Arts & Crafts Movement

So if you know your history, you’re fully aware of how the Industrial Revolution changed the world. It changed how we lived, where we lived and what we worked with.  With the new machines and the industrial way of making clothes/products/furnitures, the society shifted focus from organic lives to manufactured ones. One of the strongest opponents of this change of life was William Morris (1834 – 1896), aka, one of the front figures of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

Arts & Crafts Movement William Morris

Arts & Crafts Movement

The Arts & Crafts movement started around 1880 in England and was both a societal movement as well as a form of art. The basic principles of Arts & Crafts centered around nature, handcraft and vegetative forms. One of the ideas was that society should be based on beauty, great quality and life should be influenced by nature. Our lives should be decorative to put it simply. Arts & Crafts ranged from plants, to flowers, colors and life on earth. So the tiny apartments in the cities with furnitures and clothes from fabrics were counterparts to the life the Arts & Crafts movement valued. The movement also underlined the idea of slow-making production and letting things take time. 

William Morris & The Movements

As stated, Morris was one of the key figures. He was an artist, designer and author. During his lifetime he designed countless of patterns that were influenced by nature. Morris patterns became a leading symbol for Arts & Crafts and embodied the spirit of nature the movement praised. His patterns were detailed and rich in vegetative life, letting the natural movement of nature contrast the geometric lines of the industry. The patterns remains a symbol for the movement as they underline nature’s impact on life (see below). They also emphasis on the beauty of life in general, with a great respect for nature’s depth of details. 

Value of his patterns

Morris’ patterns are often quite dark, full of life and highly rich in details. The colors stretches from red to blue and green, but are all rather toned down in their intensity. The main motifs are leaves, animals and flowers. Often with a repeating of the patterns, or the painted figures. Morris’ creations are still popular to this date and can be purchased at Liberty’s in London. His patterns are also used for bags, clothes and accessories.

Arts & Crafts Movement Today

As society today is on the pathway of the industrial revolution, the ideas of the Arts & Crafts movement remains refreshing in a world full of technology. The majority of the clothes we wear are produced in factories, often by workers whose work conditions are questionable. So the movement and the ideas of William Morris still possess a value, hundreds of years later. Why do we choose the fast paced fashion over locally produced clothes? Why is it easier to support mass production than individually crafted pieces?


18 thoughts on “Arts & Crafts Movement

  1. These are beautiful pieces of art! The prints are lovely and I can appreciate them. This is such a great article and I absolutely love the questions you posed at the end. It definitely seems easier to choose the fast paced fashion over locally produced clothes and even I’m not sure what that answer is. Maybe we like the next big trend and we all want to be apart of it? I think supporting individually crafted pieces is something we should all try to do more of as well. Really great article. Truly enjoyed it! xx

    Ann-Marie |

  2. I adore hand crafted pieces, which often support age old techniques. Indian handiwork is one of the types of work I love to support by purchasing a lot of traditional clothing whenever I am there. I had never heard of the Arts & Crafts movement. I wonder what Morris would think of the U.S. crafts store Michaels haha.

    xx Yasmin

  3. You have a good point and although having a one of a kind piece is always better, I just cannot afford it lol. Perhaps someday!

  4. Such a great question to end the post with. My mom lives in Brooklyn, where there are SO MANY locally sourced fashion, beauty, and skincare brands, all of whom are very skilled and produce such beautiful pieces and products. Having explored and supported some of these little shops the thing I’ve noticed is the hefty price tag and I think this may be what could be deterring people. Since they don’t have nearly as many consumers as the fast fashion brands do, their prices are so high. I’ve even noticed this with organic food and brands sold at Whole Foods, too. I also think it’s the marketing. The fact that we see collaborations with high end designers for stores such as H&M and Target, creates a “need” to shop. It would be awesome to see celebrities or big name influencers support their local shops and brands, bringing more attention, which would in some way help with their marketing?! I don’t know, I’m brainstorming here, haha. This is a great article, as always, my friend, you’ve got my wheels spinning. Thanks so much for sharing and posing such a great question. I hope you’re having a wonderful day so far!



  5. I love the idea of individually crafted pieces – it makes everything feel so one of a kind. Obviously, I see where mass production stems from in a monetary fashion, but I do love that individualized attention.


  6. I remember learning a little bit about the industrial revolution and the impact it had on the culture in Art History. 🙂 I don’t remember a lot anymore, though, so this post was a fantastic little refresher! 🙂 Some absolutely gorgeous patterns and prints here, I actually really like patterns like this as they don’t seem to be as commonly used these days! Thanks for sharing yet another awesome, informative post. 🙂 <3 xoxo


  7. The prints are so beautiful! I know people remember the industrial revolution as the dark years but I find the era quite interesting because of the art, the fashion and just the overall lifestyle of the people. Thanks for sharing this info! 🙂

    The Pink Lemonade Girl

  8. Everything has to be produced fast and it really is sad. I think we miss out on a lot of amazing pieces because they are quality and take time, or we can’t afford them! This is such a great and informative post!

    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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