An east London football team is getting new kits inspired by William Morris

Two of northeast London’s finest exports, Walthamstow Football Club and the William Morris Gallery, are teaming up to create the football kit of dreams. You might’ve seen Morris’s famous floral designs on wallpaper, cushions and ceramics, but now for the first time they’ll be on a sports kit – and it looks fabulous.

Over 100 years since Morris died, one of his company’s designs will be printed on the Walthamstow FC home and away kits. We’re sure he would be proud to see the kits in action on the ’Stow players: after all, the pattern maker was born and grew up in Walthamstow.

The snazzy new strips feature the Yare pattern which was designed by John Henry Dearle in the late 1800s. Dearle was a textile and pattern maker who Morris trained up and he was responsible for many of the later signature floral and foliage patterned wallpapers and textiles made by Morris & Co. The pattern is made up of green leaves with flowers in shades of pale blue, red and yellow on a dark blue background. 

To create the new kits, the pattern was redrawn and then colour-matched with Walthamstow FC’s colour palette. There will be two strips, with the home kit showing the pattern in various shades of blue, while the away kit features the design’s original colours.

Some proceeds from the kit will go to funding women’s football in Walthamstow, as well as going towards semi-professional Walthamstow FC, who are in the Isthmian League Division One North. London art collective Wood Street Walls is behind the project. Here are a couple more snaps of the kit. 

William Morris-inspired kit for Walthamstow FC
Photograph: Walthamstow FC x WM Gallery x Admiral
William Morris-inspired kit for Walthamstow FC
Photograph: Walthamstow FC x WM Gallery x Admiral

The chairman of Walthamstow FC Andy Perkins said: ‘William Morris believed that people should be able to live in harmony with the world around them; today we are unveiling the result of three years’ collaboration between art, sport and manufacturing.

‘I’m sure Morris would have approved and, if he was alive today, would be happy to see his designs being worn by Walthamstow FC, which has provided sport in the borough for 155 years.’

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