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

Kennet

Furnishing Fabric
1883 (designed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This woven silk furnishing fabric entitled 'Kennet' was designed by William Morris and registered on October 18th, 1883. It was possibly woven for Morris & Co. by the Macclesfield, England textile firm J. O. Nicholson. The meandering stems, acanthus leaves and flower heads on a ground of smaller scale leaves and vines is typical of Morris's designs. These were usually in muted or natural colours due to the use of vegetable rather than synthetic dyes. Reacting against the naturalistic, hothouse blooms which often decorated mid-Victorian chintzes, Morris based his patterns on a simplified, stylised version of British garden flowers, a trend continued by many Arts and Crafts designers who followed him.

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.


Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleKennet (manufacturer's title)
Materials and techniques
Jacquard-woven silk and linen
Brief description
Kennet furnishing textile, hand-loom jacquard-woven silk, designed by William Morris as a printed cotton 1883, manufactured by Merton Abbey or by an outside contractor, England.
Physical description
Brightly coloured hand-loom jacquard-woven silk in red.
Dimensions
  • Height: 69.8cm
  • Width: 70.4cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Morris & Co.
Summary
This woven silk furnishing fabric entitled 'Kennet' was designed by William Morris and registered on October 18th, 1883. It was possibly woven for Morris & Co. by the Macclesfield, England textile firm J. O. Nicholson. The meandering stems, acanthus leaves and flower heads on a ground of smaller scale leaves and vines is typical of Morris's designs. These were usually in muted or natural colours due to the use of vegetable rather than synthetic dyes. Reacting against the naturalistic, hothouse blooms which often decorated mid-Victorian chintzes, Morris based his patterns on a simplified, stylised version of British garden flowers, a trend continued by many Arts and Crafts designers who followed him.

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.
Bibliographic references
  • 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 91.
Collection
Accession number
T.69-1919

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Record createdJanuary 13, 2004
Record URL
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