite to bring out this time of year to hang on our Easter tree 🐥 Have you started decorating or eating eggs yet? 🐣
•
•
•
#williammorrismonth #williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #williammorrisprint #easter #easterdecor #eastercrafts #eastercrafting #fabriccraft #greatfabricdestashuk
🍓 William Morris Month Day 15 🍓 Absolutely can’t wait for the summer months to get our Strawberry Thief picnic basket and blanket back out- if you missed this craft we have a DIY on our website blog, along with a lot of other craft ideas and how-to blogs ☺️
•
•
•
#williammorrismonth #williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #picnicbasket #craftideas #craftidea #fabriccraft #fabricstore #fabricshoppingonline #fabricstash