Death is an organic process, and so the Hainsworth Woollen Coffin is a natural fit for the big day. The coffins are fully biodegradable and made from 100% pure new wool, natures true 'green' fibre, recycled cardboard and organic cotton.
Wool is a unique natural fibre with endless possibilities. As a multifunctional, non-flammable, absorbent and insulating material, wool was the foundation of their business and is still at the heart of their product research and development. It continues to allow Hainsworth to push the boundaries of wool, and wool combined with other fibres, to meet specific customer needs and challenges.
Over 225 years Hainsworth has developed a deeper understanding of the world of woollen textiles, more so than any other company in the market place today.
With a fully integrated, vertical textile mill, Hainsworth carries out every process from the selection of raw wool to finished cloth in-house. Their expertise is in selecting the appropriate ingredients to use in their fully equipped mill, which includes our own spinning, weaving, dyeing and finishing, printing and fabric conversion machinery. This, combined with their UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 4112, gives Hainsworth its unique competitive edge.
Their challenge was to integrate the traditional qualities of craftsmanship with cutting edge innovation and product development. From the initial concept and design process right through to manufacture, they wanted to take the traditional values of a conventional coffin and add a unique contemporary twist. Meeting these specialist textile demands requires a high level of experience and expertise in the manufacture of textiles. Hainsworth has used its skills and experience, combined with an inherent understanding of how wool can be used, to create a unique range of woollen coffins which give an overall feeling of softness and comfort.
Using a combination of recycled cardboard and strong natural jute support straps, which run all the way under the base, the Hainsworth Coffin combines excellent accredited weight bearing with a lighter weight coffin option. The use of strengthened ends panels ensures our coffins are suitable for all types of crematorium equipment - both automatic and hand charging.
The key factors of the Natural Legacy by Hainsworth woollen coffin range are: -
* The woollen coffin is fully biodegradable. It is made from 100% pure new wool, recycled cardboard and organic cotton.
* The woollen coffin is light in weight and therefore easier to carry.
* They are aesthetically pleasing offering a more gentle and comforting look to the more traditional wooden coffin.
* They are soft to touch and offer an alternative to the Funeral market
* They are very strong and have been independently tested for up to 42 stone - 270 kilos (test certificate available).
* Carefully selected materials mean low emission levels when used in cremation (test certificate available).
* They are suitable for all types of crematorium equipment - both automatic and hand charging.
* They are unique - there is no other coffin in the world the same as the Woollen Coffin (Patent Pending)
* The children coffin range is particularly welcome to the coffin market. At the moment the range of child coffins available is very small - and what is out there looks very unattractive and cold. The woollen coffin gives a whole new option to the families. With the inclusion of the soft wool blanket in all of the child coffins and the very soft feel of the woollen coffin, it is the natural and clear choice of the bereaved family.
* Hainsworth have committed to using British wool to support British farmers and each coffin uses 3 special fine Down type fleeces.
The resulting design evolved over several months of market research and development and we believe we have achieved a unique coffin that is functional but offers a real alternative to the families not only from an environmental aspect but as a warm and comforting alternative to the traditional coffin.The Natural Legacy by Hainsworth Woollen Coffin range has been thoughtfully put together to offer an extensive selection of environmentally friendly funeral products that are not only fully biodegradable but offer a soft and gentle alternative to the more traditional materials available.
All coffins and accessories are hand-made in Yorkshire to the highest quality standards, using a combination of pure new wool and organic cotton which gives an overall feeling of comfort and reassurance to the families, whilst having the quality standard of strength and functionality which has been independently accredited.http://www.naturallegacy.com/NaturalLegacy.aspx
Natural Legacy by Hainsworth woollen coffin range – How it all began…
In 2007, Hainsworth employed a marketing student to look at the various products manufactured at their Yorkshire mill, and research them on the internet to see if they could be taken into new markets and industries. Whilst doing this, the marketing student came across an interesting fact that in 1667 there was an act of parliament that stated, everybody being buried had to be buried in a woollen shroud, in order to help the woollen textile industry.
In July 2008, Sales Director, Adam Hainsworth was talking to Adrian Benson, a local funeral director at a barbeque at a nearby church. Adam asked Adrian whether there would be a market for a woollen coffin. Adrian explained about the change going on in the funeral trade and that it was waking up to green issues, and green alternative coffins were increasing. Generally Adrian thought that a woollen coffin would be a great idea.
Adrian agreed to visit the factory the following week to talk through the concept of a woollen coffin with the industrial manufacturing team and what practical characteristics the coffin should display. Over the next few weeks a prototype was produced and a business proposition was agreed with Adrian.
Adrian suggested that a visit be made to JC Atkinson, the biggest independent coffin manufacturer in the country, who was at the forefront of the green revolution in the funeral industry. A visit was arranged in October 2008, and Managing Director, Julian Atkinson after seeing the coffin, wanted exclusive distributorship immediately. The fact that someone of Julian’s standing wanted exclusive distributorship was a very positive move, and the board at Hainsworth realised that the company was onto something, in a market that was large enough to transform the company’s fortunes.
Sales Director, Rachel Hainsworth started to get involved in the project, and started to develop the coffin with the help of Julian Atkinson. It was agreed that JC Atkinson would be used to distribute the coffins throughout the UK and Ireland and a launch date was arranged to unveil the new woollen coffin at the funeral show in Stoneleigh on 12th June 2009. It was mutually agreed that Adrian Benson’s services would not be required and a thank you payment was made.
The 8 months leading up to the launch was spent perfecting the product, which changed a great deal using Julian’s knowledge and experience in the funeral market and feedback from doing private showings to individual funeral directors.
Hainsworth - Two centuries in textiles
The Hainsworth story is the history of one of the oldest companies in the United Kingdom. The company traces is routes back to the late 18th Century when in 1783 Abimelech Hainsworth, ‘Old Bim’, started his clothiers business. Cloth would be woven by hand loom weavers in their cottages and collected by ‘Old Bim’ who would then transport it by horse and cart to Leeds Coloured Cloth Hall. The tradition in the district at the time was to produce cloth dyed in the wool before spinning and weaving.
Abimelech began his trading with just half a crown and following the sale of his first consignment of cloth brought a silver pint mug which he gradually filled with gold sovereigns. By 1800 he had saved up enough money to buy 4 acres at the bottom of the village of Farsley, Cape Mills, and in partnership with his brother Joseph gradually employed a number of handloom weavers. In diaries dating back to 1822 Abimelech was remembered as keeping half the town agate (in work) and described as an exalted person.
When Abimelech died in 1836 he was the wealthiest man in the district and left a personal estate of £12,000 and two thirds of Cape Mills. This included five acres of land, 14 cottages and a blacksmiths shop. His shares automatically passed to his three sons and three nephews but in just four years five of the partners had passed away. With none of their sons of an age to succeed their fathers it left just one partner, John snr and his son Charles to run the business and in 1856 the firm changed its name to John Hainsworth & Sons.
In 1869 along came industrialisation and a new weaving shed was opened to house the new power looms. This saw the end of the time honoured practice of handloom weaving on which the company had been built. A new era had begun.
In 1882 a second mill, Temperance Mill, was purchased and the current partners decided they would split the company with one partner taking the Cape Mills site and the younger Abimelech Hainsworth ‘Young Bim’, the grandson of ‘Old Bim’, would take over Temperance Mill.
When ‘Young Bim’ took over in the mill it was empty. Within 2 years the mill had been re-equipped with fifty five looms as well as scribblers, condensers and mules, for various spinning processes, pairs of stocks and eight milling machines for different finishes. In 1889 Abimelech started weaving worsted fabric and to continue expansion he bought Spring Valley next door, which forms the main part of the mill today.
The scarlet cloth for the War Office had long been an important product for Hainsworth, but at the end of the 19th century demand for bright, distinctive combat wear plummeted when the increasing use of rifles and artillery in the Boer War led to a demand for a more protective colouring for army cloth. The company had already started working with Yorkshire College to create experimental new fabric constructions and in 1899 saw the first orders for Khaki Serge, a worsted warp woollen weft fabric. Bright cloths are still used today and our famous scarlet cloth is still manufactured at Spring Valley Mills and worn by the Her Majesty the Queen’s Royal Guard for ceremonial dress.
With the global textile market rapidly changing and UK manufacturing in decline, the company has had to adapt over the years.
After 200 years, a fire a flood a declining UK industry Hainsworth is now a stronger, more experienced and focused company with its eyes set firmly on the future. With one other fascinating fact – it was still owned and run by the Hainsworth family.
In 2002 Hainsworth invested over £1 million in new textile machinery, research and development, and marketing.
With a now complete textile offering Hainsworth’s future is now focussed on working closely with customers and suppliers to develop innovative new textile products. A strategy that has been very successful with several patents already filed and leading brands established for product like:
- TITAN®, a unique textile technology based on DuPont’s Nomex and Kevlar®
- our own Smart and Match pool cloths
- and in 2009 the introduction of its highly innovative Woollen Coffins
To support this strategy Hainsworth has the BSI ISO 9001:2000 quality mark for design, development and manufacture, a UKAS accredited testing laboratory and so far has received the DuPont European Innovation award, and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation, in recognition of its credentials.
By 2009 Hainsworth had completed over 225 years of trading with a clear strategy and an unrivalled history in textiles. To celebrate this in March 2009, having undergone a brand review in 2008 and business restructure, Hainsworth relaunched with a refreshed brand image and a firm grip on the needs of an ever-changing textile industry.