Not currently on display at the V&A


Furnishing Fabric
1875 (made)
Place of origin

Furnishing fabric of block-printed silk. With a repeating floral motif of marigolds in dull yellow on natural silk twill.

Object details
Object type
Materials and techniques
Block-printed silk
Brief description
Furnishing fabric 'Marigold' of printed silk, designed by William Morris, made by Thomas Wardle for Morris & Co., Leek, 1875
Physical description
Furnishing fabric of block-printed silk. With a repeating floral motif of marigolds in dull yellow on natural silk twill.
  • Length: 97.5cm
  • Width: 55cm
  • Length: 39in
  • Width: 22in
  • Length: 108.5cm (framed)
  • Width: 65.7cm (framed)
Object history
This is likely to have been the first of Morris's patterns to be printed by Wardle at Leek, although the first colour experiments for this design are dated 25 November 1875. One of a small group of Morris designs on printed silk exhibited by Thomas Wardle at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1878. They were acquired by the V&A soon afterwards and lay undiscovered as British work until the 1960s.

Historical significance: All of Morris' printed textiles designed between 1875 and 1878 were printed at Thomas Wardle's Hencroft Printworks in Leek, Staffordshire. From February 1878 Wardle was printing fourteen designs for Morris & Co. This collaboration lasted throughout the nineteenth century and these patterns continued to be produced at Leek despite Morris' move to Merton Abbey in 1881-2.
Historical context
Morris refers to an earlier display of silk examples when writing to Wardle on 23 November 1875. 'You are quite welcome to send the prints to the India House ... As to our using them the only drawback seems to be that they are made awkward widths for our present blocks ... By the way I think the Carnation would look well on the Tussore'. Wardle was particuarly interested in silk. He spent a number of years experimenting with sericulture and perfecting the dyeing and printing of tussah, the ground for this example. He was a founder member and President of the influential Silk Association and published books and articles on the subject.
AP 51 - 1879 (13); Registered as a wallpaper, February 1875, and as a textile on 15 April 1875.
Bibliographic references
  • William Morris. Ed. Linda Parry. Philip Wilson Publishers, London, 1996. ISBN 0 85667 441 9
  • Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, 1996. 384 p., ill. ISBN 0856674419
Accession number

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Record createdJanuary 23, 2003
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