WELL URNED REST introduces totally bio-degradable/eco-friendly handmade wool felt and vintage/upcycled fabric burial vessels, usually called urns..

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choosing your urn

Choosing a burial vessel for yourself or a much-loved friend or relation should be a joyous experience, a memorial and celebration of a life well lived.

I hope my designs will lift your spirits and as I add to the choices, I hope too that they will reflect the enjoyment I had in choosing the colours and fibres or fabrics and bringing them together for something so special.

You may be looking for yourself – something to have at home and enjoy, knowing you have left instructions for your chosen vessel to carry your ashes to their final resting place. 

If that’s the case, you will probably choose something that suits your lifestyle, or the décor of your home. Or maybe just something that takes your fancy for its decorative qualities.

Perhaps you are choosing an urn for someone you loved dearly and for whom you want a fitting tribute. You may like to choose colours you know they loved, or something that reflects their character.  

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design and materials

To launch the company, I introduced four designs. These represent the elements – Earth, Air, Fire, Water. All are in handmade merino wool felt with the addition of other natural fibres.  More felt designs will be added once I am happy with the designs, and already three out of four Seasons are respresented.

All my vessels are - and will continue to be - eco-friendly/eco-conscious/biodegradable, however you like to phrase it.

Felted designs are made in wool and natural fibres – ramie, silk, bamboo, viscose, for example – and some will incorporate loose woven cotton, linen or silk fabrics. 

The wool is largely from two main UK suppliers and ethically produced - from South Africa and South American non-mulesed sheep. Some designs will use wool from regional British sheep breeds. Dyes used by these suppliers are commercial acid dyes which conform with the Oeko-Tex 100 quality system. (Please ask if you would like further details of this standard).

Further information about the biodegradability of wool felt is available here: https://www.iwto.org/biodegradeability and https://www.learnaboutwool.com/globalassets/law/resources/factsheets/secondary/wool-facts--biodegradable.pdf

Fabric designs when they come on stream later will incorporate vintage/ upcycled and new fabrics – wool, silk, cotton or linen - and may also include paper elements.

The stabiliser is dilute pva,  an emulsion of polyvinyl acetate in water which  has a neutral pH value.  PVA is nontoxic to humans (unless eaten). It is water soluble and biodegradable.  The stabiliser is used to give some rigidity to the finished urns which I felt particulalry important if your choice is to be retained at home. The design largely dictates whether it is semi-soft or more rigid. You may prefer a totally soft urn, in which case I would advise choosing from the Seasons range as these will be more acceptable without a stabiliser and fold around the ashes better.

Embellishments & closures are wood, coconut, cane, jute, wool or natural fibres as above.  If you choose to have your urn without a stabilising finish, thus in its soft felt form, the design will be subtly adapted to allow for a flat closure.

All designs have inner bags which are also biodegradable. Silk bags are available at extra cost.

Please understand that because each is handmade, every vessel is unique and elements of the designs will vary from the pictures, due to the nature of an individual, handmade item. Indeed, I would hope you feel this is an asset, making each truly special.  However the colour palate, if not always identical, will be as close as possible to the illustrations. Likewise, the embellishments may differ slightly.

You will receive pictures of the finished item before I send it, so if it doesn’t fulfil your expectations, you are not obliged to complete the purchase unless you have asked for your own fabrics or keepsakes to be included or commissioned special colours or shapes (see below).

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Design your own

If you would like to place a special order with Well Urned Rest,  I ask that you tell me the shape you like and the colour palette. I trust something similar (even if not the same) will work for you. 

If you would like your own fabrics used, or embellishments added from a special collection of beads or buttons, this can be done. However, if you are planning to bury your urn in a Natural Burial Ground, it is important to clear this with the site owners and be guided by what they will allow. 

Please bear in mind that once your own fabrics have been used or your own additions have been incorporated into a design, I cannot take them off and thus special orders cannot be returned for refund.

All the urns pictured are rigid or semi-rigid to retain their shape and enhance the design. However, urns from the Seasons range can be supplied without stabiliser and the closures adapted accordingly.

choosing the size of your urn

Every website you look at will probably give you a different idea of the capacity of their urns.  Strangely, even now, calculations still tend to be given in cubic inches and lbs, not metric measurements. Most suggest that 1lb of body weight equates to 1 cubic inch of ashes.  For those of you who have forgotten, 1 st = 14lbs. A funeral director will help you with calculations and it is better to err on the generous size if you don’t want to split the ashes. 

Designs from the Elements range, for the moment, are slightly larger overall than those in the Seasons range.

In the future I hope to be able to introduce larger and smaller capacity urns including very small vessels for pets.   Of the designs currently available, Air has the greatest usable height.

Cremation ashes will usually be given to you in a bag which is in turn placed in a temporary container.  Most funeral directors will be happy to transfer the ashes to your new Well Urned Rest choice but helpful advice will be sent when we fulfil your order in case you would like to do this yourself.