Choosing upholstery fabric for my Parker Knoll

Back in Spring, I made a video on the history of my Parker Knoll chair; 

I love the faded old Eighties Laura Ashley gingham cover, but it’s become ripped and worn in places, so it’s time to think about reupholstering.    

The criteria:

My british shorthair cat rules this chair, it’s his favourite afternoon spot and mine.  We time share the chair.  So with heavy use, I need a tough, heavyweight wearing fabric like linen.  I also need a print to disguise errant paw prints, no large cream expanses.   Also something small scale to tie back in with the yellow ochre Colefax & Fowler chinese peony curtains.  


Bewildering choice:

Don’t you sometimes wish you had multiple houses to furnish? The choice out there is bewildering! “In the next house,” I often find myself thinking.  No better afternoon can be spent than rifling through swatches in Liberty, Colefax & Fowler and Chelsea Design Centre though.    Adhering to my criteria however, was more of a challenge.  Fabric houses please can we have more small scale prints!  With a small flat and only room for one armchair, upholstering is a big decision.

Something plain:

The easiest option would be a plain coloured linen for a more relaxed look.  Morris & Co’s Ruskin comes in muted shades.  Turnell & Gigon have slightly stiffer ones that won’t crumple on the seat of the chair.  They also do a line in textured wovens, which err on the plain side without looking flat.  Gorgeous, but perhaps could look more “nursing home,” than my home.   

The too large a scale print:

You know the ones that fight with every other soft furnishings you have. Making you wish you’d had the luxury of choosing the curtains, upholstery and wall colour all at the same time.  GP & J Baker, Lee Jofa, Colefax, Soane, Jean Monro

The ones with too much cream:

Soane's Seaweed lace is perfection…… next time! 


 The winning print:

Morris & Co. Willow Bough cream and green linen.  I had a botanical print in mind when I first starting searching.  And Willow Bough is the kind of modern classic I’ll never tire of and will fit in wherever I move to.  

Inspiring Willow Bough things…..

Photos courtesy of Ben Pentreath, Pentreath & Hall, Solunga and Morris & Co. 

The only problem being it’s become as rare as hen’s teeth since the supplier making Willow Bough was flooded!  Fingers crossed it will be back in stock soon - the best things in life are those worth waiting for.  I’ll be posting about the chair’s re-uphostery later next month, so stay tuned.