Lincolnshire used to be full of people making things. Everything could be sourced and produced locally. Mass production and international importing weren’t issues and so a thriving specialist craft industry flourished. The upholsterer was one of the key crafts at the heart of local business.
A renewed interest in handmade, one-of-a-kind items, vintage styles, and a respect for quality and environmentally conscious consumption is now driving a resurgence in upholstery. At the heart of this heritage craft in Lincolnshire is Crowther & Sons based in Nettleham, which this year is celebrating 35 years in business.
Edward Crowther, Founder and Managing Director said: “People used to get furniture reupholstered all the time, but then high street outlets and furniture sheds got cheaper and cheaper.
“What looks like a Rolls Royce on the outside can be a cheap, poor quality product on the inside. Now, people are starting to realize that older pieces last longer and are made to last.”
Edward and his team breathe new life into hundreds of pieces of furniture every year that would otherwise be discarded.
Edward and his team of upholsterers and cabinet makers reupholster loved items of furniture, design bespoke pieces and also offer a selection of new furniture designs from the Crowther Collection.
“When it comes to furniture, it’s what’s inside that really counts. In today’s market, that’s poor-quality materials and a particleboard frame instead of real wood. You could have three chairs that look the same, but you take them apart and everyone is different.
“That means that in addition to patience, the trade requires a lot of know-how, something that’s increasingly scarce.
“It’s satisfying making something with your hands, you have something to show for your efforts when the job is done.
“It’s not an easy job – you need to have a good understanding of shape and form, structure and depth; you need to be a tailor, a carpenter, a problem solver, and an artist. The upholsterer’s craft demands dexterity and strong fingers, but also an appreciation of composition, shape and history.”
Edward also owns sister company Aequum, which designs and makes the Aureus massage couch. Find out more about the sister firm in our In the Spotlight interview with Edward here.