Famous British Textile Designers

Instructor: Stephanie Przybylek

Stephanie has taught studio art and art history classes to audiences of all ages. She holds a master's degree in Art History.

Do you like fabrics with pastel colors or bold prints? Who creates the designs found on the fabrics we wear and use in our homes? In this lesson, learn about some famous British textile designers.

What is Textile Design?

Have you ever purchased a shirt or tie because of the colorful or whimsical design on it? If so, you might have been responding to effective textile design.

Textile design is the process of creating how textiles look and feel. It involves deciding how certain textiles are made, for example, whether they are knitted or woven, and what designs or patterns adorn their surfaces. Great Britain has a rich history of textile manufacturing and design, and many designers from this small country have become very famous for their creations.

Let's learn more about a few of them

Famous British Textile Designers

One of the most famous British textile designers was William Morris (1834 -1896), known for his patterns of flowers, vines, and other nature-inspired elements. Morris was trained as an architect, and he was important in the Arts and Crafts Movement which aimed to recapture a spirit of craftsmanship and good design in an age of industrialization. Morris hand-printed some of his fabrics and used rich nature-based colors like greens, browns, ochres, and blues. He was very influential and inspired many later designers. Many of his patterns are still available today.

Textile design by William Morris, ca. 1876
William Morris textile design

Charles Voysey (1857 - 1941) was an architect and designer who sold his first textile pattern in 1883. His work was influenced by the flattened, linear style of Japanese art, and he used nature motifs with stylized and outlined forms. Voysey liked bold color contrasts but was also famous for patterns that used pastel colors. Influenced by William Morris, Voysey created designs with nature and foliate or leaf elements. By the end of the 19th century, his designs were popular and widely published.

Textile design by Charles Voysey, late 19th century
Textile design by Charles Voysey

Silver Studio was a design studio founded by Arthur Silver in the 1880s. The studio made patterns for textiles and wallpaper, many in the Art Nouveau style popular in the very early 20th century. It was very prolific, creating thousands of designs that it sold to prominent fabric manufacturers. The studio continued in operation until 1963.

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