Victorian Art & Design
Morris Wallpapers

In 1862 Morris started to design wallpapers. He tried to print them from zinc plates but this did not work. So, in 1864, he asked a well known wallpaper company, Jeffery & Co., to print them for him. They printed them by hand using wood blocks. This made them more expensive than papers printed on metal rollers. A new block was needed for each colour and Morris often used many colours, His Saint James paper, which he designed for Saint James's Palace, needed 70 blocks. His Acanthus paper needed 30 blocks.

His first two wallpapers were called Trellis and Daisy. Trellis has a rose trellis with birds and insects. Daisy has clumps of flowers rather like his Daisy embroidery for Red House. The next paper was Fruit, or Pomegranate. This has four fruit branches. Other popular designs were Willow and Willow Boughs. This is Willow. It was designed in 1874.

Morris agreed with the Victorian design reformers, like Owen Jones, that designs for flat objects, like wallpapers and carpets should not show objects with 3D effects. He refused however, to limit himself to the stiff geometrical plants which they used. Morris's designs are full of flowing lines of foliage as in his Pimpernel  wallpaper.

Printed Textiles.