Bellacouche Felt Studio – Beautiful hand-made items from wool felt
‘staying close to nature’
Bellacouche – meaning “beautiful resting place” – is the old name for the ancient granite building where I started designing and making the Leafcocoon wool felt coffins. I have recently moved the workshop into bigger premises; a beautiful and airy chapel in Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, Devon.
Wool is my raw material, which is made into felt, and from this is crafted a unique range of lovingly hand-made products; bags, tuffets (seat pads), quirky tea cosies, woollen insoles, hot water bottle covers, hats, little decorations, wall hangings, felting kits and Leafcocoons – a unique soft wool eco coffin, designed for natural burial.
The pieces are all hand made, motifs are either sewn or needle felted in. Dyes are always natural.
Dartmoor is where I live and work – a beautiful and wild landscape – and this is an infinite source of inspiration. I am deeply mindful of our environment and the preciousness of nature, so everything I do or make bears this in mind; keeping my impact on the planet as small as possible. ‘Wool miles’ are kept as low as is currently achievable; workshop waste is kept to a minimum, recycling as much as possible and composting the rest on site as part of the management of the chapel grounds.
Yuli Somme, M.A. (Textiles), Feltmaker & Bellacouche Owner
The Leafcocoon is a fully biodegradable ‘soft’ coffin designed for a more environmentally friendly natural burial. The leaf theme evokes the changing seasons of life and is an appropriate choice for a ‘green’ funeral. Individually hand crafted from entirely natural materials, using pure wool felt and wood from a local source. A soft woollen shroud is enfolded in layers of felt, giving the cocoon a smooth outline, supported on a strong wood frame with six carrying handles. The decorated leaf shape cover may be removed just before burial and kept as a memento.
The Leafcocoon wool coffin is a complete alternative to conventional wooden coffins and is suitable for traditional, natural and woodland burial grounds.
Originally designed in collaboration with another felt maker, Anne Belgrave, our starting point was to think outside the box, bringing together a sympathetic and modern style with a sensible choice of sustainable materials; a truly British made, natural eco coffin at an affordable price.
“Very real, very grounded, very simple, very beautiful…Your work is so important and so very valuable. Thank you!”
Emma – Sun Rising Natural Burial Ground, December 2012
See Leafcocoon wool coffins and Child Cocoon coffins. For more information talk to me on 01647 441405 / 07763 935897 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please note new landline number – Bellacouche has moved to Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, Devon, UK.
We also make genuinely useful things for the home that stay close to nature and can eventually return to the earth.
Everything is hand-made with ingenuity, skill and careful attention to detail.
A love of landscape and the natural world influences the choice of materials and designs.
Wool Felt Tea Cosy – Chicken Design: “Beautiful item and eco-friendly using a natural substance. So pleased with it. I run Chicken keeping courses and this will be pride of place on the tea pot and I am sure will be a talking point. I will be recommending your lovely products. Thank you Yuli.” – Etsy reviews
As an environmentally sustainable business offering a friendly and practical service, my commitments are to:
- support local wool producers from Dartmoor and the South-West
- source organic materials whenever practical and possible
- pay a fair trade price for the materials I use
- use rare breed fleece for wool felt making when practical
- use entirely natural biodegradable materials
- recycle and re-use as much as possible, minimise carbon footprint
- compost all waste after recycling options have been achieved
- limit wool miles
- offer commitment, sensitivity and integrity towards customers
- ensure that we enjoy our work!