AKIN: A Design Collaboration

In collaboration with Ms Browns Lounge, MATTER have produced a series of 3 silk/cotton scarves of an amazing quality, printed by artisans and hand finished with love. The 3 Designs are an amalgam between ancient symbolism and contemporary framework.


Image by Farisia Thang

Image by Farisia Thang


MATTER is a socially motivated brand focusing on affordable luxury, thoughtful design and provenance, connecting rural textile artisans and urban designers to create travel ware with stories to tell. Their mission is threefold – to foster designer-artisan collaborations, inspire consumers to value provenance and process, and pioneer industry change and sustainability for rural textile communities.  Story driven, community based, built on direct relationships and commitment to respecting provenance. Founded in 2014, they began simply with the intention to make where and why something is made, and by whom, matter. An idea borne of conversations and late night dreaming between two friends, Yvonne and Ren, became a mission to make connected clothing – pieces carrying handcrafted grace in each thread and cultural heritage in their colours and shapes.


A couple of years ago I discovered my Grandmothers collection of vintage wooden blocks hidden in one of the radiators in her apartment in Queens, NY. I was there to help her move into a nursing home and after 60 years of living in the same apartment, I found sentimental treasures and time capsules everywhere. I discovered her portfolio of textile design from the Design School she attended (The New York School of Applied Design for Ladies…or something like that). I had also inherited a set of rugs that were hers, and handed down by my Great Grandfather who had a rug shop in Allentown PA.


What brought me to MATTER was research into the contemporary applications of the Indian cultural tradition of block printing after finding these blocks my grandmother had kept. We began a conversation and the idea of collaborating on a project and AKIN was born!




AKIN has been a year in the making and encompasses lifetimes of skills, experiences and stories.


AKIN is an international collection – Designed in Australia by an Australian/US designer who has Armenian/Dutch ancestry. Handprinted by 4th generation block printers in Jaipur and the whole thing was brought to life by MATTER in Singapore…


And I am totally overwhelmed by the results!



You can see the scarves in detail and purchase in our store HERE! For Wholesale orders – please get in touch for wholesale prices! For International Orders, MATTER has Free International Postage so you can order from their site and read more about our collaboration HERE



Derived from the word ‘kin’, Akin speaks of stories from the forgotten past, mapping out the threads that connect us to our ancestors. Akin combines the strength of the Dragon, the healing properties of the Pomegranate, and the sealing protection from the Amulet.


The motif is representative of the Dragon’s ancient meanings of strength and power, being bold and distinct with its robust geometrical structure. Repetitive teardrop-like exterior brings to mind the sturdy scales of the dragon, while the two mirrored diamonds in the center reflect its serpentine eyes.


Manifold in meaning, the Armenian national fruit has been attributed towards the immortality of the soul while its abundance of seeds signifies its various healing properties, as well as prosperity, fertility and generosity.


Amulets are believed to have the ability to ward off misfortune and injury cast upon by the “evil eye”, guiding the wearers towards having spiritual balance. The seven teardrop-like shapes symbolises divine light and wisdom, while the diamond signifies clarity of mind.


I’ve also hand printed and editioned a series of screen-prints to accompany the scarves (very limited!) which will come as a gift with the pre-orders from our site…have a closer look at them here.