Leafcocoon creative coffins Design Evolution

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…

woollen shroud dove design

A pure white wool shroud for a white Dove.

woolen felt shroud bird design

A fledgling bird nestles in a wool felt cocoon tinted with natural dyes in earth colours.

creative coffins design inspired by a badger

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.

soft wool coffin with leaf design

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:

creative coffins design evolution

… 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.

creative coffins

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.