How furniture upholstery can pay tribute to past memories
Furniture can hold memories for lots of different reasons. An antique chair passed down through generations or a sofa that provided many happy hours of sitting on during childhood, for instance. But did you know that you can create a piece of furniture entirely from your memories?
Memory chairs are something I’ve been asked to do on several occasions recently. When carefully pieced together, old sports shirts can become a whole new tribute to a favourite team or a prolific sporting past. Let’s face it, rather than lying in a drawer or cupboard, what better way to be reminded of great sporting achievements every day by making them centre stage in your favourite room?
Showcase a sporting career
I love meeting the past and present players or keen sports fans behind the shirts as we plan their specific chair. Sometimes they’re dreamed up as a great gift or a total surprise. Even people who may have been horrified at the prospect of cutting up old shirts with such nostalgic meaning soon change their minds when they see what a superb way it is to showcase their sporting careers. Rather than getting the shirt framed, this is a way to take things a step further and create a uniquely special place to sit and enjoy.
I’ve been known to have to deal with grass and bloodstains, but it just goes to show that each piece of fabric captures a memory and a moment in time.
I’ll be honest, the shirts come to me in all kinds of conditions, but that only adds to the challenge. I’ve been known to have to deal with grass and bloodstains, but it just goes to show that each piece of fabric captures a memory and a moment in time.
The results, I’m happy to say, have been an unequivocal success. In fact, I’ve had tears in my studio from fully grown men who you’re more used to seeing looking menacing on a rugby pitch. As I’m located close to Twickenham – the great home of English rugby – it makes the task all the more meaningful, being able to put a new spin on the idea of a sporting keepsake.
Some of Vintique Upholstery’s memory chair case studies
Here are some of my favourite commissions so far…
Football crazy window seat for Manchester United / England star Luke Shaw
I was asked by Manchester United and England star Luke Shaw to make a huge window seat cushion for his games room, using some of his favourite football shirts that he had gathered over his career to date.
My Dad was a lifelong supporter and season ticket holder of Manchester United so he was super proud and boasted to everyone he knew about the cushion I made for Luke. Thankfully, Luke loved it and his collection of shirts created a spectacular place to sit.
A wing back chair for a retired rugby player
I delivered this smart wing back chair to a retired rugby player just in time for him to sit in and watch the 2017 Six Nations. I absolutely loved cutting up, and stitching back together, the separate shirts. Wouldn’t you agree that the mix of bold colours and graphic numbers creates a completely unique statement all of its own?
Chair and seat cushion for Olympic head coach Simon Amor
This chair was for former rugby player Simon Amor. During Simon’s prolific career, he has been Head Coach of the England women’s team at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens, then subsequently took over the role of Head Coach for the England National Rugby Sevens Team. Perhaps most notably, Simon was appointed Head Coach of the GB Sevens team who went on to win a silver medal at the Olympic Games in Rio and again head coach for the London Olympics in 2012. Quite a back catalogue of achievements to choose from!
His Stella McCartney Team GB shirt took centre stage on the inside back of the chair, with his England shirt on the seat cushion and one of his named shirts on the back.
The rest, I had free licence to play with, and let’s face it, I had plenty to choose from. It seemed a shame to not use the Team GB jacket that was designed by Stella McCartney, so we made a cushion from it to complete the project.
Get in touch about a memory chair of your own
As we’ve discovered, furniture upholstery is a fantastic fitting way to allow sport and memories to live on. So, come on rugby players, football players and all other sports players and fans, let’s create some memories from your shirts.
Drop me a line for an initial, no-obligation quote by filling in the online contact form. Alternatively, you can email me directly at email@example.com or call me on 07764 182 783.
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