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Victoria & Albert Museum - William Morris

The Strawberry Thief is one of William Morris' best-known fabric designs, so when we were commissioned to make an exclusive scarf for the V&A Museum using a piece from their vast collection as inspiration, our studio designer Cara knew what she wanted to use. The Strawberry Thief design features, and is named after the thrushes which frequently stole the strawberries from the kitchen garden of Morris's countryside home! William Morris had been trying for years to perfect the indigo discharge method of printing, an ancient technique used for many centuries mostly in Asia which produces a great depth of colour combined with crisp details. He finally succeeded in 1883 with this design; the colours in the repeated pattern of birds, strawberries and flowers really pop against the dark indigo background. Despite the fact that this design was one of the most expensive printed furnishings available from Morris & Co., it became a firm favourite with clients.   The Wallace Sewell design team studied the William Morris design composition, colour palette and patterns carefully and used these details to inform the woven motifs. The same bold, contrasting colours were used in blocks, set against the more textured woven structures. Hues were mixed in fine lines and chevrons, inspired by the more delicate aspects of the piece like the feathers of the thrushes, and the laciness of the leaves and stems.  >Shop the scarf<