How The Lazarette Began.

Sailing in the Med.

Sailing lead to knotting.

I started The Lazarette in November 2014, it was originally my husband Paul's idea, he thought making monkey fist key rings would make good Christmas gifts. They did, and the first one was sold to a Premier League football team, but not one he supported!

Having lived and sailed on boats, and worked in the yacht industry for over 40 years, we have tied quite a few knots. It is an essential skill to acquire, if you want to keep your boat safe! 

However useful knots are, they can also be decorative. Sailors in the days of sail used to spend their off watch hours tying intricate knots that were both practical and beautiful. I like to turn these traditional nautical knots into something new that adds to a home, or has a modern use. 

My first knot was sold for £1, and a glass of sherry many years ago. It was a Turks head knot to mark the centreline of a ship's wheel.

Now, the Turks Head is the logo of The Lazarette, and I use this particular knot on a lot of my creations, such as curtain tie backs, dog leads, and of course napkin rings.

Lazarette, is the name of the the aft locker, where we used to keep our ropes, now they are everywhere else around our boat! In the days of sail, the ship's boatswain or bosun's store was called the lazarette. I thought it would be a good name for a business that made things from rope and traditional maritime knots

My favourite makes at the moment are my baskets, I make tiny ring bowls to large fruit baskets. For weddings, I have created many flower girl baskets, and I love to see the photographs of cute children carrying them.

Eco Friendly Business

The best part of having low tech business, is I can knot virtually anywhere, no need for electric, or machines, it is all done by hand with traditional fids, sailmaker palm, and needle. We can be at anchor with no onshore facilities, and still work!

I usually make to order, so no stock is hanging around, just coils of rope and twine waiting to be transformed, this keeps any waste to an absolute minimum. This also means I can make something longer or shorter if a customer requires it. Customers have been very instrumental in helping me to create new ideas, and being flexible means I can alter my designs for different uses, for example, a door silencer can be made longer into a curtain tie back.

Over the years I have cut down on packaging, realising what I can reduce, and still be viable. Nearly everything else is low tech, and low wastage. I use recycled corrugated cardboard and paper for wrapping. I walk or cycle for some supplies, and all trips to the post office. I am using more natural and sustainable ropes, whilst still using some synthetic ones, eventually I hope to use recycled lines one day instead, but they are not suitable at the moment for a lot of my creations .

If you choose to pay via Stripe, we will donate 1% of the total to Stripe Climate, which are committed to carbon removal projects, such as Heirloom , Carbon Built and Misson Zero.

portrait photo

Lover of stripy tops, and all things coastal style.

Janette Watson




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