Renovation Time

Chrysanthemum, by William Morris…

While in London, I visited the Victoria & Albert Museum. After cruising through the various galleries, I went into the gift shop where I immediately spotted a bag made of fabric in the Chrysanthemum, by William Morris pattern in the blue-gray, brown, mauve & cream color. I love the fabric. I adore the bag. I have been using it almost every day since I bought it, and it is fabulous. So today I thought it would be cool to see if I could buy fabric like that for decorating use.

The fabric is *cough* $116 *cough* a yard. So for $116, I could have two throw pillows. (No, the bag did not cost that much. It was 12 pounds, or just short of $24.)

Wow. $116. A yard. For fabric. That is just crazy talk. Although it really is a beautiful pattern. Not that beautiful though!

Update: Ok, this website has it for under $100 a meter for the 100% cotton. The woven fabric is closer to $140. Yowza.

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

9 replies on “Chrysanthemum, by William Morris…”

Howdy, we met at the KnitFlix night in Austin recently. I was knitting the Longhorn Hoodie and drooling over your luscious shawls! As a costume technician I have to say that I’ve seen wool fabric for nearly twice that at your own High Fashion fabrics in Houston. But for cotton? Hmmm. I’ll be in Houston around Aug. 4th for a couple of days of museum visits with a friend and I’ve informed her we’ll have to visit at least one yarn shop. Which ones are best in your opinion? I’ll see you in Austin for the Harlot I presume? I’d love to join the bloggers afterward. Tschuss!

I guess it depends on how the fabric is produced–is it produced in a way in which William Morris would approve (i.e., by hand) or by machine? If the former, then the price makes complete sense–how much would you say a pair of handknit socks is worth? If the latter, then it’s insane. They either have a lot of overhead or the licensing of the pattern must be very expensive (that is, if it’s something that can be licensed; that seems very un-William Morris-esque to me).

You don’t want me to get into my rant about the devaluation of handcrafts–we’re seeing a bit of a resurgence in appreciation (Etsy, Whip-up), but there’s also a lot of people undercutting themselves and their work just to make a quick buck. Or pricing low-quality items very high, and then people thinking that all high-priced handmade items are of low quality (most art yarn spinners, I’m looking at you).


when i worked in the costuming trade many years ago in NYC, we sometimes got to work with fabrics in excesss of $200/yd (that was a LOT in 1990!). i was a pleasure, since it was on someone else’s dime, but still, there was always that moment before i began cutting into it, that gave me pause . . .

The company that I was looking at initially is not *the* company that I think of when I think of the William Morris wallpapers & fabrics. That is Sanderson. I didn’t see anything about the process of how they print the cotton. I would hope it would be in a method that Morris himself would have approved of, but I fear for some reason that it isn’t. I’m sure they pay a license fee also, which Natalie has already pointed out seems like something that Morris himself would have taken issue with. Oh, the irony.

I also agree about the devaluation of handcrafted items. I’ve said the same thing for years, ever since I was making handmade and handcrafted soaps. It drove me nuts when people said, “I can sell this for $2!” when they really should have considered overhead, etc. and calculated the real cost. *sigh*

And don’t get me started on the so-called “art” yarn. I think it is hideous and so overpriced it is crazy!

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