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Q&A

Ask the decorating experts

Restorers & Craftsmen

I am renovating an oak needlework cabinet. It’s covered in the original silk fabric with a braid trim. The trim is still in good shape on the lid but missing round the edge of the box. Where can I source new braid?

If you are looking for a small amount of braid it might be best to visit either John Lewis or Peter Jones; both have good curtain departments with a huge selection of trimmings. If you are after a specialist manufacturer, we suggest you try either Brian Turner Trimmings (manufacturers of furnishing trimmings to Her Majesty the Queen), Henry Newbery & Co  or Wendy Cushing Passementerie .

I am looking to replace broken Art Deco tiles on a fireplace. Can you suggest any suppliers ?

Craven Dunnill Jackfield are specialists in restoration projects, working closely with architects, conservators and companies such as the National Trust and English Heritage. Their heritage range includes a wide choice of Victorian, Art Nouveau and striking geometric Art Deco wall tiles, as well as encaustic and geometric floor tiles. They offer a colour matching service for customers wishing to restore an original feature, but will also reproduce other designs to match originals. Just contact them for a quotation - all they need is an image of the pattern. An actual sample would be needed for manufacture.

Where can I get hold of cane to repair my old dining chairs?

J A Milton Upholstery Supplies has a very comprehensive range of DIY upholstery materials for sale by mail order or online. They stock four sizes of weaving cane for chairs, as well as natural and artificial rush, and useful handbooks. Visit their website.

I have two large fabric-upholstered sofas that are about 20 years old. They were very expensive at the time and seem still to be in excellent condition, but I would love to have them re-upholstered in good quality  leather. How can I find someone in my area who would do such  work?

We suggest you try The Association of Master Upholsterers . If you link to their directory you will see a regional list of qualified upholsterers who could help you. Speak to a few on the list to see if they could recover your sofa in leather and find out what each would charge. It might also be useful to see examples of their work.

Where can I find a company who will re-cane my Bergere sofa? I live in SW London.

E & A Wates provides restoration services for all types of furniture: structural work to loose joints and drawer runners, replacing or treating woodwormed sections, veneering cutting in leather tooled tops to desks and conservation work. Also French polishing, cane and rush work, carving and gilding and everything from making new table leaves to creating replica chairs and designing marquetry to disguise damaged surfaces.

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