Shining a Light on the Different Types of Woven Coffins

Rainbow coloured woven coffin

What’s the Difference between Rattan, Bamboo, Bulrush and Willow Coffins? 

Amongst all the shifting trends within the funeral industry, few are as apparent as the rise in popularity of woven coffins. Boasting both aesthetic appeal and better environmental credentials compared to traditional hardwood coffins, it’s clear to see why woven coffins are becoming the preferred choice of many families across the UK.  

But, as with hardwood coffins, there are a range of different materials used in the construction of woven coffins, each with their own unique benefits. In this article, we break down four of the most common materials used in woven coffins so that you can support your customers in making an informed choice which suits their funeral plans.  


Benefits of Woven Coffins Over Traditional Hardwood Coffins 

As people across the world become more aware of the environmental issues we face as a society, we see consumers making eco-friendly decisions both in life and in death. The consumer awareness and preferences report for 2022 published by the National Funeral Director’s Association (NFDA) showed that 60.5% of people would be interested in investigating green funerals for their environmental advantages, a rise from 55.7% in 2021.  

If your customers are showing an interested in green funerals and natural burial options as part of their funeral plans, woven coffins are a great place to start. As opposed to traditional hardwoods like oak, the materials used in woven coffins such as willow or rattan grow extremely quickly, making this a readily available material to work with.  

Another benefit of woven coffins is that they are suitable for natural burials, an eco-friendly funeral option which is also increasing in popularity as consumers become more environmentally conscious. For a natural burial to take place, a coffin which can biodegrade quickly should be used, allowing for the deceased to return to the earth and support the local ecological system.  


The Four Types of Material We Use for Our Woven Coffins 

In our dedication to delivering premium woven coffins, we pride ourselves on utilising four distinct materials, each contributing its unique attributes and benefits to the craftsmanship of our products. 


Rattan Coffins 

Rattan is a highly sustainable material produced from abaca strands, a fast growing and regenerative plant commonly found in humid tropics such as Indonesia. Our rattan coffin is a beautiful option for families seeking a naturally light shade of woven coffin, creating an aesthetically pleasing alternative to the darker hardwood coffins which have been commonplace in the funeral industry.  

While rattan is naturally strong, we have reinforced our rattan coffins with a cane frame for added stability without compromising the coffins’ environmental credentials. As our rattan coffins are made using a naturally biodegradable material, and have no metal or plastic fittings, they are suitable for use in natural burials. As well as this, our rattan coffins have been certified by the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers’ Association (FFMA) which means they are suitable for use in cremation, making this a versatile option for your customers.  


Bamboo Coffins 

Bamboo is a fast-growing and highly sustainable plant found in tropical climates across the world. Its beautiful colour and distinctive weave has a natural yet contemporary finish, ideal for families looking for a softer looking coffin.  

Unlike traditional hardwoods used in coffin building such as oak or pine, bamboo reaches its full size in a matter of months, making the growing and harvesting of this material much more environmentally friendly. Just like our rattan coffins, our bamboo coffins are certified by the FFMA for use in cremation as well as natural burials.  

This highly versatile material has not only been used to create our signature teardrop bamboo coffins, but also in our stunning Ringmer Casket. This sleek casket has been meticulously designed to serve as a distinctive and contemporary urn for storing ashes.  


Bulrush Coffins 

Bulrush is a grasslike plant commonly found in wet locations such as marshes and lakes and is similar in appearance to seagrass. However, while these materials look similar, a UNESCO report details that seagrass meadows are amongst the most intensive carbon sinks in the biosphere, and play a crucial role in capturing carbon and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Given the ecological importance of seagrass, the preservation of these natural meadows is critical, which is why it was important to us to find an alternative material.  

To help give both strength and visual appeal, we also utilise willow in our bulrush coffins, combining the two materials in a way which ensures stability and stunning design without compromising on the environmental credentials.  

These beautifully handcrafted woven coffins are made using traditional methods using ethically sourced willow and bulrush. The lid has an attractive plaited willow edge detail and is securely fastened by plastic-free toggles. The inside of these bulrush and willow coffins are lined with a natural, unbleached cotton calico to complement its rustic yet stylish look.   


Willow Coffins 

Last but certainly not least, is our most popular range – our stunning natural willow coffins. Often referred to as wicker coffins, a term which describes the plaiting technique used, willow coffins are an extremely popular alternative to traditional hardwood coffins for both their aesthetic appeal and environmental credentials.  

Willow is a fast-growing wood, making it an environmentally friendly material for coffins. Crafted using traditional methods by skilled weavers, they are woven to either a traditional coffin shape or our own signature teardrop willow coffin shape which has beautiful curving lines which gives a softer appearance.  

As well as our beautiful classic willow coffins which have a warm honey-like colour, we now also supply our stunning English willow coffins in both our traditional and teardrop shapes. All of our English willow is grown, harvested and handwoven in the picturesque countryside of Somerset and certified by the FFMA, making them suitable for cremation as well as traditional and natural burial options. 

While all our willow coffins are beautifully presented and have a naturally pleasing aesthetic, families can also personalise their willow coffin by using dyed willow or by having it sprayed to any colour. All of our spraying takes place at Tributes HQ in West Sussex and is meticulously carried out to ensure a perfect finish every time.  


Final Thoughts 

Whichever of these types of material your customer selects, choosing a woven coffin is always a great alternative to traditional hardwood coffins, with their soft aesthetic appeal and numerous environmental credentials. To find out more about green funerals and natural burial options, read our article.  


Suggested reading

Rattan Coffins
Bamboo Coffins
Bulrush & Willow Coffins
Willow Coffins
How can I make my funeral more eco-friendly?

You may be interested in

Rattan coffin
Bamboo Teardrop Coffin
Willow and Bulrush Teardrop Coffin
English Willow Teardrop Coffin

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