Wey thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Wey

Furnishing Fabric
ca. 1883 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

William 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. 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.

Of the 19 patterns registered by Morris & Co. between May 1882 and September 1885, 17 were designed to be printed by indigo discharge. After washing, the undyed cotton was submerged into the indigo dye vat for the required time. On lifting it out the dye on the cloth, which appeared dark green, quickly oxidized with the air, producing the characteristic blue colour. A bleaching agent was then block-printed onto the areas of cloth not intended to be blue, the cloth was washed and the blue cleared from the bleached areas producing a print of dark blue, pale blue (if the pattern dictated it) and white.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Indigo-discharged, block-printed cotton
Physical Description
Wey block printed cotton velveteen furnishing fabric. Large white,yellow, pale blue and green flowers and large stem pattern in diagonal lines, on a deep blue background. Repeat 23.5 x 30.5 cm.
Dimensions
  • Framed height: 85cm
  • Framed width: 110.5cm
  • Framed depth: 4.5cm
Production typeMass produced
Production
Reason For Production: Retail
Subject depicted
Summary
William 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. 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.



Of the 19 patterns registered by Morris & Co. between May 1882 and September 1885, 17 were designed to be printed by indigo discharge. After washing, the undyed cotton was submerged into the indigo dye vat for the required time. On lifting it out the dye on the cloth, which appeared dark green, quickly oxidized with the air, producing the characteristic blue colour. A bleaching agent was then block-printed onto the areas of cloth not intended to be blue, the cloth was washed and the blue cleared from the bleached areas producing a print of dark blue, pale blue (if the pattern dictated it) and white.
Collection
Accession Number
T.49-1912

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record createdFebruary 9, 2004
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