Bringing the Haar to London

14th September 2018
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Nielanell and Karlyn Sutherland at Decorex, London

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What happens to colour and shape when they are seen through Haar, the coastal fog that can envelop the eastern seaboard of the British Isles?


This question is answered by a new textile, made in a collaboration between Shetland designer Niela Kalra and Caithness artist Karlyn Sutherland.


Haar is a collection of six blankets, set to receive its launch at Future Heritage 2018—Decorex International’s prestigious showcase of contemporary craft, and part of the London Design Festival.

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Karlyn Sutherland's work in fused glass, to be displayed alongside the new Haar blankets at Decorex, London.

Designed during a visit by Sutherland to Kalra’s studio in Hoswick, the blankets are knitted by the state-of-the-art Textile Facilitation Unit at Shetland College UHI, and hand-finished at the Nielanell Studio. Yarns were carefully selected for their individual properties, with silk, Shetland wool, mercerised cotton and extra-fine merino all being used. Unusually, these were chosen for the way in which the fibres reflect—or don’t reflect—light. In particular, Kalra was very keen to use a native Shetland wool, sourced locally from world-renowned spinning mill Jamieson’s of Shetland. A unique and special fibre, and part of Scotland’s heritage, Kalra believes Shetland wool deserves its place (and holds its own) alongside the world’s most luxurious yarns.


In the construction of the textile, knit stitches have been cleverly manipulated to bring colour to the foreground, or make it recede: just what happens in misty misty conditions. Haar is a representation of the surface of an atmospheric phenomenon.

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Knitted and hand-finished in Shetland


Silk, Jamieson's of Shetland pure Shetland wool, mercerised cotton, extra-fine merino

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Wool ready for spinning at Jamieson's of Shetland, Sandness

Alongside the textiles, Karlyn Sutherland will be showing her own work in fused glass—a complementary investigation of the interplay between colour and light.


Niela Kalra and Karlyn Sutherland said:

“We are delighted to bring some Scottish Haar to London and honoured to have been selected for Future Heritage by Corinne Julius. It is incredibly exciting to show our work alongside designers and makers of the calibre of Tord Boontje, Glithero and Jochen Holz”.