BYGONE // REBORN: An Exhibition For London Design Festival

BYGONE // REBORN at the Victoria & Albert museum was inspired by the ancient deel garments of nomadic Mongolian warriors. Each hand-made, one-off cashmere piece takes the fibre into bold and unexpected new territories. Three distinct 'groups' emerged in the process:

The TUFT pieces were created using a specially developed technique created in house. As far as we know it is unique in the world of cashmere and beyond. After lengthy experimentation, a process was developed in which delicate cashmere yarns were threaded through industrial machinery from the 1970s to create the textures you see here. The one-off throws and garments call to mind the rugged qualities of ancient garb built for survival, whilst retaining the soft warmth of cashmere.

The HAND TO HAND pieces are the result of a collaboration with renowned hand-weaver Ismini Samanidou. Samanidou’s progressively-minded affection for the dying art of hand-weaving resonated with Oyuna Tserendorj’s deel-inspired vision. Having never before worked with a fibre as delicate as cashmere, a throw and a shawl were comprised of many different striking textures, patterns and techniques. The two pieces summon the feel of times-gone-by: when every fibre of every possession was precious; when every piece was stitched, darned, repaired and replaced with an inventive desire to prolong life, creating something even more beautiful in the process.

The QUILT pieces place the unparalleled qualities of the cashmere itself front and centre. They exude luxury and softness, but look a little closer and you can see the techniques that echo the craftsmanship of the Mongolian deel... Quilting is inspired by the silkworm cocoon linings that insulated the deels of ancient warriors in Mongolia; the batwing-like sleeve construction replicated here offered much needed versatility of movement.