Prince Charles has been reunited with a tapestry he first saw in its initial stages of construction in Australia last year.

But before casting an appreciative eye over the work, the future King had to solve a puzzle presented in the form of a small woollen sculpture.

"Is that a creature?" he asked at the Wool House exhibition at London's Somerset House on Monday.

The piece, to most, was obviously a soft knitted version of a clay pot about 30cm high.

But to the Prince of Wales's eyes it looked like one of the small mouse-like creatures from The Clangers, a popular 1970s British stop-motion animated TV show.

And to be fair, Hilary Anderson-Barr's vessels do bear some resemblance.

The Wool House exhibition comprises a series of rooms showcasing wool floorings, furniture, art and clothing.

There was even a woollen nursery - replete with wool cot mattress, mobile and toys - which the soon-to-be grandfather took a keen interest in.

He was also enthused to see the Australian tapestry now that it was finished.

The ochre work, made from merino wool, was started in November in the prince's presence at the Australian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne.

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

Prince Charles was also delighted by Josephine Ryan's English Howard chairs, which had been covered in cream knitted jumpers and cardigans.

After some prompting (he initially claimed if he sat down he wouldn't get up again) the prince plumped into one of the deep chairs and slipped his hands into cardigan pockets at the end of each armrest.

It was, he said, a "brilliant idea".

The Campaign for Wool patron was most impressed, however, with Pippa Caley's wool cushions.

"It was worth coming just for the cushions," he said. Later he reiterated: "The cushions are very special."

Before leaving Prince Charles made a brief speech in which he joked he'd always wanted to close an exhibition.

Wool House officially wound up on Sunday and now moves to the United States.

Amid further jokes concerning his "bleating on" about wool and wanting to "ram home" the point, Prince Charles delivered a heart-felt message.

"One of the things that has given me 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," he said.

"People had forgotten."

AAP

 

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