Strawberry Thief printed cotton designed by William Morris, 1883
Strawberry Thief, one of Morris’s best-known designs, is an eight-colour indigo discharge printed cotton, leaving a white ground, a technique which Morris began to explore and perfected after moving the Morris & Co. premises from Queen Square to Merton Abbey in 1881. Here the convenient premises and soft water gave Morris a fresh impetus and he trained local boys as his staff in a neat and orderly dye-house with the smell of grass and flowers from the surrounding gardens. Strawberry Thief was a design inspired when Morris watched the thrushes in his garden eating strawberries. Printed cotton with Strawberry Thief pattern.