Norlha Launches Limited-Edition Scarves and Ready-to-Wear Capsule Collection for SS23 The symbolic significance of water in Tibetan Buddhism inspires Norlha’s limited-edition scarves and ready-to-wear range for spring/summer 2023.  

Water is both precious and plentiful on the Tibetan Plateau ­– a place of innumerable mineral springs, alpine lakes, glaciers, and the headwaters for many of Asia’s largest rivers. Rituals around water abound in Tibetan Buddhism, particularly yönchap – a daily water offering practised in shrines and homes across the plateau. Norlha’s limited-edition scarves and ready-to-wear items for spring/-summer 2023 are lightweight, flowing, and diaphanous – inspired by the Buddhist understanding of water as a symbol of purity, clarity, and calm. Many pieces are woven from fine yak khullu and silk, which, when perfectly balanced by the weaver, create a crinkled texture in the weave. The naturally formed wrinkles, creases, and pleats in these yak khullu and silk-blend pieces gently tighten and loosen in response to humidity and dryness – adding to their fluid, organic nature.  

Balancing khullu and silk in the weave is a craft perfected by Norlha’s artisans, who have created these unique, experimental fabrics after many years spent mastering their practice. As Rinchen Kyi, who has been with Norlha for over a decade, explains: 

‘My mind can wander when my fingers work the silk yarn, untangling each strand from the rest. The silk slithers gently against my fingers while the yak twists and curls up. From over ten years of working with these yarns, I am familiar with their behaviour and feel gratified each time I overcome a challenging knot.’

As with all Norlha pieces, these scarves demonstrate what can be achieved when yak khullu is treated with care and respect. The immense effort and precision involved in creating each of these pieces have necessarily restricted production, making them truly limited. Norlha is also releasing two ready-to-wear (and made-to-order) pieces as part of a limited spring-summer capsule range. Made with the same precisely balanced yak khullu and silk blend, the Feather Long-Sleeved Top and Feather Skirt show this exquisite fabric at its purest with casual, flowing lines and silhouettes cut for movement, comfort, and simplicity. Made from unbleached, undyed khullu, the natural grey skirt and natural white top (made from the rarest of all yak wools) echo the Tibetan Plateau’s landscape – the grey of the mountains’ rocky peaks and the white of the snow that blankets the pastures from autumn to spring and the billowing clouds that fill the summer sky.

Introducing Master Weaver Wandi Kyi Wandi Kyi (བན་དེ་སྐྱིད།) was one of the first ten nomads Norlha trained in 2007 and she has been working at Norlha Atelier ever since. Her quick mind and incredible coordination have guided her work, and she became one of Norlha’s cherished master weavers in 2007. She started her family while at Norlha, and is now a mother of three. Her husband also works at Norlha Atelier, managing our raw materials for production.

Wandi created the Mud Wall Scarf for SS23’s limited-edition range. Here, she reflects on the process of creating the scarf:

‘All these years of weaving, I felt that achieving the perfect symmetry and balance was the biggest challenge. Who would have known that creating irregularity demands an even higher level of perfection? This scarf is the series of zigzagged paths that life often takes us on, the challenge and the beauty in the unpredictable.’