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5 things you didn’t know about William Morris

11th March 2019

There’s so much to know about William Morris; in his sixty two years, he managed to achieve so much and leave such a legacy. It’s impossible to summarise it all in one blog; artist, designer, poet, writer, explorer, the list goes on. But did you know these things about Morris…

1. His nickname was Topsy. This was because of his hair that they thought was reminiscent of a characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

2. Morris is well known for being a socialist. He famously said, “…I do not want art for a few; any more than education for a few; or freedom for a few… ” and by the end of there 1870s, Morris was very involved in political activism. In 1883, he joined H.M. Hyndman’s Socialist League. He didn’t want to unify all the socialist groups within England as Hyndman wanted to. He therefore helped to form the new Socialist League – even becoming the editor of its journal. In 1885, he was actually arrested for disorderly conduct during a socialist demonstration (he was later discharged.)

3. If you take a look through Morris’ designs, you’ll note that his main influence for designs was nature. Taking elements of nature from animals in Strawberry Thief and Brother Rabbit to flowers in Lily and plants and trees like in Willow Bough. He loved taking walks in the countryside by his home and it was a huge point of inspiration for him

4. Along with all his other achievements, did you know William Morris set up his own printing press? The Kelmscott Press was set up as another of Morris’s attempts to keep a traditional art form going in the face of industrialisation. The art of the books you can see that he printed were stunning; he really wanted everything from the font to the details to reflect the art of the words. In 1891, Morris rented a cottage near Kelmscott House where he would set up three printing presses. He designed and manufactured editions of over 50 books – printing over 18,000 volumes from those three presses. The authors of these included his own work and those of Keats, Shelley, Tennyson, Coleridge, Swinburne and Rossetti. These were works he loved and was inspired by.

5. In 1860, Morris and his wife Jane moved into their home Red House. The architect on the project was friend Philip Webb who worked with Morris on his dream home. They spent the following two years decorating the home to their taste, in doing so they enlisted help from their friends on the artistic scene. The result was a stunning showcase of design; murals on the walls, hand embroidered fabrics and details that would have rivalled even the most decadent of homes. The ‘joy in collective labour’ that occurred during this time, coupled with the fact Morris was unhappy that there was nothing on the market that he could buy that he felt was beautiful enough to be in his home was the prompt for The Firm. In 1861, Morris and his artistic friends decided to create their own interiors business. All had varied skills and so they wanted to make it a joy in their skills and passions coming together to create stunning interior furnishings for peoples homes. Of course – it would also be rebelling against industrialisation at the time by using skilled craftsmen. ‘The Firm’ as it was lovingly referred to was actually called Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. and when it was disbanded, became Morris & Co. – Morris’s legacy.

It was so hard for us to pair this down to only five facts! There was so much for us to choose from to talk about within this blog. But, if you’re interested in learning more about Morris, please make sure you read all our other blogs!

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A William Morris fabric stack 😍 What would you make from our licensed William Morris floral fabrics? 🪡🧵
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We hope you’re having a lovely Easter 🐣 Choccy treats galore with some beautiful Morris florals, what more could we want! 🌷🤍
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#williammorris #williammorrisfabrics #williammorrisfabric #floraldesign #tablescapestyling #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #preraphaelite #floral
Morris fan? There’s 15% off our entire collection of licensed William Morris fabrics and products, this Easter weekend only! 🐣 Use code: EASTER15 at checkout, on our website only, until Monday at midnight 🌙 Enjoy this Easter treat from us! 🤍
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#williammorris #williammorrisfabric #williammorrisdesign #onlinefabric #onlinefabrics #preraphaelite #upholsteryfabric #curtainfabric #floraldesign
We love all the beautiful spring florals this time of year 🌷 We’ve also not been able to resist starting early on the Easter treats! 🐣
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Introducing Daisy, our latest William Morris licensed design 🌿 Daisy was the second wallpaper William Morris designed, but the first to be produced in 1864, so it remains a special design to every Morris fan ✨ It must have been a favourite of Morris himself, as embroideries of Daisy were used to decorate at the stunning Red House, Morris's home in Bexleyheath. 
We hope you love Daisy as much as we do! Available now on our website, in a limited range of products, fabric is coming soon! ☺️
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A fabric stack of William Morris floral dreams 🤍
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Spring floral ready with our William Morris Willow Bough table setting 🌿 Do your weekend plans also revolve around tea/coffee and baked goods? 🤍
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Monday done right, laying the table with our beautiful licensed William Morris Willow Bough green tablecloth, completed with a @bettys treat 🥰 
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A little fabric stack of our William Morris florals, waiting to be crafted into a project 🪡 Can you name them all from the little peak? 🌿 
All our fabrics are printed in the UK and are licensed William Morris designs, printed both size and colour wise to our own specification ✨ If you’d like a sample, just send us a message 📬
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Showcasing our licensed William Morris Lily fabric, it’s so light and bright it’s making us excited for Spring! 🌿
Designed by William Morris in 1874, it incorporates the willow background with lilies and wild flowers ✨ The design must have been well loved by Morris himself- it was the wallpaper he used to decorate his bedroom at Kelmscott Manor, his home in Lechlade, Gloucestershire 🌿
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Thrilled with our reupholstered chair, brought back to life with our heavyweight William Morris Willow Bough Green 🌿 It’s amazing what a pop of colour and a floral will do to a room 🤍 If you fancy learning how we did this upcycle, we’ll write a blog on it ☺️ 
& if you’re in the UK and would like a sample of any of our fabrics, please let us know 📮
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#williammorris #morris #williammorrisfabric #morrisfabric #williammorrisfabrics #willowbough #reupholstery #reupholstered #upholsteryfabric #upcycledfurniture
The different weights of fabric 🧵 We have four weights of fabrics; cotton, heavyweight, drill and pvc, all work well for different projects. For a free sample, please feel free to message us and we’ll get them sent out to you 📮
✨ For our 100% cotton, it’s great for quilting, dress making and more, our lightest weight of cotton
✨ Our heavyweight cotton is perfect for curtains and light upholstery, a heavier fabric than our 100% cotton 
✨ Our drill cotton fabric is our heaviest weave fabric, suitable for light upholstery 
✨ Our PVC is our pvc/oilcloth coated cotton fabric, brilliant as a table covering, it’s sold by the half metre and as it won’t fray, is great to put straight on the table 🌿

The cotton, heavyweight and drill cotton are all 152cm wide and the pvc fabric is 140cm wide. All are sold by the half metre 📏
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In January when the Christmas sparkles come down, we’ve got to bring out even more Morris florals to make sure the house still feels sparkly and beautiful ✨ if you’re also looking to revamp any of the home and looking for a licensed William Morris design for a pop of colour, get in touch for any samples so you can choose which works in your home 🤍
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#williammorris #morris #strawberrythief #preraphaelite #onlinefabric #onlinefabricstore #fabrics #williammorrisfabric
Our blue Strawberry Thief oven gloves are back in stock, just in time for Christmas! 🎄 will you be gifting some Morris floral magic this year? Or hope to be receiving some! 🎁 Our matching sets of kitchenware and tableware are very popular this time of year, remember if you’re sending direct to your loved one, you can select for the items to be gift wrapped at checkout on our website! 🌟
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Our Black Friday sale is now live! 🥂 On our website only, use code, BLACKFRIDAY10 all weekend for 10% off your order ☺️ Ends Sunday at midnight 🌙
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Dreaming of the sunshine 💭 This is our smallest size of tote bag, in our licensed William Morris Strawberry Thief, on this bike ride we were pretty happy that it was filled to the brim with snacks to eat on the beach ☀️ On Wintery nights we love to look back on the sunshine! ☁️
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We're so thrilled our new website is now live! 🌿Just in time for Christmas shopping, it's much easier to use, and still full of beautiful licensed William Morris designs on every page! We hope you like the change, especially where lots of you are featured on the new 'inspiration' page! 🌟 We absolutely love that it showcases everyones tablescapes and craft projects, just click on them to see the design and who posted the photo so you can see more of their content ☺️ If you're happy for us to use your photos, just send us a message, we'd love it to be a page we can keep adding to throughout the seasons 🪴
Special thank you to @adigi_agency for creating our website, we love it! 🤍
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