Katie Allen

Shepherdess Designer Maker

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I am a shepherdess/designer/maker working in The Cotswolds to produce an artisan textiles range that combines contemporary design with quality craftsmanship.

I bought my first sheep six years ago, absolutely determined to work with their wool to produce contemporary, artisan products with real provenance – my textiles can be traced from design, through the making process and right back to my very own flock of rare breed British sheep that graze the Cotswolds countryside.

I love interiors, so bringing colour and aesthetic pleasure into our lived environment is where I have steered my creative output, and I produce unique Scandinavian inspired textiles for the home.

My flock of rare breed, British, Portland sheep conservation graze on species rich pasture in the Cotswolds. After shearing, I take their fleeces to the Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall where it goes through the scouring, carding and spinning process to be made into a chunky knitting yarn. They use organic methods to dye the yarn to my colour specification and if you look closely at the colourways created from my Portland sheep, you can see the flecks of tan kemp so unique to this beautiful British breed. I then knit with the yarn in my studio, using a vintage hand powered knitting machine, to create very special pieces with real provenance. I have also designed my own range of tweed fabrics which has been finished into beautiful, soft blankets through a small hand weaver in Devon.

As well as my knitted textiles I produce gorgeous sheepskin rugs each year. Nothing feels more divine underfoot or more cosy to snuggle up to on the sofa, than one of my beautiful, sheepskin rugs. Prepared by me in the Cotswolds, these are then sent to be tanned on the Isle of Skye at one of the last remaining British tanneries.

To find out more about my lovely products and special flock of sheep, please visit my website http://www.loopyewes.co.uk

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