18 March 2013

This wonderful material, in all its guises, is celebrated at ‘Wool House’ until 24 March.

The curator of Campaign for Wool, Arabella McNie, invited some of the world’s finest designers to the West Wing of Somerset House to create a series of rooms that reveal the beauty and versatility of this timeless material, from flooring to high fashion. Beyond the woollen tree at the entrance of Wool House, visitors arrive at the entrance hall that features my favourite piece: Amy Somerville’s  gorgeous ‘Mammoth Chair’ that has been upholstered in Mongolian Longhaired sheep. Quite the cosiest chair I’ve ever sat in. It also includes Shauna Richardson’s Crochetdermy Brown Bear.

There are classes, such as learning how to cable stitch, or create a knitted lampshade, as well as plenty of information on the material. Rumour has it that, along with those brightly painted sheep and the woollen trees, there will be some live sheep too.

McNie had a mission: ‘I am determined to show wool as a modern fibre and visitors will see a broad spectrum from ultra-modern and hi-tech to highly luxurious and more traditional.’ And so she has…

The exhibition is free, and well worth a look, if only to grab five minutes in the Mammoth Chair.


Wool at Somerset House

Wool at Somerset House

Wool at Somerset House

Boots and Sheep Ale at Somerset House

Vivienne Westwood's 'wool' platforms at Somerset House

Military wear as fashion at Wool

 Savile Row suits at Wool, at Somerset House

Knitting at Wool, Somerset House

Weaving at Wool, Somerset House