Niela Kalra

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Niela Kalra


I have run a knit design studio based in Shetland since 2008.

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. Realising ideas/concepts through experimenting with glass and print, I then translate this imagery into innovative yet surprisingly simple knitwear pieces.

I teach classes in 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 selected as a design leader for V&A Dundee’s Scottish Design Relay, an inspiring programme for young people.

I run workshops in textile arts as my true passion lies in spinning and dyeing wool. I curate and teach workshops for Hoswick Wool Week, which as part of Shetland Wool Week, an international festival celebrating knit and Shetland wool.

My design practice is based on a holistic approach to promoting rural sustainability, nurturing creativity within the community and fostering long term and long distance creative connections. I believe that making is a restorative process – yet the comfort and security of the wearer of my pieces is always at the forefront of my mind during this process. It is the combination of these ideas which ensures that we all benefit in some form from the making process.

Business or Organisation Name





Shetland Islands





Main Discipline

Textiles – Knitted

Mediums Used


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