The seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords is referred to as The Woolsack and has for many years been covered in Hainsworth cloth. The seat has no back or arms and historically this large square woollen cushion has always been covered in red cloth. The wool that forms the stuffing of the cushion is acquired from various countries in the Commonwealth.
The Woolsack is part of a tradition that has been in existence since the reign of King Edward III between 1327 and 1377. During his reign the wool trade was a thriving part of the British economy and seats that were made with wool stuffing signified a country’s prosperity.