Brer Rabbit is taken from a 17th century Italian silk and Morris first registered the design in 1882. Named after the Uncle Remus childrens books popular at the time this fabric design was originally indigo discharge printed. Today the Morris studio have tried to replicate the mottled appearance of this earlier method using modern printing processes.
As a political theorist, publisher, environmental campaigner, poet, as well as an outstanding designer, William Morris (1834–1896) was one of the single most influential figures of the nineteenth century. Under his direction Morris & Co. grew to the status of Arts & Crafts icon that it remains to this day.
Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. (1861–1875) was a furnishings and decorative arts manufacturer and retailer founded by the artist and designer William Morris with friends from the Pre-Raphaelites. With its successor Morris & Co. (1875–1940) the firm's medieval-inspired aesthetic and respect for hand-craftsmanship and traditional textile arts had a profound influence on the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century.
Although its most influential period was during the flourishing of the Arts and Crafts Movement in the 1880s and 1890s, Morris & Co. remained in operation in a limited fashion from World War I until its closure in 1940. The firm's designs are still sold today under licences given to Sanderson & Sons.