Feltmaker Lorraine Pocklington has been creating items under the name of ‘greenweeds’ since 2007. She came to textiles after having two pet sheep and wondering what to do with their beautiful fleeces. Having found feltmaking in 2001, she’s not looked back. In 2014, she had her first solo exhibition of plant dyed organic wool in Tŷ Solar at Rhosygilwen, whilst her work has also appeared in publications including Felt Matters and Stitch magazine. The latter featured an artwork created for Afghanistan Inspiration, a project Lorraine was involved in whereby European textile artists incorporated squares embroidered by women of Laghmani, a village in Afghanistan*.
She also has her own business as a web and print designer, greenweeds.com and is responsible for most of the Cambrian Mountains Wool website and social media: her husband, John, has taken the product photos. In this work she is able to take advantage of her 25 years’ work in IT for large companies and government bodies.
Lorraine is a member of the Cambrian Mountains Wool Group team.
*The women are paid for their work, and the squares sold throughout Europe. To date, the project has raised over £13,000 in the UK, thanks to the work of Meike Laurenson.
Making for the Challenge
The design is inspired by my favourite CAT boots, though with less elaborate stitching…
Felt was hand made and rolled, then finished in my Groovi felt roller. I tried a number of colourways before I’d finished. The greenish-grey dye from ivy berries in the Cambrian Mountains (my garden) was an early favourite, but the dye was not standing the test of time or our early Spring sunshine. In the end I elected to leave the felt undyed, and instead dye a fat quarter of fabric to use for trim. This beautiful rust colour is from dark crottle scraped from a few rocks of a fallen wall near Llyn Eiddwen on the Mynydd Bach (Ceredigion). No mordant required, and 10% weight of dye stuff to fabric is more than enough to achieve a deep colour.
Originally I was going to use a cobbler for the soles and heels but for this prototype boot – Mark III – I decided to turn to my trusty Dremel. Next time the cobbler will feature and yes, there will be a next time, a maker is never happy – not this one anyway! The leather is from Welsh Black beef cattle in Devon – Wild Beef. Raised using organic methods, and tanned using traditional methods of Oak tannin. No chrome. Sturdy, tough leather, hard to work with but rewarding.
The lining is old suede jacket #1 plus some Romanian farmed and woven hemp fabric, undyed. Next time it will need to be something more forgiving than this linen type weave. Buttons are suede and leather; the welt from thicker suede jacket #2 (neither jacket being either clean or fashionable to be used for anything but upcycling).
Hand stitched in the main. Stitch by stitch.
Plans are afoot (excuse the pun) for boots Mark IV – I know where I can improve, and am itching to start. Soon. Watch this space.