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The Prince of Wales visits Wool House

25th March 2013

The Prince of Wales visits a nursery at Wool House

The Prince of Wales visits a nursery at Wool House

The Prince of Wales has heralded the UK's "remarkable" British woollen industry as he visited the world's largest showcase of the fibre in London.

His Royal Highness was visiting an exhibition in central London which has been created by designers from all over the world in his capacity as patron of the Campaign for Wool - an international initiative he launched in 2008 to help boost the wool trade when it was experiencing a drop in demand and falling prices.

The exhibition, which has been on display in the West Wing of Somerset House since 13th March, has seen seven individual rooms created mainly out of wool.

The Prince appeared to be particularly taken with a room designed to look like a country sitting room, full of textured woollen items in earthy, natural colours.

He sat down in one of two low armchairs that had been covered in Arran jumpers, exclaiming: "What a good idea!"

He also showed a lot of interest in some embroidered cushion covers in a bedroom, asking his aide to make a note of their details.

"It was worth coming just for the cushions," he laughed.

The Prince was also shown a nursery, complete with a cot with a wool mattress, crocheted baskets, woollen blankets and knitted toys.

The Prince of Wales touches a bear made of wool at Wool House

The Prince of Wales touches a bear made of wool at Wool House

The exhibition also features rooms dedicated to fashion displays created out of wool.

The Prince laughed in disbelief as he was shown tweed suits with reflective lines to make them visible in the dark.

His Royal Highness also viewed a tapestry that he had seen being made on the other side of the world, when he and The Duchess of Cornwall visited Australia for their Diamond Jubilee tour last year.

The piece was designed as part of a collaboration between The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, of which The Prince is Founder and Patron, and the Australian Tapestry Workshop.

"Is that the one I put a stitch in?" he asked before adding: "Very badly."

After his tour of Wool House, The Prince attended a drinks reception, where he addressed those behind the exhibition along with representatives from the Campaign for Wool.

He said: "One of things that has given me particular encouragement is that people at last have been able to discover, particularly through this sort of demonstration, what wool can do and how versatile a material it is, which people have forgotten I think.

"The other quite exciting thing, I think, on this occasion, is to notice that it's one of the first occasions that we've managed to get the Australians, the New Zealanders and the South Africans and the British all together, working and singing from the same woollen hymn sheet and that is an enormous achievement, because it's only through this kind of integrated and sensible cooperation we have a real chance or reminding people of all these different connections.

"I hope that this exhibition will be show in other countries, first of all to remind us about wool, but also what remarkable designers, and makers and knitters and weavers and tailors and goodness knows who else we have in this country. Many of them, of course, hidden away in interesting rural corners of this country."

The exhibition's curator Arabella McNie, who had guided The Prince around the displays, said she thought he had "loved" it.

She added: "I think he was really impressed, particularly with the interior rooms as he won't have seen anything like that before.

"A lot of effort has gone into the exhibition, a lot of people have donated a lot of products so to have him come and be really interested in it is fantastic."