12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS 2022: LOOPY EWES
Katie Allen is a shepherd and maker based in Gloucestershire, working to connect people with the reality that our textiles come from farming, just like our food. Under her brand Loopy Ewes, she creates 100% traceable knit garments and homewares; grown, spun and handmade in Southwest England, using the wool from her flock of native breed sheep.
As the farmer, designer, and garment producer for her collection, she takes responsibility for each stage of production— from getting her hands dirty in the field, to fully fashioning each garment on her knitting machine. She uses shepherding processes that honour soil health and biodiversity, to encourage a wholesome farmed environment. She’s committed to local, minimal processing and slow, hand-crafted production. Her work demonstrates how British wool can be grown regeneratively, simply, and locally processed to create textiles that are beautiful, honest and good for the earth.
This Rafter Blanket is handmade in her studio using a lovely mocha yarn— which comes naturally from her Castlemilk Moorit sheep —and an ecru yarn, produced from her Portlands. The undyed yarns reflect the most natural features of her flock. Not only do they beautifully showcase the contrasting colours their wonderful fleeces produce, but they involve minimal processing, ensuring the least harm to the environment.
Katie uses a hand-powered knitting machine; no electricity or machine power is involved. The wooden tags sewn onto each piece, to mark the unique Loopy Ewes provenance, are made in Devon on FSC certified wood. No solvents are used in their printing, and she hand sews them onto each product using organic cotton thread. The blanket is accredited by Southwest England Fibreshed for its regenerative approach to localism and the land.
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