William Morris VS Liberty Prints

William Morris designs in comparison with the Liberty Print

The Liberty Print
Arthur Liberty started his career began as an apprentice draper going on to intern with many profound companies after ten years he decided to start his own business based on the knowledge he had acquired in his previous years. He named it the East India House selling only oriental products such as rugs and fabrics. Over the years the business took off and the demand for his fabrics where rapidly increasing it was then he had the epiphany of selling un-dyed fabrics and have them hand printed in the style of oriental fabrics. The 1920's is where it all began for the liberty print however,when he delved into the production of mini floral and paisley prints he constructed the idea of what we call today the well established Liberty Print.
Liberty Print Tana Lawn Cottons
William Morris's prints were mainly inspired by cultures to for example the snake head was formed through inspiration given from his Indian sourced textilers which at the time he delved into with great passion studying many rich fabrics also. Indian textilers at the time were also heavily marketed by Liberty & Co which is also a compelling relationship between the two.
The Snake head design was fairly complex, the colour palette was carefully concocted to relate to the colours and style that was particularly prominent in the Indian fabrics Morris was receiving at the time. He also found great inspiration at the Victoria and Albert Museum at the time known as the South Kensington Museum. Intrigued mainly by the usage and different ways to introduce natural coloured dyes into fabrics.
With the snake head pattern becoming more popular then the Indian influenced prints themselves the fashion industry erupted with concepts.
The snake head is also in the same family as the British lilly so as much as the inspiration came from India it was also very British by nature.
So essentially the Liberty Print and William Morris's designs have a very strong relationship both delving into cultural influences and concepts and bringing them back to good old British home-ground and putting their own spin on it. Both fabrics are still produced today hand in hand.


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