Sofa Workshop Return as Headline Sponsor for #IBA18

For the second year running, luxury furniture makers Sofa Workshop have taken the coveted top spot as headline sponsors for 2018. The British-based sofa maker has just launched a new and exciting furniture collection that is drawn from the rich archive of the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance, the V&A. The IBA blog takes a closer look at their collaboration…

Demonstrating the breadth of opulent designs preserved within the V&A archive, the new collection includes six exclusive fabric designs alongside three new furniture ranges: Shaftesbury, Thurloe and Walpole. The furniture takes further inspirations from the archive using Sofa Workshop’s skilled craftsmen to rework original shapes for a modern customer.

Speaking about the collaboration, Sofa Workshop’s Marketing Manager, Megan Holloway, said:

“At the heart of this exclusive, archive-inspired collection is a passion and commitment to British design and craftsmanship. There is a huge amount of expertise behind the collaboration from initial archive research through to finished design, it’s been a pleasure to work so closely with the V&A team to bring this collection to life. Each fabric design has been lovingly recreated from the original subject and the furniture shapes engineered from the ground up in our British workshop. It’s an opportunity to create your own modern masterpiece at home and buy into a beautiful piece of British design – each style is handmade to order in Long Eaton and promises to elevate any room.”


The Fabric Collection


This beautiful Bursa linen print features tulips, pomegranates and rose buds. It’s based on a 16th century silk textile from the V&A collection. These Turkish silks were considered among the most prized luxury objects and were traditionally woven in the textile workshops of Bursa, Turkey.

Image courtesy of Sofa Worshop


Adapted from a hand-painted cotton chintz, the Coromandel pattern dates back to the first half of the 18th century and is now held in the V&A’s textile collection. The design is of Indian origin and possibly starts life as a palampore, from the Hindi term for bed cover or an elaborate tent lining, which would have been exported for the European market.

Image courtesy of Sofa Worshop

Cathay Bloom

A delicate and naturalistic design of trailing flowers, Cathay Bloom is inspired by one of the V&A’s finest examples of an English 18th century Court dress. Cathay Bloom is the perfect evocation of the elegant Chinoiserie style that drew on the exotic imagery of the East and was reproduced as highly fashionable wallpaper and textiles for the European market.

Image courtesy of Sofa Worshop

Love Birds

Taken from the V&A’s archive of textiles, Love Birds is a vibrant and striking pattern that features exotic birds and bold flowering branches. Chinoiserie designs such as this archival print were popular among British consumers during the early 1900s as wall-coverings and soft furnishings.

Image courtesy of Sofa Worshop

Morton’s Marble

This elegant design is based on an original drawing for a printed textile by Douglas Bennett Cockerell from the 1920s, commissioned by British manufacturer Morton Sundour Fabrics Ltd. One of the most distinguished of English bookbinders, Cockerell was responsible for binding and conserving some of the world’s most precious tomes.

Image courtesy of Sofa Worshop


Evoke the dynamism and modernity of the 20th century with Kaleidoscope. The original art deco was created during the peak of the ‘Roaring Twenties’ by brothers Adam and Maurice-Pillard Verneuil. This pattern featured in their 1925 portfolio Kaléidoscope: Ornements Abstraits, a volume of which is kept in the National Art Library at the V&A.


Lauren Sizeland, Head of Licensing at the V&A said:

“The orginial purpose of the V&A was to promote excellence in design and manufacturing, so we are delighted to be collaborating with Sofa Workshop who have a real focus on craftsmanship and supporting British industry. A great deal of consideration and skill has been applied to every piece, from the selection of the archive inspiration for the shapes and the fabrics, to the incredible expertise of the upholsterers in the workshop. The results are really very special.”

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