Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interesting Textiles

I’m spending my time until my machine comes back from repair by doing a little gardening and researching textiles.  If I can’t play with fabric then I’ll drool over all of the lovely designs and dream of what I’ll be making next!

One of the early textile designers I’ve discovered is William Morris of the United Kingdom.  Not only are his designs beautiful, the history of his design enterprise, Morris & Company, is as fascinating as the man himself. 
Portrait by Frederick Hollyer in the
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
William Morris (1834 – 1896) was inspired by his love of medieval art and worked to revive craftsmanship, particularly hand crafting.  He thought such a revival would engender a love of their work in his workers and greatly improve their satisfaction of their jobs.  Morris was also an ardent socialist, scholar, translator, publisher and environmental campaigner … many of his ideas were ahead of his time.  He is now thought to be the most influential designer of the nineteenth century and Morris & Company continues to produce authentic reproductions of his fabrics and wallpapers along with new interpretations.

1883 - Indigo discharged and block printed
cotton on display at the Victoria and Albert
 Museum in London
Morris’ most famous maxim is:
“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

The United Kingdom’s Royal Mail celebrated Morris & Company’s 150th Anniversary this year by issuing stamps depicting Morris’ designs.  Here are some of them:
You can find out more about them at:

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