The easiest and least-labour intensive reupholstery of an armchair is a simple recovering with a top fabric. As with most things in life, it is rarely that simple! So, although general guidelines can be given from photographs, it is only when Ali sees (and has a good feel) of the item to be upholstered can she do a full and honest evaluation. More often than not, some portion of the chair will need to be replaced – whether the springs have failed, the webbings have loosened, or the back is not comfortable when sitting. Whatever the problem, all can be resolved at Needle Rock.

Traditional upholstery is the most labour-intensive upholstery and the most expensive, with black fibre and horsehair used as natural stuffing materials, and the edges hand-stitched to provide the required shape. If you go down this route, you can be pretty sure the chair will outlive you.

Check out the ‘recent project’ section; see the various stages Ali went through to traditionally reupholster a neglected sprung-arm and sprung-base armchair. It certainly took a long time, but the results are stunning.

Modern upholstery uses synthetic materials such as foam and polyester wadding and is less expensive than traditional upholstery. The products are cheaper, and the application is quicker, with foam estimated to last about 10 years.

Ali will advise you on what attention your armchair requires, and to help you reach the best option available for you and your chair. Every chair has a story - have a look below and create the story you want for your own personalised chair!

Through the Workshop Door – June 2019

We've had a busy month in June; settling into the new workshop has been a delight, and I’m so pleased with the extra space at my disposal. I’ve been working hard to try and catch up with the backlog (not quite there yet – but nearly!)

With help from Gordon - my husband, Needle Rock has gained an integral workshop fabric store. Whilst the lovely barn provides adequate workspace, we need to ensure that even in winter, the fabrics are stored in warm, dry conditions. The fabric store is based on a flat-roofed summerhouse which Gordon has modified internally to provide racking for rolls of fabric. We soon realised that being flat-roofed, it would be possible to have additional storage on the summerhouse roof. To achieve this, the roof has been strengthened and we’ve fitted an old staircase giving us easy access. All has been made safe with handrails, and we have compartment bays to store large sheets of foam. The inside of the store resembles a medieval building with timber columns, roof beams and cornices.

The highlight this month has been the renovation of a glorious Victorian Settle that I rescued a couple of years ago from the old RAFA Club in Bridge street, Aberystwyth (which has now evolved into Bar 46). It was pretty beaten up when we rescued it; I removed the old upholstery, and Gordon made it a new arm, a new front spill and ensured all the joints were solid. It’s been in storage for the last couple of years, but with the additional space I am now able to move along some of these projects – and the journey into its new life has gained momentum. The entire piece has been painted in a multitude of greys reinstating the natural aged and distressed look. It’s been fully reupholstered to the highest standard; with a superb burnt orange seat, complementary upholstery nails, and the back has a touch of decadence, using the ‘Talisman’ fabric by French designer ‘Christian Lacroix’ sold through the Designers Guild. The fabric design is reminiscent of looking through a church window on a dark night – and the velvety feel is just superb! This piece is ideal for a hallway, kitchen or landing and is looking for its new home! Further details and dimensions are listed at .

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"A modest repair but neatly and quickly done. Friendly and helpful service".
Bryn Baker

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