Unique handcrafts at Botton

News article

Catherine weaving
Unique handcrafts at Botton

There’s a unique and personal story behind every item on sale in our community shops. Catherine is weaving a beautiful fleece rug in one of Botton Village’s workshops, where we caught up with her to find out more.

‘Sometimes I work alone and sometimes with Beth’ explains Catherine. Beth helps Catherine to set up the loom and they sit together and work out the pattern, then Catherine can get on with the weaving. ‘I have used this design before and it works really well’ says Catherine.

Skill and practice - teamwork too!

‘Everyone has their own job to do. We share tasks around to get production right’ says Beth. So after the fleece has been washed and teased, Catherine gets to work. Using a wet cloth so that her  hands are damp, she prepares the fleece by moulding it into ‘sausages’ on her knees so that it won’t separate or catch in the loom. Then the weaving can begin. It takes concentration and focus - and this brings an added benefit ‘Weaving makes me feel great, really relaxed’ says Catherine.

A real ‘Botton Special’

The fleece Catherine uses is from the organic sheep at Botton’s Stormy Hall Farm. The three breeds in the flock - Blue Face, Texel and Swaledale - give excellent wool. ‘The fleece is strong but soft - perfect for the loom.’

Original handcrafts produced by the people who live and work in our communities are always popular - especially in the run up to Christmas. With the added bonus of organic certification, and the low carbon footprint of locally sourced materials, whoever buys Catherine’s rug - or any other handmade product from one of our shops - can be sure it’s made with love and care.