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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Black Sheep

Wool is the new thing. No seriously, wool is "it". If you want a new ewe, it's wool.

I'm not pulling the wool over your eyes.

Yesterday I went along, with the missus, to a stunning exhibition at Somerset House. It was all about wool and what you could do with it.

It ranged from fabulous weaves, gorgeous clothes used by top notch tailors, hand woven tweeds to rooms bedecked in wool. Wool mattresses, wool pillows and wool wallpaper - incredibly noise proof and heat retaining.

Fabulous rooms decorated in stuff made, covered and filled with wool. People sitting at looms making intricate rugs and lovely, lovely scarfs. Piles of balls of wool - unbleached, wild, Scottish, Welsh, Outer Mongolian all feeling sooo.. lovely to touch.

You'd forgotten what wool felt like. In an age of synthetics wool was for the grandmas and long johns, Andy Stewart and the White Heather Club, Dr Snoddy and Margaret Rutherford.It had a comic feel to it, when in reality it feels like coming home.

Tweed is the new cloth, so much of modern style is built around tweed and an exaggerated Edwardian dandy look. Much of this is fashion, but it is also due to a realisation that clothes made from wool are smart, comfortable and long lasting. In straightened times, even the very rich see value in longevity.

There was much to admire at the exhibition. The craftsmanship, the skill and precision of the tailors. The sheer wonderment of seeing what can be created out of this shaggy stuff. And the fun. Kiddies rooms festooned with woollen creatures, chairs as jumpers and floppy animals.

And then there was the gob smacking. A picture of hummingbirds so finely delineated you at first thought it was a photograph. A picture of a magnificent head of a ram  -  in wool - which left you wondering "How the hell".

Yesterday, the weather, as so often these last 6 months was cold, damp and depressing. Visiting this exhibition left us with a bounce in our step, a feeling that despite all the despondency, hardship and unemployment, there were loads of people working away creating wonderful artifacts.

Let's hear it for wool and..

Shawn the Sheep - a hero of our age.  

8 comments:

Steve said...

My nan was still knitting me woollen cardigans and jumpers right up to my late teens and I was a good boy enough to love them just because she had made them for me.

Boj said...

Wooly knickers I say.....

Anonymous said...

An essay for our times. We need to be more self sufficient in these times of austerity. We need to make our own clothes, grow our own food and cycle rather than drive.....otherwise how can we continue to have our two holidays abroad every year and retain membership of the wine club?

Nota Bene said...

Yes, all those modern fibre have come unravelled....I was accosted by a drunk on the tube last night who loved my (yellow) woollen jumper, his wife doesn't like jumpers, woollen or otherwise, he has one which cost over £100...the conversation wouldn't have been the same if we'd been talking about polycotton

Anonymous said...

Marginalia's silence is perhaps explained by his absence in discussions with other notable bloggers as to whether they should cooperate with the new press regulator. Having been excluded from the late night discussions which led to the cross party deal one can understand the need to consider their tactics. Will they be cowed by the establishment or will they continue to publish without fear? I hope the latter.

Marginalia said...

Dear all, I'm afraid I was knitting myself a woolly jumper and it took longer than I thought.

Dear Steve, had your late teens dropped at that stage?

Dear Boj, you can't say fairisle than that.

Dear Anon, it's always a pleasure to find someone who priorities are just right.

Dear Nota Bene, you meet the most interesting people wearing a jumper. It's rather like taking a dog for a walk in a park.

Anonymous said...

He’s Shaun the sheep – (He’s Shaun the sheep)
He’s Shaun the sheep – (He’s Shaun the sheep)

He even mucks about with those who cannot bleat – (Cannot bleat)

Keep it in mind
He’s one of a kind
Oh.....

Life’s a treat with Shaun the Sheep

Macca said...

Mary Had a Little Lamb.......