Traditional British Craftsmanship Comes To Greenwich
“The first thing I notice when I go into a room is the curtains” says Corinne Townsend, who’s recently opened a new bespoke business, Tailored Curtains, at Thames-Side Studios in Royal Borough of Greenwich in December 2018.” They’re so tactile and can change the feel of a space completely.”
Corinne taught herself to sew as a young child and by the time she was 13, her Mother had commissioned her to make her first pair of curtains. The pink satin drapes were such a big hit that her Mum then asked her to dress all the windows in the house.
“I was hooked right from the start,” says Corinne. “There’s something Princess-like about good quality curtains. All those fabric folds and gathers make me think of ball-gowns. I guess that’s what initially attracted me as a little girl!”
Corinne got her first professional curtain-making job at 16. She served an apprenticeship with Terrence M Timms, one of the best curtain-makers in the business. “Mr Timms has been practising his trade for 50 years, and I learned so much working for him. Whether it’s swags and tails, or box, goblet and pinch pleats – every style requires different skills and I loved perfecting each technique.
A pair of bespoke curtains requires real attention to detail and can take anything up to a week to make. Curtains are a real labour of love.” It’s heartening to hear that traditional craft skills are being passed onto a new generation of talented makers like Corinne.
“A machine can’t make things the way that a person can, and fortunately there’s still a huge demand for bespoke, tailored curtains. It may be cheaper initially to buy off-the-peg, but if you invest in quality, then not only will you keep out the cold and cut down on your heating bills once the winter months set in, you’ll also have something beautiful that will last a lifetime.”
Corinne loves consulting with her clients to come up with a design that will suit their budget and do their décor justice. She is happy to take on any job, no matter how big or small.
“I’m really looking forward to growing my own business in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. I was born and raised here and it’s wonderful to be investing back in my community and hopefully training up my own apprentices someday soon. There’s a fine tradition of bespoke curtain making in Britain and it would be a real pity to lose that.”
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