this month, kapok presents a brand new theme ‘twins‘ as we highlight the duality of things, looking at both sides of the coin, and because two is always better than one!
we go behind the scene with MATTER, a socially motivated lifestyle brand creating travel ware with stories to tell, to discover what’s at the core of their business – creating provenance and making fashion sustainable through craft.
with the latest KUMAON collection, how did the collaboration with Preetika Sah begin?
actually, Preetika wrote into us after finding out about the collaborative approach to MATTER and also the ethos of designing from the past for the present. She was extremely passionate about the art of Aipan, a folk art from her region of KUMAON, and wanted to tell that story. we met and upon discovering our aligned values as well as aesthetics, started the collaboration.
what is KUMAON and the story behind each print?
KUMAON is actually the culture of the Kumaoni people, residing in the Northern Indian regions near the Himalayans. the three prints are as following:
the motif draws inspiration from the eight petalled lotus seat, which is used for worshipping Goddess Saraswati as she is often found seated on it, symbolising knowledge and purity of the soul. the motif creates a divine rhythm, and motivates us to look within ourselves with a mindful eye.
it tells a story of self-discovery, connecting the dots through time and looking within our souls. the patterns mark the different stages of life, from birth to eternity of our souls. there is a certain simplicity in the complexity of the pattern, which follows an underlying structure representing the universe within.
the motif represents the fusion of our environment and metaphysical realms. a reflection of delicacy and grace, influenced by the peace and serenity of the hills of the region. it expresses the spirit of the mountain and its people – their stubborn courage and indomitable will.
how do the artisan partners benefit from working with MATTER?
our first impact metric is the number of days of employment generated through each product; we estimate an average of 16-24 days per garment, and we also have a principle where 20-40% of the cost of every product goes to the artisans. in this sense, in the most direct quantifiable sense, they benefit from the market access we provide and the demand for their craft. in more intangible ways, its capacity building in the sense of innovation as the artisans learn and practice new ways of applying their technique based on our designs – working with them this way enables an understanding of design needs in different markets than the ones they are used to as well.
why is artisan craft relevant in fashion?
artisan craft and textiles are a great way to experience culture and learn about heritage from one region. the different ways of making the fabric, the dyes they use and the motifs they represent are all very intricate signs of who the people are and what their history is in the land that they live in. returning to the basics of what connects us globally and unites us as humans – our stories, craft and values.
what is the future of blockprint and how can we personally experience the handicraft process?
many blockprinters nowadays are moving towards silkscreen printing and with that change we are losing the process of block designing, block carving and how each single hand blockprinted motif looks a little different. on the other hand though, we’re seeing a great resurgence in demand and interest for this craft with the appreciation of the wabi sabi philosophy, where beauty is in the imperfect.
discover the latest KUMAON collection at our Singapore flagship store in national design centre.
MATTER is hosting a series of blockprinting workshops in november 18th – 20th where you can experience blockprinting yourself. back their project on Kickstarter in the next 24 days to secure a spot to get your hands dirty printing!
workshop prices starts at S$100 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/308655289/blockprinting-workshop