The story of Marlet


3rd July 2015
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Once again it is my Indian roots that brought me to my next collection source - marlet or as it’s known around these parts - elephant ear.
 

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marlet tunic dress
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You know when you find yourself in places you know you really shouldn't be?

 

Well this time I was in Kerala wandering around a hillside with another girl and a 'guide'.  I was so busy looking downwards for snakes, that I failed to see at first these most magnificent beasts.

 

Unfortunately I resumed my search for snakes so intently I didn't notice that the mother elephant was heading towards us at speed.  We had strolled too close to her baby. The guide became very unhappy about her presence, and shouted 'run'.  We ran as fast as we could down a steep embankment - the three of us splitting up in an effort to confuse the elephant - luckily she didn't chase us!

 

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I was fortunate enough to meet more elephants at the elephant sanctuary and I even had the chance to ride this one.

You have no idea how soft and velvety their ears are - especially on your feet - I love them.


So started my love affair with elephant ears.  It can hardly be surprising then to hear that they became part of my knitwear collection.

The elephant ear marlet wrap is the most favourite piece I have ever made.

 

It’s in perfect proportion to an elephant's ear and it fits in so perfectly with my animal skins concepts - where the pattern performs a useful function like camouflage.

 

The wrap itself is also functional, it's warm and comforting, it looks good - and provides security in our sometimes confusing world.

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marlet wrap

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Yet camouflage is all about what we see or don't see, especially relating to a pattern. People see or don’t see so many different things. Nobody has ever guessed the source of this pattern - how would they? And I guess that's the point.


I also thought of shoormal  (Shetland dialect for where the shore meets the sea) as a collection name .  I guess what I have learned through the process of naming collections is that you too can use your own imagination and call it as you wish.

 

new limited edition colourways now online >>
 

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The other thing to watch out for in this piece is how the colour pops - after some fairly serious sampling, I can now reliably choose two colours so that one colour recedes and the other pops out - adding depth to the two dimensions making them appear three-dimensional.

 

tunic dress

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marlet
adj - mottled. Sees du da legs o `er fair marlet wi sittin beekin hersel afore da fire.
- John Graham’s Shetland Dictionary

New and distinctive combinations have now been released in marlet - a sophisticated, reverse-jacquard collection in pure merino wool. Make a refined but bold and colour-popping statement – with or without the fireside legs!