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William Morris wallpaper restored for 190th anniversary

Posted: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

William Morris's willow bough print was hanging at Wightwick Manor and Gardens in Wolverhampton and was getting damaged by salts, according to BBC.

Morris's original blocks were still used at a Loughborough factory, so conservationists were able to use traditional hand-printing processes to repair them.

Helen Bratt-Wyton of the National Trust said she was thrilled to celebrate Morris's birthday with the completion of the project.

Morris & Co., producing produced textiles, wallpapers, and furnishings with intricate patterns, was founded in 1860.

The firm still hand-prints wallpaper from his original pearwood blocks. This allowed five rolls of bespoke willow bough wallpaper to be commissioned especially for the property.

Ms Bratt-Wyton said: “We are so fortunate that Morris & Co. can still produce their iconic prints using the original printing blocks.

"All of the specialist craftsmanship involved honours Morris's enduring legacy as a pioneer of the arts and crafts movement."

The lengthy restoration project included the removal of damaged plaster, which was replaced with breathable lime plaster which took two years to dry.

Heritage decorator Rob Odell conserved as much of the original wallpaper as possible and hung the newly printed roll alongside it to complete the renovation.

Wightwick Manor was once home to the Mander family, major employers in Wolverhampton at one time and who manufactured varnish and paints.

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