William Morris’ Textile Designs

Detail of a seaweed inspired textile design by William Morris

Embracing Traditional Craftsmanship:

William Morris (1834-1896) was a man of many talents and interests, but he is chiefly remembered for his beautiful designs. During his lifetime he produced designs for wallpaper, textiles, embroideries and stained glass windows (to name a few). He is considered the founder of the “Arts and Crafts Movement” in Victorian England, a movement which responded to the mass industrialization of that era with the embrace of traditional craftsmanship.

“He emphasized the idea that the design and production of an item should not be divorced from one another, and that where possible those creating items should be designer-craftsmen, thereby both designing and manufacturing their goods. In the field of textile design, Morris revived a number of dead techniques, and insisted on the use of good quality raw materials, almost all natural dyes, and hand processing. He also observed the natural world first hand to gain a basis for his designs, and insisted on learning the techniques of production prior to producing a design.” (Wikipedia)

A Medieval Fantasy

Like the Pre-Raphaelite artists, many of whom were his personal friends, Morris was inspired by the chivalry and romanticism of the Middle Ages. His designs are always flowing and beautiful. They remind one of the loveliest artifacts from the medieval period – ecclesiastical embroidery, illuminated manuscripts, and fairy tale gardens.


Below is my pinterest board for William Morris. If you hover and scroll, you’ll find many images of his beautiful work.


“William Morris: Décor & Design”
A book by Elizabeth Wilhide


William Morris’ Textile Designs
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