A YEAR-LONG project to highlight the cultural importance of textile designer Bernat Klein has begun in the Borders.

The Serb-colourist moved to Galashiels in the early 1950s to establish a weaving centre.

Although highly-regarded, it was the decision by Coco Chanel to use Klein's fabrics for her spring collection of 1962 which gave him greater exposure around the world.

Many of the leading design houses of the 60s, such as Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Dior, became customers.

Klein re-invented himself again in the mid-60s and based himself at a purpose-built studio near Selkirk.

Employing around 250 hand-knitters from around the region, he began to produce his own producing clothing collections, as well as upholstery and carpets.

The Bernat Klein Foundation was established in 2017 - three years after his death - to promote and develop the designer's legacy.

After being awarded funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the William Grant Foundation, a year-long project began last month.

Working with Live Borders, the Borders Textile Towerhouse, and the School of Textiles & Design at Heriot-Watt University, the project will contribute to securing the legacy of Bernat Klein and his unique creative and cultural contribution to the Borders.

Trustee Maggie Marr told us: "Through a series of activities, the intergenerational project will engage with people across the Borders to record and promote Klein’s legacy.

"Work created throughout the project will be showcased in an exhibition to be held at the Borders Textile Towerhouse from November.

"We would be pleased to hear from people who knew and worked for Bernat Klein.

"If you would like to share your story or would like more information about the project please get in touch with us at info@bernatkleinfoundation.org we look forward to hearing from you."

The opening project event, Interwoven Networks: Bernat Klein and refuges from Nazi Europe, will be held at the Border Towerhouse in Hawick on Sunday, March 22 from 2pm to 5pm.

Dr Anna Nyburg (Imperial College London) and Lisa Mason (National Museums Scotland) will explore the work of Bernat Klein in the context of wider networks of émigré designers practicing in post-war Britain.

This event will also include a screening of the film Refuge Britain.

Tickets can be booked by contacting the Border Textile Towerhouse Museum on - 01450 377615 or at textiletowerhouse@liveborders1.org.uk