The 2020 Holiday Collection brings together curated fabrics from William Morris and lush leather craftsmanship from The Superior Labor.
Notes on the Blue Strawberry Thief
“Strawberry Thief” is one of William Morris’s most popular designs for textiles. It takes as its subject the thrushes that Morris found stealing fruit in his kitchen garden of his countryside home, Kelmscott Manor, in Oxfordshire. To print the pattern Morris used the painstaking indigo-discharge method he admired above all forms of printing. He first attempted to print by this method in 1875 but it was not until 1881, when he moved into his factory at Merton Abbey, near Wimbledon, that he succeeded. In May 1883 Morris wrote to his daughter, “I was a great deal at Merton last week … anxiously superintending the first printing of the Strawberry thief, which I think we shall manage this time.” Pleased with this success, he registered the design with the Patents Office. This pattern was the first design using the technique in which red (in this case alizarin dye) and yellow (weld) were added to the basic blue and white ground. The entire process would have taken days to complete and consequently, this was one of Morris & Co.’s most expensive cottons. Customers were not put off by the high price, however, and Strawberry Thief proved to be one of Morris’ most commercially successful patterns.