Wool House at Somerset House

I found out about this Campaign for Wool show via Selvedge Magazine, and had never visited Somerset House before. They will be hosting tthe ‘Pick Me Up’ festival of graphic arts which looks good, but I fear I will not be in London when it is on. Wool House is a showcase of British wool fabric and design, with one half of the exhibition dedicated to the cloth, tailoring and tapestry, and the other half a series of installations by interior designers. I was particularly excited to see Anna Kyyro Quinn’s work first hand having studied photographs of her work for my final project for ‘A Creative Approach’.

An innovative fabric called Lumatwill (TM) by Dashing Tweeds was exciting and surprising in equal measure, as I would not have thought of tweed for cycle wear before. The fabric is woven with 99% wool and 1% reflective 3M yarn, making the final product appear very traditional whilst having a practical application. The urban landscape provides inspiration for a number of the bold and colourful designs.  Also on display was a merino denim by Woolmark, which was wonderfully soft, but I wondered how hard wearing it would be. Wool was put to another innovative use by Solidwool, who have developed a hard composite material from bioresin and wool fleece, moulded for use in furniture and homeware such as plantars. Their philosophy is to create an innovate product from sustainable local resources.

Large scale commissions were on show from Claudy Jongstra and Cristian Zuzunaga. It is rare to have installations as immersive as those put on by the interior designers. You really felt like you were walking into their worlds. I also learned jus how good a densely packed deep wool carpet can feel under your feet.

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