Based in an old lace-making factory on the Derbyshire border, John Sankey has been crafting exceptional, covetable upholstery for more than 60 years. Beautifully shaped and made by hand, each sofa, chair and item of furniture in the John Sankey collection will stand the test of time, thanks to its carefully considered design, fine tailoring and attention to detail, and precise technical build.
Beautiful colours and textures adorn shapes that run the gamut from formal to casual, with the occasional flamboyant flourish
A short walk around the workshop reveals a meticulous approach to producing each shape in the John Sankey range, with makers taking time to develop the techniques required for a particular brief and refining them in pursuit of perfection. Often, multiple prototypes are made before the team is satisfied that they have come up with the best possible design for comfort and style. For instance, if a crisp edge is required, each member of the team will work tirelessly to combine sharp contours with soft layers, resulting in a polished sofa that is a perfect demonstration of the skills used in its construction. In recognition of this lasting commitment to producing the highest quality designs, The Furniture Maker’s Company has awarded John Sankey the prestigious Manufacturing Guild Mark (it is one of only five upholstery companies in the country to hold the mark).
‘In a world where fast production and short-life furniture have become more prevalent, we are determined to keep product longevity at the heart of everything we do – something that wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and camaraderie that exists within our team,’ explains managing director Suzanne O’Flynn with enthusiasm. ‘We make all the frames right here on our premises and because we know they’re absolutely steady, they come with a lifetime guarantee. We really want our customers to love what we make for them and to keep the pieces until they’re ready to pass them on to the next generation. For this reason, all of our shapes have a classic foundation that ensures that they remain loveable over time.’
Beautiful colours and textures adorn silhouettes that run the gamut from formal to casual, with the occasional flamboyant flourish. More ornate detailing like appliqué and quilting are deployed to elevate individual pieces. Once customers have settled on a design, they can choose from the company’s vast collection of fabrics, including leathers, velvets, flat weaves and florals, all from suppliers who share their values when it comes to ethical sourcing, production, performance and sustainability. What’s more, as part of its mission to establish itself as an industry benchmark for manufacturing sustainability, all the company’s timber comes from FSC-certified suppliers and it has an informal arrangement with local charity shops to donate fabric remnants.
John Sankey works with a network of premium boutique retailers around the country, including Liberty of London. Interior designers and private clients can also visit the Derbyshire showroom (open by appointment) to speak to the team about its new, fabulous furniture pieces. Future plans include reintroducing designs from the recent archive and creating a timeless piece of furniture in collaboration with Guy Goodfellow, the first of a number of upcoming partnerships between John Sankey and renowned interior designers.
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