Parker Knoll Classics: A Vintage Restoration - Parker Knoll
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Parker Knoll Classics: A Vintage Restoration

Parker Knoll Classics: A Vintage Restoration

In this week’s blog, we are focusing on one of Parker Knoll’s many successes as the UK’s leading furniture manufacturer!

We are very fortunate to have a rich history of over 148 years of furniture making expertise. As a result, we continue to receive some amazing stories of Parker Knoll family heirlooms, passed down by generations. Last year, we had a heart-warming letter from a loyal customer, generously donating two beloved vintage 1950’s Parker Knoll chairs to be restored.

Jake Bailey, Upholstery Training Officer at Webs Furniture Training in Long Eaton, said “This presented a brilliant opportunity for the apprentices, to understand how Parker Knoll chairs were hand crafted 50-60 years ago. It’s also interesting to see how innovation and developments within the industry have altered the way Parker Knoll chairs are crafted today”.

Before the Restoration

Below is one of the chairs before the restoration began – looking reasonably presentable after 50 years of frequent use. You can see Willi Knoll’s famous tension suspension springs – innovative technology still being used in our Penshurst chair today!

The Process

After stripping the chairs, the frames were meticulously sanded down and French polished, back to their original Mahogany colour – ready to be upholstered.


The three Parker Knoll Apprentices then used fully traditional methods to hand craft the seating using horse hair, giving the chairs new life. “We really enjoyed this particular project and look forward to seeing the end result after all our hard work!” Artur Czebotienko, one of the apprentices on working on the chairs.


Images: Webs Furniture Training

The Outcome

The apprentices did an amazing job at restoring these beautiful vintage Parker Knoll chairs. The modern fabric used helped to give the newly re-upholstered chairs a more vibrant, less-dated look.

We very much enjoy working closely with Parker Knoll to ensure they receive the best quality training as possible. I would happily welcome future projects like this into Webs, and am very grateful to have participated myself” Jake Bailey, Webs Training.


This project would not have been possible without the customers and their great generosity. These two chairs now stand proudly in our showroom at the Parker Knoll manufacturing facility, and made an excellent festive accompaniment to our Christmas tree.

We are very proud of our apprenticeship programme, crafting the new generation of highly skilled teams, which supports the upholstery industry by bringing in new blood.


If you have a vintage Parker Knoll that you have lovingly re-upholstered, we’d love to hear from you!

Simply write to us on Facebook, tweet an image via Twitter, #parkerknoll on Instagram, or tag @parkerknoll on Pinterest!

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