What started as a hobby has turned into a fun, evocative and elegant take on the industry standard of upholstery for Sarah Louise Dix, based in Godalming, Surrey. When Sarah created the corset chair in 2005 she created a piece of design history and the Couture label came into existence. Specialising in the design and upholstery of top quality furniture and inspired by the construction and form of clothing, the designs are an art form as well as a piece of furniture. Each piece is inspired by various elements of the clothing and are individually crafted to create the unique pieces.
This beautiful chair above has a fully boned Victorian corset back with chocolate brown velvet ribbon on a pink damask. I'm not sure you could find a more risqué or seductive chair to sit on. Unless of course you decided to go all out for the ravishing red corset chaise below! Last year Sarah was featured on Channel 4 on a programme called Four Rooms where she successfully managed to sell one of her beautiful chaise longues to Jeff Salmon former art and antiques dealer for Sotherbys.
If you prefer something a little more masculine perhaps you would like Man's chair, complete with Leather Jacket, stud work and even a pair of headphones dangling from the pocket.
Sarah is an outstanding upholsterer working using both traditional and modern methods as is required for each individual item. I decided I wanted to do a taster course in the art of upholstery and enrolled myself in a beginner's class. I headed down to Studio 22 where Sarah is based to join my class and was presented with my set of tools with which to work. After being talked through the tools of the trade we then all embarked on making our stool using traditional methods. The day flew by with a flurry of hammers knocking in nails and a lot of stuffing and re stuffing and fluffing of the coconut fibre (now used instead of horse hair). Hair can still be bought for stuffing but apparently you have no idea what hair it is or where it comes from which seems a bit disgusting to me, so I was very glad we were sticking to coconut fibre. Its amazing how many layers are involved, from hessian, to wadding, to fibre, to calico before finally putting your chosen fabric on. I would have taken more pictures but I was so busy and all consumed for the day that I totally failed. So I'm afraid I can only provide you with a before and after shot. It was a brilliant day, allowing you to totally switch off from everything else that might be going on in your life and fully immerse yourself in your new skill. I have already signed up for the 10 week intermediate course, now I just need to find the perfect chair to reupholster!
To learn more about Sarah and her work please visit her site www.sarahlouisedix.co
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All photos are courtesy of Sarah Louise Dix via Pinterest and Anna Wilson Interiors.