Nielanell is a Shetland knit studio founded by designer Niela Kalra.
My alternative Shetland knitwear is inspired by the traditions and techniques of our islands’ textile heritage, but I follow my own design path—developing collections through connection with place, history and world culture, and using my passion for colour to create contemporary knitwear.
Nielanell collections are made in Shetland by local craftspeople skilled in the art of machine knitting. We use carefully sourced, premium yarns to produce interesting texture and construction, and the unusual colour combinations I have become known for. Every piece is hand-finished, in-house.
I regularly teach classes on design, work on commissions, and collaborate with other makers: the results have been shown at the Saatchi Gallery, and at Decorex; in 2018 I was delighted to be selected as a design leader for V&A Dundee’s Scottish Design Relay, an inspiring programme for young people.
Before moving to Shetland, and studying textiles at UHI, I was a criminal defence solicitor—part of a varied personal history, which also informs my work. My pieces themselves travel widely, whether homewards in the suitcase of a visitor, in deliveries to online customers, or to stockists and galleries in the UK and beyond.
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