About Ella Doran: Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor

‘I am very excited to be working on this project with YSP, featuring the journey of British wool, culminating in my exhibition next June. It celebrates the Park’s resources, its beauty, and the joy of creativity and collaboration.’ - Ella Doran

Award-winning designer Ella Doran showcased the transformation of wool in her most ambitious project to date.

Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor  followed the journey of wool from the sheep which graze the historic landscape of the Park, from shearing to scouring, spinning to weaving and design to product development. The result was a display of beautiful bespoke furniture, furnishings and photographic prints, all of which were available to buy.

As an homage to local products, suppliers and processes, the exhibition highlighted the importance of the circular economy in reducing waste and sustaining livelihoods and traditions. It shone a light on one of the most versatile, sustainable, abundant and undervalued of the UK’s agricultural products: wool.

Doran developed close working relationships with YSP’s neighbouring farmers, Philip and Charles Platt; British Wool, who hand graded the wool after shearing; Haworth Scouring, who scoured (cleaned) the wool ready for manufacturing; and British manufacturers, Camira and Alternative Flooring, who transformed the raw material into beautiful products for the home.

Featuring Doran’s Waterlake design – a distinctive and colourful pattern inspired by the movement of water and the abundant flora on the estate at YSP – Camira created an exquisite jacquard wool fabric which covered a custom-made chair conceived by British designer Julian Mayor and manufactured by Coakley & Cox. Created from one of YSP’s naturally storm-felled oaks, the chair was available in two colourways taken from hues found within the Park’s landscape.

The wool also featured in a unique floor runner produced by Alternative Flooring. Dyed to specific colours from Doran’s chosen palette, the yarn was woven on Axminster narrow-width looms to create a luxurious runner, bringing together traditional techniques and contemporary design, and providing a plush centrepiece to the exhibit.

Transforming YSP’s Upper Space into a contemporary living room, the exhibition featured upholstered stools; tapestries; a series of photographs, which documented YSP’s unique 500-acre landscape throughout the seasons; and abstracted screen prints.

Doran also collaborated with filmmaker Paul Wyatt to produce a short film featuring some of the key personalities involved in the project, allowing visitors to follow the unfolding story alongside the show.

Sheep to Seat, Fleece to Floor was supported by Camira, Alternative Flooring, The Campaign for Wool, British Wool, Julian Mayor, Coakley & Cox Ltd, 1838 Wallcoverings, Haworth Scouring, Atlantic Yarns, Solidwool, Paul Wyatt and Weavers Bazaar.

‘Wool is a material that can demonstrate the circular economy in action. I hope to shed light on the amazing range of processes that wool goes through in order to become a finished product and how nothing goes to waste.’ - Ella Doran