Hand sorted by nomadic herders in Mongolia, skilfully dyed and spun on the boarders of Scotland and then carefully designed and finished by Jennifer in Glasgow, these cashmere products have had the ultimate care and attention at every stage of production.
The space was clean, white walls and high ceilings just punctuated with different pieces of art hanging around the room. We sipped our flat white and Americano at the pop up cafe in the Southblock Glasgow, as we waited for Jenifer Kent of Edition Scotland. Shetook us to her studio, a space dominated by bursts of vibrant colours radiating from yarn bundles, hanging cashmere scarves and design drawings scattered around. This was certainly a working environment, with plenty of energy.
Jennifer runs Edition Scotland, a company specialising in cashmere and merino scarves as well as other accessories for men. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a First Class degree in Textile Design and a Masters with Distinction in Textiles as Fashion. Following a successful internship in New York and work at Lyle & Scott in London she returned to Glasgow to launch Edition Scotland. While she was with Lyle and Scott Jennifer had the chance to work with Comme des Garcons giving her the opportunity to experience UK manufacturing at its best. She worked with Lyle & Scotts factories in the Scottish Borders and it was here that she got the taste for hands on manufacturing and knew it was something she wanted to do more of and the seed for Edition Scotland was sown.
“I love being back in Glasgow,” she said, “ there is definitely a community here – not just in this building but in the city itself.” She had already made some great contacts with factories in the Scottish Borders and knew she wanted to work specifically with cashmere. The raw fibre for her scarves comes from a unique herd of cashmere goats in the Alashan region of Inner Mongolia. Each Spring the precious fleece is hand-sorted and combed by nomadic herders before being transported to the mill on the banks of Loch Leven in Scotland where it is dyed and spun into yarn. She said “the quality of the hand-sorted fleece, the skills of the cashmere mill in the Borders and the soft Scottish water all align to provide us with a beautifully soft product.”
The scarves are so soft that once on you won’t want to take them off. They were elegantly presented on bespoke hangers which allowed us to experience the unique softness and to admire the classic designs, which change every season. Jennifer said, “I’m really passionate about all of my designs having a depth to them and a story to tell. I take time to work on research and development because there is no way I just want to produce pretty patterns.” The current designs are a blend of geometric abstract art fused with classic or fast disappearing Scottish patterns.
Her scarves sell all over the world, with new stockists in Japan and America who really appreciate the traditional manufacturing processes involved and the hand finished personal attention given to every item that leaves the studio. Once you understand the time taken to perfect the designs, the careful selection of the finest goat hair and the time-honoured manufacturing techniques to produce each scarf then the high price doesn’t factor into your thoughts, and with Christmas round the corner this could be the softest way to keep warm this winter.