The King’s Curtains Have Been Transformed Into Kimonos For Charity Auction

By Charlie Colville

8 months ago

The King's Foundation is taking bids until the end of Friday

Want to get your hands on a piece of royal history? Now you can. Curtains that once hung in Windsor and Buckingham Palace have been upcycled into one-off luxury kimonos for a silent auction – and the idea came from King Charles himself.

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King Charles Helps Transform Palace Curtains Into Kimonos For Charity Auction

Students of The King’s Foundation have been busy transforming old palace curtains into a collection of seven fashion pieces for the foundation’s upcoming Christmas auction, in aid of charity. The idea came from the King, who donated the curtains to The King’s Foundation’s Batch Production Skills course at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire. The curtain fabric came from Windsor and Buckingham Palace, held in the curtain storerooms at Windsor Great Park where out-of-use materials are stored.

Woman in kimono

(c) Lewis Mackenzie

Tasked with repurposing 30 different patterns into a modern fashion collection, the cohort settled on a range of two styles of kimono. The resulting collection is comprised of four Delft Blue Floral Kimono Coats, one Vintage Rose and Duck Egg Short Kimono, one Damask Burnt Orange and Teal Short Kimono, and one Bold Denim Blue and Yellow Damask Short Kimono. Each kimono apparently took between eight and 10 hours to tailor.

The curtains, once donated, were archives and catalogued at the curtain storerooms in Windsor, with the excess donated to The King’s Foundation. Leftover cut-offs and small scraps are also expected to be used in the charity’s schools’ programmes.

Woman in kimono

(c) Lewis Mackenzie

‘It’s not just about making a collection to be sold,’ explained Jacqueline Farrell, education director for The King’s Foundation at Dumfries House. ‘We hope this project will show what can be done with vintage materials in terms of repurposing and upcycling. It was a real design challenge for the students in how to make traditional styles of fabrics into contemporary, appealing designs. They have created unique garments that are really versatile and reflect a piece of history.’

The King’s Foundation, formerly known as The Prince’s Foundation, was set up by His Majesty to train the next generation of skilled craftspeople in heritage techniques – including fashion and textiles. This year will also mark the 10th anniversary of The King’s Foundation’s Future Textiles programme, which offers a series of education courses for school pupils, college graduates and older people with focus on high-level training in luxury fashion.

Woman in kimono

(c) Lewis Mackenzie

‘His Majesty’s vision is reflected in his Foundation’s education delivery and he has always been keen that people of all ages carry on the handskills that are so valuable to luxury fashion, thereby allowing many of our graduates to gain brilliant jobs in the industry,’ added Jacqueline. ‘It was such a privilege to receive the donation. It felt like Christmas morning opening such a box of treats for the students to work with.’

Other items available in the silent Christmas auction include dinner in The Garden Room at Highgrove Gardens, as well as stays at Dumfries House Lodge and The Granary Lodge at The Castle of Mey in Caithness.

Woman in kimono

(c) Lewis Mackenzie

Where Can You Place Bids?

You can place bids on the King’s curtain kimonos via the official auction page,

How Long Will The Auction Go On For?

Bids can be placed from Sunday 3 December until 23.59 on Friday 8 December 2023.

Featured image: Lewis Mackenzie

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