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On the Sofa with Daisy Knatchbull and Amanda Barrett

A Tale of Two Trades

Daisy Knatchbull is the founder of The Deck London, a cutting-edge tailor that creates exquisite suits for women. Amanda Barrett is George Smith's Director of Sales and Marketing. United by a shared passion for their respective trades, they discuss the synergy between their worlds and the importance of investing in quality craftsmanship.

    The Deck London is Savile Row’s first tailoring house with a shopfront exclusively for women. They craft exquisite tailoring, contoured to each unique female silhouette, taking their clients from day to night in style.

    The Deck’s highly skilled team of artisans and tailors ensures that each piece is made to last not just for life, but for generations.
    George Smith specialises in making exceptional upholstered pieces of furniture for the world’s most prestigious projects. Every finished product is handmade to the last stitch, using only the finest materials to ensure each piece is comfortable, beautifully finished, and built to last.

What is your favourite aspect of tailoring/upholstery, and what do you think makes it special?

    DK: Tailoring gives us the ability to make clothes that fit people’s unique bodies. So many of our clients have never owned a pair of trousers that fit them properly before now. Helping people feel and see the best version of themselves when they look in the mirror is my favourite aspect. Being able to do this each day is truly special.

    AB: Master upholstery embodies a delicate balance between comfort, aesthetics and artistry. Being part of a client’s personal space enables us to enhance everyday life with luxurious comfort; it’s an opportunity to really make a difference to the mood, atmosphere and feeling a space provides.

What is a tailor/upholsterer?

    DK: A Master Tailor is an incredibly talented individual who has learned an intricate craft that makes, alters, modifies, and repairs garments based on unique body specifications and needs.

    AB: A Master Upholsterer is someone who has a decade or more of experience, linked to a proven track record of working on all aspects of contemporary and traditional pieces; most experienced Master Upholsterers have over 30 years of experience.

How do you become a tailor/upholsterer?

    DK: The reason this craft is so special is because it takes years of learning and practice to do so. I am very lucky to work with such a talented team of craftswomen who have had years of experience in the industry.

    AB: Nothing beats hands-on experience, so we would always recommend enrolling in a reputable training/apprenticeship scheme, ideally working with a wide range of products from contemporary to traditional, suited to a variety of environments.

Why is wool an ideal choice of fabric for tailoring/upholstery?

    DK: 90% of our fabrics are wool based. This creates stylish, long-lasting clothing, because wool has natural properties such as moisture wicking, breathability and effective temperature regulation, as well as being crease-resistant and draping beautifully. A good garment isn’t just about the cut and the stitching; fabric plays a huge part, and wool’s lively and flexible properties take well to being moulded to the body, not just in the tailoring but in the pressing process.

    AB: The natural softness of wool makes it an excellent choice for upholstery. Wool displays perfect upholstery details, including pleating, piping and pintucks, beautifully. Naturally flame retardant, many types of wool also have a natural coating on their surface which repels liquid, giving you time to mop up any spills that may occur. Like Daisy, we source our wools from British brand Dugdale Bros & Co, based in the heart of Yorkshire. Their collection of wool truly captures the spirit and heritage of centuries of British weaving in a high-quality, luxurious selection.

What do you think the biggest similarities between tailoring and upholstery are?

    DK: Both are wonderful crafts! Creating something special that lasts a lifetime and is hopefully handed down to the next generation.

    AB: Investing in a tailored piece of clothing mirrors our mantra of ‘Buy Once and Buy Well’. In both crafts, we create personalised luxury. We must pay special attention to the fitting and cutting of the cloth. This requires a skilled eye for detail and a steady hand.

What makes a tailored piece of clothing/furniture so special?

    DK: Its uniqueness. To know that no one in the world shares the same exact item. It is completely unique to you. Not only that, but it supports a brilliant industry and is good for the planet!

    AB: Visual and tactile, furniture is integral to the space it inhabits and the well-being of the people that use it. It’s a privilege to create personalised luxury for our clients, and to echo Daisy – it is indeed good for the planet!

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