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Made with love: The story behind our upholstery collection

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Every single one of our sofas and armchairs are made to order by craftsmen and women in Long Eaton, the centre of the UK’s upholstery trade

ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?

cotswoldco-factory_joanne-crawford-281Because the story of upholstery in Long Eaton began a very very long time ago. In the 19th century Long Eaton was a thriving town, producing a large proportion of famous Nottingham lace. As demand for lace fell, the demand for railway carriage seats and furniture for ocean liners grew, and the town became known for making the finest quality upholstery in the UK. And it still is. “It is true craftsmanship,” says Paul Deckland, Buying Director at the Cotswold Company, of the work that takes place in its Long Eaton factory where everything is done by hand and there is no production line.

upholstery_012-2“Upholstery cannot be done by machine. It’s steeped in tradition. The people here are second or third generation upholsterers. The same one or two people make each piece from start to finish. You can see the pride they take in their work in the quality of the finished furniture.” Making the perfect sofa is no mean feat. Take the Morris. It‘s an elegant piece with neat proportions. The style has longevity. It‘s the kind of piece that could move home with you without looking old or out of place.

A CONSIDERED PROCESS

Each new style starts life as a drawing. “We take inspiration from classic timeless shapes but update them to be relevant for today,” says Paul. ”We started with images of traditional chairs and then played with the proportions to make the shape more contemporary. And we squared off the corners so it’s neater.” Next the factory makes a prototype. ”We will sit on it, lie on it, play on it. After that it will go through several rounds of modifications, perhaps widening the arm to make it more functional or raising the back to use as a headrest. With the Morris we increased the thickness of the cushions and on the sofa we made the arm a little higher so you can use it as a headrest.” Each component is thought through, from the frames to the springs to the filling. ”It‘s the same with all our upholstery, but we come from a position of comfort. For the Morris we chose feather-wrapped seat cushions rather than 100% feathers so you get the comfort of feathers without having to plump up all the time.”

A COLOURFUL LANDSCAPE

foxcote_sofa_012Each of our eight sofa shapes comes in many sizes, and a choice of any of our 21 fabrics. “We’ve tried really hard to make it as easy and simple for our customers as possible,” says Paul. ”Which is why our range of fabrics is small. You can use any fabric on any of the shapes. Our sofas offer styles to suit all tastes, from the familiar timelessness of our Hurley fabric sofa to the graceful simplicity of our Cooper sofa with its contemporary slimline design, and not forgetting the elegantly sumptuous Ashbee fixed-back sofa.

SOFA, SO GOOD

11_06-235-pictureA sofa is a big investment and choosing it can take time. ”Be really honest with yourself,” says Paul. ”You might be a family and need to squeeze lots of people on it. Or you could be a person on your own who likes to lie on it. Then consider your space. Get as big a sofa as you’ll be able to reasonably fit – legs create the illusion of space in a smaller apartment. Then it’s down to style and colour. This is where you get to express your personality, but be practical. For instance, we have a dog so as much as I’d love a light cream-coloured sofa it would be a disaster. That said, we‘re soon introducing a wipe-clean fabric that can even get rid of red wine! But my best advice would be, don’t buy it for your imaginary life – buy it for your real life.”

MOOD BOARD

blue-mist-dining-handOur range of 21 colours is inspired by the Cotswolds. There are lots of natural neutral colours in there, as well as greys and blues that reflect the skies and soft greens and pinks that evoke the flora and fauna you find there. And, whether your style tends towards the traditional or errs more on the side of contemporary, our beautiful collection of sofas, armchairs and footstools – all lovingly handmade to order here in the UK – are sleek, stylish and sophisticated.

HOW TO ORDER

1. Order your fabric swatches from our site. You can choose up to six to be sent to you free.
2. Measure your space and work out the size of sofa that will fit there. Go in store or book a virtual tour and try out your favourite styles to see how they feel.
3. Place your order! All our sofas are handmade to order in the UK and will be delivered within eight to 12 weeks.

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