Wool producers – including their sheep - will be flocking to central London next week for what is being billed as the world’s largest showcase of their product.
The Campaign for Wool, whose Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales, is funded by the British Wool Marketing Board, the Woolmark Company, Wool Council of New Zealand and other wool organisations across the world including those in South Africa, South America, Norway and the USA.
The Wool House exhibition opened last week and runs until 24th March. Entry is free.
WOOL HOUSE will present a vision for wool as a modern, versatile, lifestyle fibre and will be hosted in the stunning West Wing of Somerset House in central London. It will feature a showcase of interiors, fashion and the world of artisan and craft making, along with a hi-tech educational suite.
The Campaign for Wool has appointed Arabella McNie as the curator. She has over twenty years’ experience of working as a stylist and designer in the world of interiors.
Arabella McNie said, “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. There are some amazing fabrics and flooring and Wool House will showcase some stunning room sets which will really show the difference that wool can make and inspire greater use of the fibre”.
The event has invited leading interior designers to offer their vision and seven individual rooms will show how the design community uses the fibre extensively within their work. Exclusive room sets from Donna Wilson, Ashley Hicks, Josephine Ryan, Anne Kyyro Quinn, Mary Fox Linton of Fox Linton Associates and Kit Kemp will feature alongside a huge wool art installation commissioned by the Campaign from the acclaimed Dutch tapestry artist, Claudy Jongstra.
Other features include a unique 100 feet runner designed by Cristian Zuzunaga in association with Brintons that will represent international carpet manufacturers and a runner designed and made by Roger Oates. Additionally, rug weaver Jason Collingwood will take up a working residence as his studio is recreated in Wool House and he will weave on a table loom throughout the period showing the heritage of industry skills to the public.
The entrance of Wool House will be styled like a grand country house, with a carpet inspired by a classic marble floor tile pattern and created by Alternative Flooring Bespoke. Uniquepieces will embellish the house including Shauna Richardson’s unusual ‘crochetdermy’ Bear that has previously been exhibited at the V&A which will take pride of place in the entrance of Wool House. While Andy Warhol influenced sheep head imageswill be displayed on the walls of the hall.
A series of wool-led designer talks, events and a programme of activities with interactive workshops will be held during the course of the event. A special educational and innovation room will feature tablets that cover everything from sheep to mnufacturing and all types of products.
There will be three rooms dedicated to fashion, including a space showcasing fine woven fabrics and live tailoring while two others will celebrate the importance of wool in the fashion industry. Bridgette Kelly, The Campaign for Wool’s project director said, “It is the most expansive venture the Campaign has seen to date as it looks at all the key uses of wool under one roof and shows the amazing versatility of the fibre and its potential to be both stunningly beautiful in use and yet incredibly practical too.
We want to make the most of this wonderful opportunity within the fabulous location that Somerset House offers and we will truly shine the spotlight on wool. There really will be a plenty to see and do at many different levels.”