Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 12:28 UK

Ovine inspiration for wool coffin

Woollen coffin
The coffins were inspired by 17th Century customs

A West Yorkshire firm best known for making military uniforms has launched a range of woollen coffins.

Pudsey-based textile firm Hainsworth said it had used 17th Century burial methods as inspiration for the woollen coffins and caskets.

The biodegradable coffins are made of sheep's wool and cardboard and have an embroidered nameplate.

The 1667 Burial in Wool Act said the dead, except plague victims, should be buried in English woollen shrouds.

Hainsworth, which was founded in 1783, makes uniforms and textiles for the emergency services and the military.

The coffins will be distributed by Tyne & Wear company JC Atkinson.

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