I believe tradition evolves....and the ak traditions story has certainly evolved organically over the past decade. But throughout the journey, while the products have changed the focus has remained the same and continues to shape everything I design . What began as a contemporary gallery showcasing decorative Central Asian textiles from Kyrgystan grew to incorporate traditionally inspired, artsan quality toys and collectibles that were designed in Melbourne and made in Kyrgystan. Over time, we've added pattern books, creative kits and even fabrics and our own knitting wool to the ak collection so that customers can make your own version of ak designs.
So what makes ak different? First of all colour...ak colours are intense, slightly dirty and totally unexpected...and our use of classic natural fibres like, fine loomed cotton, pure wool felt and 100% pure merino knitting wool. Secondly, we're obsessive about quality and finish. We don't differentiatiate between toys, clothes or homewares. If its worth making, its worth making in the best materials available and enjoying and taking pride in the process is integral to acheiving a great result. All ak readymade felt products are sewn individually by hand in low numbers and our unique, creative kits are designed to both inspire and enable customers to produce handmade toys that will last and be passed on as family treasures.
However, the thing that really makes ak tick is that all our products have a context, a back story - they're come about for a reason other than ithe arrival of a new season or the latest fad. Rather than looking to zoos or farms or the circus for inspiration, our animals are usually part of a much longer textile tradition that exists within various cultures. Similarly, our handmade dolls tap into a tradition of doll making and play that is found in just about every culture.
This web store marks another watershed in the life of ak ... its a recognition that we are no longer all about readymade, artisan quality products but also about supplying the tools, materials and inspiration. We hope you find this shop much easier to navigate and use than our original site...watch out for our readymade items which will for this first time be offered on-line in the store and for a new concept, the ak work room which will hopefully provide a venue to learn, share and follow the ak journey./p>