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Sample - Lily


  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Wiltshire (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1875 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
    Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd. (manufacturer)
    Morris & Co. (retailer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Machine-woven woollen pile on jute

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This machine woven Wilton carpeting was designed by William Morris in 1875 and woven for Morris & Co. by the Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd. The pattern is based on Morris' favourite motifs of stylised garden flowers and the wool is dyed in natural colours.

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. He 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. The Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd. was a leading 19th century producer of pile carpets and worked under contract for various companies.

Physical description

Carpet sample of machine-woven Wilton-type carpeting with woollen pile on jute. The carpet has a soft velvety texture (woven at 50-150 tufts to the inch) and the pattern is formed on the surface of the carpet by different coloured warp thread loops, which are cut, on a strong woven foundation.

Place of Origin

Wiltshire (made)


ca. 1875 (made)


Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)
Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd. (manufacturer)
Morris & Co. (retailer)

Materials and Techniques

Machine-woven woollen pile on jute


Height: 66 cm, Width: 43.2 cm, Weight: 0.68 kg, Length: 24 cm pattern repeat, Width: 22 cm pattern repeat

Object history note

Designed by William Morris, ca. 1875, this carpet was manufactured for Morris & Co. by Yates & Co. (later Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd).

'Lily' was one twenty-four Wilton carpet designs available through Morris & Co. and this type of floor covering proved the most commercially popular of all those sold by the firm. Available in four widths, from 18 to 36 inches, they cost 10s. 6d per yard. 'Saxony-Wilton' or 'velvet Carpet' a more luxurious pile carpet was available at 12s. 6d. per yard.

Patterned borders became popular, and complete Wilton bordered carpets were sold through the shop. This sample was part of a larger carpet used in a house in Lowndes square.

Descriptive line

Carpet sample 'Lily' of machine-woven woollen pile on jute, designed by William Morris, made by Wilton Royal Carpet Factory Ltd., Wiltshire, retailed by Morris & Co., ca. 1875

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Parry, Linda, ed. William Morris. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited, 1996. 384 p., ill. ISBN 0856674419
Parry, Linda. British Textiles from 1850 to 1900 London : Victoria and Albert Museum 1993. Plate 72.


Wool; Jute




Textiles; Floor coverings; Interiors


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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