During her visit to the Royal Opera House yesterday, Kensington Palace announced that the Duchess of Cambridge would be “exploring her interest in the use and manufacture of textiles” over the coming months.
Kate, who visited the Costume Department at the Royal Opera House, learned about their textile manufacturing and will be making visits, engaging in learning opportunities and holding meeting with industry experts to develop her interest in the area.
“The Duchess has been developing her interest in the textiles and manufacturing industry through her patronage of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which holds a national collection of textiles,” according to the Royal Family’s website.
At the Costume Department yesterday, Kate saw how the costume designers source their fabrics and textiles to make roughly 600 costumes per production; and how the team commissions its fabrics.
Kate visited the pattern room, the dye shop and the work room during her visit. She learned how the dye team creates its pieces, including hand-painting and staining the garments, or digital printing pieces to represent historic fabrics that are no longer available.
Kate’s great-great-grandfather, Francis Martineau Lupton, operated William Lupton & Company, a textile manufacturing business, with his brothers.
When Kate’s patronage of the Victoria and Albert Museum was announced in March 2018, the Museum’s Director, Tristram Hunt, said that “The Duchess’s personal interest in photography, textiles and the visual arts…fits naturally with the collections and civic purpose of the V&A.”
The Victoria and Albert Museum holds a textile collection of 75,000 individual objects or sets of objects that spans a period of more than 5,000 years.
“Almost all textile techniques are represented in our collections,” reads the Victoria and Albert Museum’s website. “Including woven, printed and embroidered textiles, lace, tapestries and carpets.”
The collection includes “early woven silks from the Near East, European, and Chinese tapestries, English medieval embroidery, Safavid carpets, Indian textiles and Arts and Crafts Textiles.”