Thomas Wardle <em>Lioness</em>
Thomas Wardle <em>Lioness</em>
Thomas Wardle <em>Lioness</em>
Thomas Wardle <em>Lioness</em>
Thomas Wardle <em>Lioness</em>

Thomas Wardle Lioness
Late 19th c

The design is taken from a 14th century Sicilian silk. Thomas Wardle was a friend of the director of the museum attached to the Royal Weaving School at Krefeld, north-west of Dusseldorf, Germany. Wardle hand block printed the design for Liberty's. Although the Arts and Crafts period is associated with English and French medieval textiles, they also used Italian designs.

Thomas Wardle was a leading textile manufacturer and dyer working in Leek, Staffordshire. He took over his father's dyeworks in the early 1870s, and went on to become one of the leading British textile manufacturers of the late 19th century. Wardle was an early member of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and acquired patterns from leading designers such as Morris, Day, Crane, Voysey, and Butterfield. He produced fabrics for stores including Liberty & Co., Heal & Sons and Debenham & Freebody, and between 1883 and 1888 he also traded through his own shop on New Bond Street, London*

This piece was in an exhibition at Macclesfield Museum some years ago, Leek being close to Macclesfield.


A hand block printed cotton length Lioness designed by Thomas Wardle, with a Rennaisance strapwork design of large vases, their bowls segmented in different patterns holding stylised carnations and tulips, flanked by paired mythical winged creatures alighting on the the leaves, in pale blue and cream, the lower left hand selvedge with Liberty, 208 Regent Street, London, W.  Reg TERFD?

lined with natural coloured cotton and with velcro to use as a wall hanging.

11ft 3 in x 39 in; 3.05 x 98 cm selvedge to selvedge.

Design repeat 14 in; 35 cm.


You should be able to see from the photos that there are two slight vertical fading markings, from when the length was a curtain, the light hitting the folds. On the very left hand edge and then another line 27 cm in from left hand selvedge. There were two spits 2 1/2 in; 6.5 cm and 4 in; 10 cm wide to the left hand side three quarters of the way down.


The design is listed in Wardle's pattern books p 144.

*Original fabric in brown and cream colourway is in the V & A.T.602-1999.

Ornamente der Gewebe Friedrich Fishbach, 1874 - a book of historic textiles. No 83 for same design.

A similar piece in idfferent colourway was in the Fortuny exhibition at the Whitworth Museum, Manchester in April 1998. 

Dye, Print, Stitch. Textiles by Thomas and Elizabeth Wardle. Brenda King, p 47.

Price: on request

Email Print Facebook Twitter

Email a friend