In 1883 William Morris embarked upon his most ambition project in textile design; a series of gently flowing patterns inspired by tributaries of the Thames. The ‘Evenlode’ pattern is part of this series that also included ‘Cray’, ‘Kennet’, ‘Wey’, ‘Wandle’, ‘Windrush’ and ‘Medway’. These designs are much more complex that his earlier printed textiles and often include different layers of large and small flowers and stems.

Morris had a great affection for the river Thames and enjoyed many boat trips on its numerous tributaries. He drew upon these frequently in his poetry such as in the introductory verses of the 'June' stories in ‘The Earthly Paradise’: "By this sweet stream that knows not of the sea, That guesses not the city’s misery, This little stream whose hamlets scarce have names, This far-off, lonely mother of the Thames?"


  • Title: 'Evenlode' printed cotton
  • Creator: William Morris, Morris & Co.
  • Date Created: designed 1883
  • Location Created: Merton Abbey, Surrey, England
  • Type: textile
  • Rights: © William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest
  • Physical Dimensions: 96.5 x 71.1
  • Object Number: F7
  • Medium: indigo discharge and block-printed
  • Credit line: Mackmurdo bequest, 1942

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