Prison charity Fine Cell Work commissioned for Sopwell House project

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    AB Hotels, a family-owned chain of luxury hotels, recently commissioned Fine Cell Work as part of the refurbishment of suites and bedrooms at Sopwell House, a country house near St. Albans in Hertfordshire and former home of Lord Mountbatten.

    Fine Cell Work, a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework worked to a four-month deadline to complete the interior cusions, while The Modern Garden Company supplied exterior furniture along with bespoke exterior cushions.

    Two prison workshops in HMP Gartree and HMP Littlehey were entrusted with the task and had to learn to work with velvet and leather, new materials that required special industrial sewing machines.

    The cushions required both piping and a zip along the bottom; which was a new specification for the workshop and new sewing techniques for the men to add to their skill base.

    The Modern Garden Company’s bespoke upholstery and exterior cushion work required a considerable amount of time and research to produce aesthetically-pleasing designs that also conformed to UK fire regulations all whilst being water and weather resistant.

    Helen Smith, production manager for Fine Cell Work said: “It’s always enormously rewarding for the prison stitching teams to receive the feedback that we pass on to them. They have also seen images of the cushions in situ at Sopwell House, real recognition of the beautiful work that they create out of ugly circumstances. I can’t thank them enough for what they did to make this job happen.”

    Fine Cell Work has been selected as a charity partner for this year’s Decorex – the leading trade show for the luxury interior design industry – and will be showcasing its latest designs as well as taking part in the lecture series.

    Daniel Fountain / 23.07.2015

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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