William Morris, Bird, 1878

This pattern was registered in 1878; Morris designed it for the walls of the drawing room of his family home, Kelmscott House, in the Hammersmith area of London, which they occupied from 1878 until his death in 1896. It continued to be made after Morris & Company established textile production at Merton Abbey in 1881, and it was produced in three colorways. Morris himself referred to this type of fabric as “woven wool tapestry,” though it is not technically a tapestry weave but a doublecloth. The effect of this heavy wool fabric when used as a wall covering, as it was at Kelmscott House, is a fine example of Morris’ interpretation of the decorative arts of that era.