Black Book Of Upholsterers
By Matilda Sturley
6th October 2022
When researching upholsterers and clicking on their 'about' pages, I noticed one key theme that arose repeatedly. It seems those who make upholstery their life's work seek to preserve the craftsmanship of centuries past and breathe new life into furniture for the sake of preservation, sustainability, tradition and legacy.
Each craftsperson has honed their skill and has specialised in different areas of the trade, meaning the art of upholstery is varied and individual to the artisan. With hundreds across the country, we've selected several excellent craftspeople to add to our black book of upholsterers.
Established in Wiltshire in 1988 by Roy Coles, this traditional maker of bespoke upholstered furniture specialises in the reuse of antique fabrics and the creation of bespoke sofas and armchairs. Through sourcing the materials locally, with the timber from the partner family business Tyler Hardwoods, Roy Coles and his team of upholsterers place sustainability at the heart of their practices.
Having begun his training in 1988 in Normandy, France, Armand Verdier perfected his art whilst gaining experience in France and Myanmar, before working for one of the leading experts in traditional upholstery, Angela Burgin, in the UK. Now running his own workshop in Cheddington, Buckinghamshire, Armand works on private commissions, and with antique dealers and interior designers.
Sympathetically upholstered to bring a new lease of life to furniture, Victoria Williams' bespoke practices often feature fabrics from Fermoie and Christopher Farr, giving them a truly luxurious appearance. Victoria Williams Upholstery is situated in Launceston, on the Cornwall, Devon border.
South West London
Fellow House & Garden magazine alumni Sophie Carmichael retrained in upholstery after starting her family and has been running her own atelier in South-West London since 2014. Her eye for detail and love for interiors and fabrics have encouraged her to focus on modern and traditional upholstery practices.
With over thirty years experience and a real enthusiasm for his craft, Peter Alexander launched his own company in 1988, which specialised in bespoke upholstery. From traditional to contemporary to unusual one-offs, Peter and his team of upholsterers seem to have all bases covered!
Bath-based upholstery business, Walcot Upholstery was first established in 1973 and has remained family-run ever since. Using traditional methods to bring period furniture back to life, Walcot Upholstery is positioned in Bath city centre, on the locally-renowned interiors hub of Walcot Street.
London & South-East
Offering a bespoke service that covers all aspects of upholstery and interior design alike, Micaela Sharp and her team use modern upholstery techniques when restoring furniture, working with clients across London and the South-East of England.
With over 30-years of experience, Danbury Upholsterers both make and restore furniture to last, using biodegradable materials as their standard practice for restoring period pieces, which is their specialist skill set.
With their studio situated in the charming Cotswold village of Sherston, Lizzy Hayes goes beyond upholstery alone. Working with craftspeople in the local area, including cabinet makers, textile designers and restorers, Lizzy Hayes offers a unique design, restoration and interior service.
Having graduated from the Traditional Upholstery School near Bath with distinction in 2018, Anna Elizabeth's love for restoring and upholstering beautiful pieces is combined with her love for making bespoke furniture.
Based in Forest Gate in East London, upholstery studio Altyn is headed by Olga Mackenzie who draws upon her previous careers in fashion and and art to influence her upholstery practices.