1869

Frederick Parker created the business that was to become Parker Knoll, aged only 24.

1869-1875

As the business steadily grew Frederick Parker began manufacturing furniture for Victorian gentry and leading London retail companies. This growth eventually led to the purchase of larger premises at 16 Wenlock Street, London.

Setting the standard

Frederick Parker took pride in designing and developing the finest furniture using the best of British craftsmanship. He learnt his craft from his father, a cabinet maker, and then passed these skills on to his sons.

These founding principles remain at the core of the business as Parker Knoll continue to lead the market in design, technology and innovation.

1875-1900

As both the business and the Parker family expanded, 3 of his 7 sons would later join the business as innovators and inventors in developing furniture that would be set to revolutionise the industry forever.

1900-1914

As demand continued to grow, with the help of his sons, Parker moved the business to High Wycombe. Soon after, the business was served with an order to furnish the Palladian Lounge on RMS Aquitania.

1921

Parkers son’s continued to develop the business and in the late 1920’s they met Willi Knoll. His revolutionary ideas to modernise comfort transformed the business.

The revolutionary coiled steel wire spring, developed by Willi Knoll remains unchanged in many of our occasional chairs today.

1930-1931

Throughout the 1930’s the company exhibited at the British Industries Fair, where they were frequented by royalty.


Frederick Parker and Sons becomes Parker Knoll.


Parker Knoll become the first company to advertise nationally in the UK, creating the famous Man-on-Spring advert and radical window displays.

1932

Parker Knoll chairs are chosen to furnish most of the rooms and studios at the new BBC headquarters broadcasting house at Portland Place.

1936

King Edward VIII abdicates the throne whilst sitting in a Parker Knoll chair, BBC, 1936.

1940

As a contribution to the war effort, Parker Knoll was involved in the manufacture of aircraft during WWII.

1950

The development of the Parker Knoll Penshurst Chair continues with the introduction of the Willi Knoll patented ‘tension suspension springs’.

1966

Development of the revolutionary Parker Knoll Recliner begins with Cornwell Norton; the first new generation recliner to hit the market in the UK.

Success amongst the masses

Following nearly a century of success, Parker Knoll’s awareness and reputation had now extended far beyond its core market. This suggested that the appreciation and desire for Parker Knoll furniture was spreading to younger and more mass market consumers.

1970

Fire destroys the Parker Knoll factory but not the firm, with upholsterers starting work at a new location 3 short weeks later.


The innovative Statesman Chair impresses at the Annual Furniture Exhibition.

Leading the market

Continued expansion of the Parker Knoll collection, following the merger of the Cornwell Norton brand with Parker Knoll broadened the awareness of the brand in the market. With the introduction of fully upholstered suites, rocking chairs and the Maxi Sofa along with a range of over 200 fabrics to suit 1970’s style, Parker Knoll were setting the benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.

1971

Parker Knoll moves from High Wycombe to Chipping Norton in a complete site relocation.

1980-1991

Parker Knoll remains the leader of the fireside chair and recliner market.

1996

Parker Knoll is named The Number 1 Furniture Brand in the UK.

2005

Parker Knoll becomes part of Sofa Brands International Group.

2008

Parker Knoll takes up residence in Riddings, Derbyshire.

2012

The Parker Knoll brand is relaunched with two new collections: Classic and LifeStyle. New showrooms located inHarrington Mills, Long Eaton are unveiled, alongside heavy investment in an extensive marketing and advertising campaign to launch the Parker Knoll brand identity.

Expanding Retail Distribution

Following the successful relaunch of the Parker Knoll brand in 2012 and subsequent market growth, Parker Knoll begins to expand its retail distribution, increasing retail space within independent retailers and launching new collections with the major multiples in the market.

The Parker Knoll brand is now advertised nationally on television and has a growing market position.

2013

For the first time in Parker Knoll history, the brand exhibits at the prestigious Salone del Mobile in Milan launching exclusive new collections to the international market.

2015

Parker Knoll relaunches the Maison Collection. This new range is targeted at a younger, more style discerning consumer.

147 Years of the best of british comfort

Parker Knoll remains a thoroughly British company with an enviable heritage and reputation. With a history spanning over three centuries Parker Knoll continue to lead the market in the UK, sustaining a reputation for designing and developing furniture of the highest possible quality.

2016

Parker Knoll begin producing furniture at the new purpose built state of the art 100,000 sq ft Parker Knoll manufacturing facility in Nottinghamshire.

International Customers

To view the products available outside the UK please click here to be redirected to the Parker Knoll International Website.

The UK products on this site are only available through retailers in the UK.

www.parkerknollinternational.co.uk

SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER

CONNECT WITH US

The best of British quality and timeless design

Handcrafted in Nottinghamshire, our extensive range of beautifully designed upholstery combines stylish pieces, with sumptuous comfort

Quality & Craftsmanship for Over 147 Years

Established over 147 years ago, Parker Knoll are well renowned for designing and developing Sofas and Chairs of the highest possible quality. All the sofas and chairs at Parker Knoll are handmade in Britain to an extremely high standard with each piece characterised by its distinctive design and attention to detail.

Originally from a small workshop in London, Parker Knoll is now firmly based in Nottinghamshire as a high quality upholstery manufacturer. Using 147 years of furniture making expertise, along with innovative and market leading design initiatives, Parker Knoll bring you a unique collection of elegant chairs and classic sofas to suit today’s styling.

Parker Knoll Collections Available Nationwide

Parker Knoll sofas are available at furniture retailers nationwide. Go to the Find a Retailer  to find your nearest Parker Knoll retailer. Alternatively, come and visit us at our extensive showroom located in Harrington Mills, Long Eaton where we showcase the entire collection.