Creative Coffins Design Evolution – from wool burial shroud to eco-coffin
How the idea for an alternative, environmentally friendly coffin developed from the ancient tradition of a natural woollen burial shroud:
‘Thinking outside the box…’
I started by designing and creating plain wool shrouds for found dead animals and birds…
A pure white wool shroud for a white Dove.
A fledgling bird nestles in a wool felt cocoon tinted with natural dyes in earth colours.
The badger inspired the idea of the leaf shaped cocoon – the fallen leaf symbolises the cycle of life.
And so the “Leafcocoon” creative coffins concept came into being – it was a natural progression to decorate the shroud with applied and embroidered leaf shapes and stylised local wild flowers.
There were many practical issues to address, such as how the shroud was to be supported and carried.
Earlier versions of this unusual coffin were carried on a simple wood bier like this:
… which presented practical problems like posting, and who would make the bier.
This was resolved by making an integrated bier, hidden inside layers of wool felt, with absorbent materials building up a kind of mattress. Six strong carrying handles take the weight, and tests were carried out for weight bearing. No liner is required and any possible leakage is caught in the benign materials inside the mattress.
Originally designed in collaboration with felt maker, Anne Belgrave, our starting point was to ‘think outside the box’, and our aim was to make a comforting softer edged, sustainably produced coffin at an affordable price.
- Video: Yuli Somme explains how the Leafcocoon works
- Transformative Powers through Making – Creating the first shroud.
- More designs for creative coffins