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Furnishing fabric - Wey


  • Object:

    Furnishing fabric

  • Place of origin:

    Merton Abbey (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1883 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Indigo-discharged, block-printed cotton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

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.

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.

Place of Origin

Merton Abbey (made)


ca. 1883 (made)


Morris, William, born 1834 - died 1896 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Indigo-discharged, block-printed cotton


Height: 85 cm framed, Width: 110.5 cm framed, Depth: 4.5 cm framed

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail


Cotton; Velveteen


Block printing

Subjects depicted




Production Type

Mass produced


Textiles and Fashion Collection

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