Best of Britannia London 2015: Vintage Cushions
Exhibiting at this year’s Best of Britannia event in Shoreditch from 26th to 28th June was London’s Vintage Cushions, an Islington-based company founded by former yoga teacher and actress Nichollette Yardley-Moore.
The concept of Vintage Cushions came about in 2009 following a trip to India, and inspired by a childhood collecting buttons. Nichollette has also collaborated with Liberty of London in its visual merchandising; also featuring in Vogue, Red and The Lady among other publications. Nichollette’s passion for original design and creativity has seen her seeking out fabrics, scarves, flags and trimmings from collectors across the globe, and in pursuit of ever more quirky, unusual and beautiful pieces.
On display at BoB were around 90 cushions from across the Vintage Cushions portfolio, showcasing the diversity of fabrics and range of colours available in themes such as Rule Britannia, abstract, animals, flags and travel. Unlike most mass-produced cushions, each cushion is an artwork in its own right: the front and back of Nichollette’s cushions are rarely the same, with two different pieces of cloth completing the design.
The use of vintage textiles enables each piece to be unique not only in its scarcity as a resource, but also characterful and often telling a story. One especially poignant example, a cushion covered in authentic 1940s/50s material printed with quotes by Winston Churchill combines fabric from a flag produced to cover coffins of war dead.
At the exhibition, Nichollette used an original Singer sewing machine to make a demonstration piece using 1950s towelling fabric. The finishes were chosen to continue the colour narrative of the piece, picking out colours to bind the overall theme
When asked if she has a particularly favourite piece, Nichollette described whichever cushion she works on as the “baby of the moment”. The production process has been developed over time through trial and error, building around the unique material of each cushion; each taking around four hours to make, and filled with a duck feather pad (also made in the UK). The Vintage Cushions’ design signature is a button carefully chosen from Nichollette’s collection to complement the material.
The cushion is constructed using techniques tailoring to the behaviour of the fabric, with a concealed zip, placed in the most discreet position so as not to disrupt the movement of print or patterns: “All of the seams are hidden and the inside of the cushions receive as much care and attention as the outside.” Ribbon work and binding is applied to the edges to give the highest quality finish.
A thoroughly British affair, reflecting the very best of artisan craftsmanship, Vintage Cushions is certainly the place to go for statement home furnishings that will endure.
For further information on Vintage Cushions visit here.