Well-sprung sofas spark change

Are you sitting comfortably? Simon Spinks thinks not, which is why he has invented a new range of seating. Sharon Dale reports.

Simon Spink at Harrison Spinks Leeds factory.

His wife refers to him as a “spring geek” and Simon Spinks is happy to admit that the description suits him perfectly.

His obsession with coils, bounce and comfort has helped his Leeds-based mattress and bed company, Harrison Spinks, become a world leader. Now his latest invention look set to revolutionise the sofa and easy chair industry.

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He has teamed up with upholstery expert Jo Moore to launch a new Yorkshire brand, Spink and Edgar. Their ambition is to floor the competition with a combination of Spinks’ patented HD pocket spring technology, eco-friendly filling and robust, elegant design.

While most manufacturers use foam and other man-made materials in the frame and seat cushions, Spink and Edgar has removed between 60 and 80 per cent of it and replaced it with Simon’s award-winning springs and natural fibres, which makes the furniture more sustainable and enables it to keep its shape long-term.

The seating is all manufactured in Yorkshire by craftsmen using FSC certified timber for the frames, hemp and wool fibres from the Harrison Spinks farm in Bolton Percy and springs from its Leeds factory.

Simon says: “We began with spring innovation in the 1990s’ and our beds have been very successful but I really wanted to have a go at making sofas and chairs more comfortable and more environmentally friendly.

“Before the 1960s, when foam became available, seating was made from springs and natural materials, which stood the test of time. Now landfill is full of foam furniture.”

Part of the challenge was to use springs all over the products.

“We have put pocket springs everywhere, including tiny ones in the arms of the sofas and chairs. We’ve also got them in the core of the feather-filled cushions, so when you stand up the cushion immediately recovers its shape. We use as much natural filling as possible and we hope that one day, we can remove 100 per cent of the foam. At the moment, fire regulations are an issue,” says Simon.

Prices start at £1,300 for a chair and £2,700 for a medium-size sofa, but the products comes with the guarantee of longevity.

“We wanted to push the boundaries and go where no other furniture manufacturer has gone before,” says Jo Moore. “We are so confident in the quality of our furniture that we are offering customers a lifetime guarantee on the frame and springs.”

Some of the sofas, corner seating and chairs are in the holiday cottages at the Harrison Spinks farm, Hornington Manor, which is also acting as a showroom by appointment.

“Leeds used to be an important centre for upholstery, along with High Wycombe and Nottingham,” says Simon. “We hope that it will be again and that we become synonymous with building sofas that stand the test of time.”

*For more information visit www.spinkandedgarupholstery.com. The new Spink and Edgar sofa range is also be stocked at the Ponsford interiors store, London Road, Heeley, Sheffield, www.ponsford.co.uk