The Start of Something Beautiful

October 18, 2016

Welcome to the KBEN & HOL blog. We hope by now you have learnt a little more about us through reading Our Story. The launch of our blog serves as an extension of this, where you will be able to delve into our creative process, travel, lifestyle and other inspiration along the way. You’ll also find interior decorating ideas that you can implement in your own home.

The Inspiration

We have always been passionate about textiles and interior design. What we discover about a culture, place and its people during our travels inspires us. 

Our colourful heritage also has a strong influence on our design process. My parents, brother and I are survivors of the genocide carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime. Despite fleeing Cambodia as a refugee for her adopted home, Australia, my mother was able to salvage her collection of beautiful silk KBENs and HOLs. Her collection of now vintage, handwoven KBENs & HOLs is what inspired us to create these beautiful, functional cushions. The first cushion design in our Heritage collection, Vintage Kissing Peacocks, was created from a vintage KBEN - a Cambodian traditional dress that was paired with a HOL – a patterned silk unique to each village. From there, KBEN & HOL was born.

Cambodia has a long and rich history in traditional silk weaving. Unfortunately, many artisans with this skill were persecuted during the Khmer Rouge regime and as a result, the art is dying. More recently, many surviving traditional silk weavers abandoned their craft to seek regular employment in larger cities. We have much respect and admiration for local handicraft, textiles and the artisans that create it. Through KBEN & HOL we wanted to bring the incredible skill, technique and artistry of our silk weavers from remote villages to the world.

   

The Process

The design process is collaborative and involves us working directly with the local artisans in Cambodia to create our pieces or allowing them to showcase their own original work. Traditional weaving is a very labour intensive art form and the production of our pieces can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months depending on the complexity of the design. It is very important to us that the traditional weaving community in Cambodia is supported so that it continues to flourish for generations to come.

The love of handwoven or handmade items versus machine-made comes down to personal choice. For us, it is the distinctive texture and character that handwoven items exhibit. We can never guarantee the same colour/design in each of our creations as a result of the natural imperfections and irregularities that come from using this production process. The uniqueness of each piece makes it a true work of art. In our next blog post we will take you through the fascinating and yet sometimes misunderstood art of silk weaving in more detail.

   

The Collection

Our designs are defined by a contrast of colours, original patterns and refined materials. We are focused on using natural and luxurious fibres such as silk, cotton or a combination of both. Our debut collection, Dance of the Peacock, Vivid and Heritage celebrate the beauty of handwoven creations, comprising traditional elements and contemporary design, vibrant in colour and rich in texture. From our base in Hong Kong we will be releasing new designs regularly and offering a new collection of handwoven cushions and textiles every season - continue to watch this space!

Our design ethos is to create luxury home furnishings and textiles, pairing traditional Cambodian techniques with contemporary design. We hope our creations can be part of your living space and conversations for years to come. View our current collection today at https://www.kbenhol.com/collections.

   





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