Snakeshead thumbnail 1
Snakeshead thumbnail 2
+2
images
Not currently on display at the V&A

Snakeshead

Furnishing Fabric
1876 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This floral block printed cotton fabric was designed by William Morris in 1876 and printed for Morris & Co. by Thomas Wardle. Morris was the artist and designer who was the greatest single influence on the Arts and Crafts movement and the most successful textile designer and manufacturer of his day. Together with Thomas Wardle, Morris revived the craft of block printing and vegetable dyeing and in his own home he set up looms for tapestry weaving and the hand knotting of carpets. He was highly influenced by historical patterns and was one of the most knowledgeable textile historians of the late 19th century.

Morris & Co. was founded by William Morris in 1875, producing textiles commercially for sale in two London shops. Thomas Wardle took over his father's silk dyeing business, and like Morris, became interested in Eastern patterns. He bought work from many leading designers and manufactured textiles for Morris & Co.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Block-printed cotton
Brief Description
Block printed cotton furnishing fabric designed by William Morris and manufactured by Thomas Wardle & Co., England, 1876
Physical Description
Furnishing fabric
Dimensions
  • Length: 96cm
  • Width: 83cm
Credit line
Given by the manufacturer
Object history
Morris' Snakeshead design may have been at least partially inspired by Indian palampores, painted and dyed ‘chintz’ hangings, such as IS.2-1881.

Summary
This floral block printed cotton fabric was designed by William Morris in 1876 and printed for Morris & Co. by Thomas Wardle. Morris was the artist and designer who was the greatest single influence on the Arts and Crafts movement and the most successful textile designer and manufacturer of his day. Together with Thomas Wardle, Morris revived the craft of block printing and vegetable dyeing and in his own home he set up looms for tapestry weaving and the hand knotting of carpets. He was highly influenced by historical patterns and was one of the most knowledgeable textile historians of the late 19th century.



Morris & Co. was founded by William Morris in 1875, producing textiles commercially for sale in two London shops. Thomas Wardle took over his father's silk dyeing business, and like Morris, became interested in Eastern patterns. He bought work from many leading designers and manufactured textiles for Morris & Co.
Bibliographic References
  • Parry, Linda. British Textiles from 1850 to 1900 London : Victoria and Albert Museum 1993. Plate 86.
  • Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, 1996. 384 p., ill. ISBN 0856674419
Collection
Accession Number
T.37-1919

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdDecember 17, 2003
Record URL