The Needle Rock mission is to provide a friendly and personal upholstery service. To conserve and sympathetically restore antique furniture for future generations. To promote traditional methods and materials in a modern context.
Jokingly Ali refers to herself as ‘The Chair Doctor’, but she really is a Doctor. Ali studied Botany, followed by a PhD in Plant Disease at Aberystwyth University and IGER. After working as a Plant Disease Specialist in both Welsh and UK Governments, Ali chose voluntary redundancy in 2014. She retrained in the craft of traditional and modern upholstery and loves her new vocation.
In 2019, Needle Rock became a full member of the The Association of Master Upholsterers & Soft Furnishers. Furniture repairs are carried out in-house by Gordon, Ali’s husband, whose passion for woodwork is extremely valuable to the Needle Rock business.
We offer an honest evaluation and sound advice for each piece of upholstered furniture you want us to work on. We will guide you to choose the best combination of upholstery options to suit the commission, your taste and budget.
How Needle Rock got its name…
Gulls Needle ca. 1905, Llanrhystud beach.
The name ‘Needle Rock’ was inspired by the ‘Gulls Needle’, a rocky pillar that stood on our local beach. It was washed away decades ago; the photograph opposite was taken in 1905, and shows it in all its glory.
Moreover, the name ‘Needle Rock’ is reminiscent of the needles used in traditional upholstery as well as referencing the constantly changing coastline of home.
The Needle Rock Upholstery Workshop
The Needle Rock workshop nestles in a verdant green fold of the Welsh countryside. It is surrounded by burbling streams, and pastures grazed by sheep, and black and white (moo) cows. The rolling hillsides are ablaze with bright yellow gorse. The sky is pierced by the calls of red kites and buzzards, and the drama of ever-changing clouds.
The workshop is an ancient stone barn complete with slit windows. Inside, there is ancient winding gear that powered farm machinery in the age of steam. The workshop is reached along a twisting lane strewn with a changing pallet of wildflowers. And it is a stone’s throw from the sea. The tranquillity is disturbed only by the “clat-clat” of the tack hammer.
Customers visiting the Needle Rock workshop, often compare it to ‘The Repair Shop’, the popular BBC TV series, which is also an old barn set in open countryside, and in which new life is restored to a dazzling diversity of cherished family heirlooms