Celebrating craft and conservation, Norlha is releasing a limited collection of one-of-a-kind blankets made from recycled yak wool fabrics to mark the atelier’s 16th anniversary. Norlha is proud to work with precious natural fibres, in particular yak down (or ‘khullu’), which is sourced by nomad cooperatives across the plateau before it is washed and spun by Norlha’s artisans. Out of respect for khullu and the energy and resources used to turn its fibres into fabric, Norlha saves any unused khullu textiles and yarn to repurpose. Valuing materials in this way speaks to practices of conserving and mending that are part of Tibetan nomadic culture, in which scraps are collected and saved to be used again and again.This collection of eight unique, individually numbered blankets is made from unused sections of hand-woven fabrics and scarves that have been carefully saved and archived at the atelier since Norlha began. Each blanket is a patchwork of exceptionally soft yak khullu and silk-blend fabrics in tonal whites and browns and greys. To add strength and density to the fabrics, they are hand-felted with a thin layer of yak or sheep’s wool before being hand-stitched together. As with all of Norlha’s blankets, these pieces are intended to be future heirlooms – made to use and keep and pass on.This circular collection is part of a yearly tradition set by Norlha, in which the atelier creates a limited collection of pieces made using repurposed materials from the atelier’s archive. There is history in every piece – traces of previous years and artisans’ hands.
Kim Yeshi, Norlha’s President and Co-Founder, says:
This circular collection speaks to the spirit of conservation that underscores everything we do. Tibetan nomads, among whom we live and work, are practical people who maximise their resources – upcycling their everyday things to make the most of everything they have. Our circular collections arose from our wish to give new life to our unused materials, transforming them into beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind pieces.In a Ritoma Village home, a patched sheep’s wool felt blanket belonging to a local nomad.