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William Morris Eyebright

26th April 2020

We’ve always been drawn to William Morris Eyebright design since it’s so versatile and timeless. One thing we love about Morris designs (additional to the actual designs themselves of course) is the stories behind them. The history that comes with his designs and the stories behind them are so unique. We thought we’d talk about Eyebright today.

We could never pick a favourite design, that’d be too hard.

Eyebright

Designed in 1883 by William Morris, Eyebright was never actually destined to be a principle design. It was initially designed to be a lining fabric; what a waste if we never got to see it because it was used as a lining fabric! Though what a fabulous lining that would have been…

The diagonal pattern is said to have been inspired by a 15th century Italian cut velvet, acquired by the South Kensington Museum.

Indigo discharge technique

Eyebright was printed using the indigo dye method, perfected by Morris. It’s a way of printing that’s super arduous, taking three days to prepare. Very much generalising the process, the cloth was dyed in an indigo vat so that the colour was uniform, then bleached with a bleaching reagent to reduce the base colour to the desired shade. When the colour was reduced as much as desired, mordants were applied to the bleached parts that had been printed and the cloth submerged in a madder vat to give the proper tint. The excess colour was then cleaned off, then, so the coloured wouldn’t run, the colours were set at boiling point, passing the fabric through soap. The cloth was then laid outside to dry, print side up which purified the white of the design. A labour intensive job then!

Waiter Crane is famous for telling a friend a story about Morris printing at Merton Abbey works. He called in to see his friend and, “hearing a strong cheery voice call out, ‘I’m dyeing, I’m dyeing, I’m dyeing”! Morris famously constantly walked round with hands and forearms stained blue from his work perfecting the technique.

Printed and manufactured in the United Kingdom

All our fabric is printed in the United Kingdom and all products manufactured here too. We think that’s important; it reduces footprint transporting products and it’s how Morris did it which is important for authenticity for us. It also means we have full control over quality! All our William Morris designs are licensed and printed both size and colour wise to our own specifications to best fit our products. If you’re UK based and would like a sample, please contact us on social media or email and we’ll get one out to you!

Be sure to check out all our Eyebright products and fabric!

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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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🐭 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! 🐭🤍
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🌷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! 🐰
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🌷 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! 🤍
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#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” 🌷
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🐥 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 🌷
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🌷 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! 🐣✨ 
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#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! 🌷
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🌷 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? 🌿
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📝 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? 🌷🌿
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☀️ 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!🌷
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🐰 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? 🐣
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🍓 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 ☺️
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🍓 William Morris Month Day 14 🍓 Strawberry Thief was inspired by William Morris’s watching the thrushes under the strawberry nets at the stunning @kelmscottmanor 🌿 May Morris conjured up this scene when speaking of the design, “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.” 🍓 What a lovely insight into the Morris family life! 🥰
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