TODAY we chat to our upholsterer extraordinaire NICOLA PARKES.
Nicola joined forces with us last year to bring the skills of upholstery to our vintage loving clientele. Running in blocks of 6 weeks, classes every Monday.
Recently she brought some life back into a few of our old cinema seats….
Hi Nicola, we are chuffed to bits with the beautiful work on our vintage cinema seats. Tell us more about your passion for furniture…
I’d always made things from a young age. As a result when I grew up I was always trying my hand at different projects- blinds, cushions, lampshades, recovering dining chairs. My husband saved me, and himself, from tampering with things when he read an article in a Sunday magazine about an upholsterer and I never looked back. All of a sudden (within a week) I was stood in my first ever upholstery workshop!
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I started my upholstery training coming up on 11 years ago now. I took redundancy after having my first child and was running a small admin business from home, feeling far from fulfilled.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE TO WORK ON?
I love chairs, good job too. I love mid-century pieces, it’s the curves. Older furniture was made beautifully, the craftsmanship in a piece is so much better than most modern day pieces.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST CHALLENGING PIECE?
I’m always working on different, challenging pieces! It’s like a jigsaw. You need to take it apart bit by bit. There are more jobs that would give you a headache compared to the ones you’d sail through! Every job is a new jigsaw. I am currently working on, the Statesman Parker Knoll, there is hardly any fixed upholstery, it’s 90% sewing machine work which is not my comfort zone, so to answer that question, my latest challenging piece is the Statesman Chair!
DREAM ITEM TO WORK ON?
This is a hard one to answer. I just love chairs. I’ll look online, around shops & markets to find a chair will jump out at me. I will just fall in love with the shape and that will be my dream item, until the next one comes along.