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Sofa Refill

We’ve all done a fair bit of sofa surfing over the Christmas period and you may not have been entirely happy with the comfort afforded you.  Some of you may have even bought a new settee in time for Christmas but may discover that the bounce in your cushions isn’t really all that great.

Foam has a shelf life and although it will last many years, eventually it will start to deteriorate and crumble and you will need to think about replacement cushions.

Many manufacturers of synthetic sofa cushions now also use only a thick wadding in the covers.  A sofa with foam inserts will not be bought at a discount sofa sale because they cost a lot more to produce.  Your wadding cushions will seem fine for a few weeks but very quickly you will notice that they sag and squash into nothing because the polyester will not bounce back to its original shape.  To rectify this we offer a bespoke service that will make your old or new settee bounce back in to life. We cut foam exactly to the size and shape of the cushion cover and then wrap it in thick wadding.  In this way you get all of the bounce and shape retention from the foam with the addition of softness and comfort from the wadding.  To finish up we wrap the whole squashy sandwich in stockinette for easing your cushions back into the covers – without a hot sweaty battle.

Is your foam still ok but your covers are looking a little tired?  Pop in and talk to us about renewing your existing sofa, especially if it is an inherited or memorable piece. We offer a full and bespoke upholstery and re-cover service from our workshops in The Long Room at Livingstone Textiles,Bridport Dorset.

If you would like information on sofa cushions please contact us and we will be happy to give advise or a quote.

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Sewing machine repairs

Maybe you’re thinking about joining one of our sewing workshops in Yeovil and haven’t used your machine in a while, or maybe your trusty workhorse is struggling with your latest sewing project? If so, don’t get mad, get a service!

All makes of machine are serviced or repaired by our talented repairs man Mark. He travels over from Bristol once a month or so, to tend to your ailing machines, and in most cases will fix them on site and on the day. He will repair overlockers too.

For an initial deposit of £10 (non-refundable) Mark will initially check that the machine is serviceable. The charge for a service is  an additional £49.90 and if any parts are needed, Mark will give you a ring before spending any more of your money.

Mark services the machines at our Bridport store, but you can drop off and collect your sewing machine at Bridport or Yeovil.

If your machine is unfortunately deemed unrepairable, you have the option to donate it to Tools for Self Reliance – we also accept donations of working, unwanted machines for this fantastic charity at both of our stores.

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Happy New Year!

Whether you’re just starting out on your sewing journey, have just moved to the Bridport area and are hunting down new soft furnishings or need some advice on a current project we are looking forward to seeing old and new faces in 2019.  Our normal shop opening hours are now resumed: Mon-Sat 9-5. Closed Sundays.

You can also browse and shop a good selection of our vast fabric stock online here and we have even more in our two shops at Manor Stables Yeovil and St Michaels Lane, Bridport.

See you all soon 🙂

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Roman Blinds in Autumn

This beautiful new fabric from one of our regular suppliers is a celebration of autumn depicting leaves and berries in vibrant jewel colours.  Made up into a pair of Roman blinds they will compliment our client’s dining room windows and tell a story of the seasons swinging from an English summer into autumn.

This cotton fabric in the featured Rust colourway can be purchased in our shops for only £20.90 per metre, or see below to order online.  We also offer a full make up service with our skilled seamstresses.


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Gorgeous Giverney

Watercolours in Digitally Printed Fabrics


We’ve not had this new range in for long but it’s already proved incredibly popular.  We’ve made up a lot of orders for our customers and it’s continues to be a popular choice for scatter cushions.  Our latest order was for this pair of curtains using two widths in each curtain so they’ll be lovely and full.  We don’t advise anything less than double fullness so you achieve a more luxurious window dressing and you can find out more about calculating your fabric requirements here.  Of course, if you’re not confident with that then any of our trained staff are on hand to help you either in person, over the phone or via email.

We’ve used the Camille range in this project and the colourway is Pervenche.  The designs are evocative of watercolours by the Impressionists and have a softness to the printing that mimics a real painting.  This is all achieved with the digital printing process and we’ll be telling you more about that in the future.  A wider range of designs, colours and fabric uses are shown below.

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Cosy and stylish winter-weight curtains

Long, dark evenings call for cosy curtains, and these beauties that one of our talented makers recently finished for customer certainly fit the bill! The stylish woven fabric is deliciously heavyweight and hangs beautifully, adding warmth to your room without feeling oppressive. We have this fabric and others in the same range, including  a fabulous circles design, which we all like very much.

Pop in and have a look at the range, pick up some samples, or order some curtains of your own! This fabric is also suitable (and fabulous) for cushions and sturdy enough to use for upholstery.




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Welcome to Lynne – our new handy lady

Lynne has recently joined our team here at Livingstone Textiles Bridport as our handy lady.

She will be helping us by hanging curtains, fitting curtain poles and tracks and roman blind cassettes etc and will also be able to help out cutting foam orders from time to time, which is great!

So, if you’ve got a pair of curtains and track on order and you would like us to arrange for them to be hung then please get in contact with us at Livingstone Textiles Bridport – 01308 456844.


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Foam Offcuts

We cut sooooo many pieces of foam for our customers at Livingstone Textiles and we have a re-use or re-cycle policy where we every member of the team makes maximum effort to minimise waste. Part of our efforts to do this include recycling all of our packaging, both plastic wrappings and cardboard and also our foam.

When the foam is delivered to the shop it arrives in enormous sheets measuring over 2 metres square! This is manhandled up the 3 flights of stairs to our roof where it is carefully unrolled and laid out for use. We then cut your requirements from the sheets in a way that creates as little waste as possible. Obviously, you all want different sizes and shapes, from window seats to sofa cushions and dining chairs to campervan beds so we always generate odd pieces that we cannot make use of. These offcuts are saved up and the really small and hopeless pieces are returned to the foam company where they are chopped up into little pieces and used to make the coloured chip foam that we also supply, but we also have other pieces left over that can be quite a useful size and because reuse is even better than recycling,  we pop all of these into a basket that we put outside our shop door every day that we are open. Folks can then come and choose what they need and make use of it when packing parcels for safe transit, stopping draughts and wedging into gaps in sofas or caravan beds for better comfort. We only request a donation that we collect for Harbour House in West Bay, for the benefit of the residents.  Follow the link for more information on our foam and services we can offer you.

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Zebra Fabric Transforms Junk Shop Chair

One of our customers has had our upholstery department transform this lovely junk shop chair using our delicious zebra pattern chenille fabric. We think the finish is just fantastic, and you can see how the upholsterer has centred the fabric carefully so the zebra pattern looks just right. This quirky low slung no-leg chair is now updated with an equally quirky fabric, giving a totally individual finish which will look amazing in the customer’s home.

Even better, a project like this will not take much fabric – a single metre of fabric is often enough depending on the pattern. If you are inspired to try a project like this yourself you can now purchase the fabric directly on our website by mail order, by clicking on the picture below.

See also our full range of online upholstery fabrics here

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Interlined Curtains

Curtains made with interlining or ‘bump’ are much fuller and more luxurious than those made with just lining alone.
The bump literally ‘bumps up’ the fabric making it thicker and has the added quality of providing a layer of insulation against cold windows.
Interlined curtains are an especially popular choice in a house with older windows and those with listed building status but are also used in more modern homes where an appearance of luxury is required.
The window size must be taken into account when considering interlining because they can easily swamp a room with too much volume. The fullness of the finished curtain also has to be taken into account but don’t worry because all of the staff working across Livingstone Textiles are trained to advise you in the appropriate way. Find out more here.



When we make your interlined curtains we use a more involved method of making where the interlining is first locked into place with Herringbone stitch under the side turns of the fabric and along the seams of any joins.

A picked hem is then worked through both the interlining and into the show fabric where a tiny line of equally spaced stitches will be barely visible.


Finally, the pencil pleat heading tape is sewn into position making the curtains look really plump and luxurious.

You can buy this elegant grey bird fabric in our shops and throughout September you will receive free curtain lining* with any curtain or blind order.


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Free Curtain Lining Offer

We are once again offering all of our customers free lining with any curtain or Roman Blind order placed throughout September.

The offer is for FREE poly cotton lining on any size of blind or curtains .

If you wish to choose a different lining, you can still take advantage of this great offer because we will simply subtract the price of poly cotton lining from any that you’d like instead.

This offer is running from both our Bridport store and our Yeovil one so pop in and talk to us with your measurements and we’ll work out a quote with you.

This is an ideal time to get your house smart and cosy, ready for Autumn and Winter.

Shop a selection of our fabrics here



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A favourite chair gets some beauty treatment

This lovely old G-plan chair was given a quirky and stylish makeover by one of the fabulous upholsterers in the workshop attached to Livingstones.

The customer chose this richly-coloured upholstery fabric, which is a personal favourite of mine. It’s a playful geometric woven fabric in gorgeous colours that works equally well in a classic or modern setting, and will definitely stand the test of time.

While in the workshop this treasured piece of furniture was also repaired to stabilise the joints and the wood was polished to retore it to its full beauty.

If you’ve got a piece of furniture that you would like to see reupholstered and bought back to life by a skilled professional, then do come into the shop to discuss it. We’ve got a huge range of fabric to choose from, both to order and on the roll, and we’ll work with you to ensure you get exactly the look you want.


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Tools For Self Reliance

You may already be aware of the sewing machine repairs and maintenance servicing that we offer our customers to help them keep their machines in tip top condition but you may not be aware of what might happen to your machine when its past its best and you decide that its not worth throwing any money at.  Many of our customers leave their old machines with us when they’re done with them and we’re very proud to support communities in Africa to help reduce poverty by working with Tools For Self Reliance.

This marvelous organistaion works to enpower communities by providing tools and the training they need in order to earn a living and create a positive impact within their communites.  All of your unwanted and broken sewing machines and overlockers are collected by one of their volunteer tool collectors when we have a little herd of them.  All of the serviceable parts are then used for refurbishing or repairing other machines by even more volunteers in the UK before being sent out to places like Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia as well as many more.  Once the machines are out in Africa, they are used by people like Uma Jalloh as she trains as a tailor and learns the skills that she needs to contribute to her brothers household.  Uma escaped an arranged marriage at 14 and had never been to school until she got involved with TFSR.  You can read her story and others here. 


Livingstone Textiles has worked closely with Tools for Self Reliance in Southampton for many years now.  If you would like to get involved with volunteering, you can find out more here  You could also share this page to your Facebook Feed and help us to raise their profile in the UK.  Alternatively, just hand in your old and broken machines and we’ll make sure they get into hands that will really put them to good use.

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Curtain Makers

At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to have excellent curtain makers working for us.

In Bridport we have 3 makers covering West Dorset, one in the popular town of Beaminster, one in Charmouth and one in Abbotsbury.  They will come and measure up for your new curtains and blinds, discuss your requirements for soft furnishings and will happily show you samples as well as books of fabric.  They will also quote you for box cushions and window seats on request.  Call us on 01308456844 to arrange a visit. We have a curtain maker working from our Yeovil shop as well, please call 01935422631 to arrange an appointment if you live in the South Somerset area.

Dress Curtains with trimmed Roman Blind

Blind with curtainsEyelets on Children’s Fabricdsc_0001_2Trimmed Roman Blind DSC_0165

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Embroidered Amulet Fabric

Combining stripes with a pattern is always a good thing but its not alwasy an easy thing.  We have a smart hanger that does the thinking for you and its put together in colour blocks so the only thing you have to do is match it to your colour scheme.

One of our customers has bought a brand new house in Axminster and has a new grey suite of furniture.  She has lime green cushions to cheer it up but wanted something bright but smart at the windows.  We helped her to select from this hanger and she chose the pink combination to be made up into Roman Blinds for a large bay window.

The main fabric is called amulet and it is all embroidered onto a linen look cotton.  The lattice is worked in long grey stitches and the circles are heavily embroidered in a pink spiral.  Edging the embroidered fabric with pink the woven stripe borders makes the blind look smart and picks out the pink embroidery.  The maker lined the blinds in stone lining and used the stab stitch method to hold the materials together.  This method can be used when embroidery might make it hard to achieve very straight stitching on the show cloth.

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Christmas Gift Ideas

Are you wanting to make a special gift this Christmas but are not sure where to start? Not sure how much fabric, or how much piping you might need? Or do you know someone who loves making things and want to give them a present they will love? We have produced a “cushion pack” to take out the stress of making your cushion, all you have to do is sew it together, and we have helped there too, by production a step by step guide on how to  make your cushion with one of our packs. Doing on of our packs will give you the skills and abilities to make you want to sew more and more. Materials cropped

Within each pack, you will receive, one 18″x18″ cushion pad, half a metre of your chosen fabric, 2 metres of piping in your chosen colour and an instruction booklet. All of this for a bargain price of £10.00. If you’re passing through Bridport, pop in and see us then you can pick your cushion materials from our full range of fabrics

DSC_4365On our web shop, you will have an ability to choose from 7 different fabric panels that will make up your cushion with designs including dogs, sea, spots, tape measures, birds, wellies and Egyptian. you will also be able to choose from 17 different colours of piping.

If you would like a sample of any of the materials mentioned on this page please contact us with your details and information on the material or fabric you require and we will be happy to help.

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Moses Basket

We think our makers at Livingstone Textiles are very talented people, they can take our fabrics and make the most beautiful things, whether it’s turning the fabrics into a beautiful pair of curtains, roman blind or cushions. They can also make things that are a little bit special. This moses basket has been transformed into a beautiful white fresh looking bed for a special baby. We can cut new foam for the mattress, and add new wadding to the sides and we have a range of fabrics that you can choose from.


If you have something that you would like upholstered, recovered, remade or would like something completely new out of one of our fabrics then ask a member of our team and we can see if we can help.

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Funky Chairs

Get into the Groove!  Don’t you agree that these chairs look absolutely delicious?  Our upholsterer has shown off her talents again with this stunning swivel lounge chair and ottoman.

These iconic chairs were designed by Charles Eames for Herman Millar and this model dates from around the 1980’s.  Herman Millar was known for bold and beautiful designs and founded the company in 1923 in Michigan.  These streamlined designs began to be favoured by wealthy clients who had previously favoured heavy, dark and wooden bedroom furniture.  A self- taught furniture designer named Gilbert Rohde came along in the early thirties and used his knowledge of modernist and art deco styles to persuade Millar that modern, smaller homes needed a different approach.  The Millar company survived the Great Depression by moving with the times and the striking iconic designs are recognisable the world over.

More information on Charles Eames can be found here



The fabric used on this chair was a limited stock line but we have many other furnishing weight materials to choose from in both of our shops and online

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Collapsed Sofa Cushions


Are your sofa cushions starting to sag? Are you getting back ache from your sofa? Are you thinking it might be time to get a new sofa?  New manufactured cushions contain a wadding that sags very quickly and all the spring is lost.  Our foam gives your furniture it’s bounce back!

You might be able to have your sofa saved by having some new foam put in. At Livingstone Textiles we offer a foam service where you can bring your old sofa cushions and we can put new foam cut to shape.

Is your foam still ok but your cover’s looking a little tired? We offer a full and bespoke upholstery service from our workshops in Bridport Dorset, so your well loved sofa can have a new lease of life.


If you would like information on sofa cushions please contact us and we will be happy to give advise or a quote.

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Summer Vintage Vibes

Summer Holidays are ahead of us (and hopefully more sun than rain!)
One of our staff members has a 1970’s vintage caravan and she decided to give it an overhaul. The original and rather vivid orange flowery seat cushions were very worn and have been renewed with a bright flower and bird fabric that has postcards on it to reflect the holiday mood. They still have orange in the colour scheme in order to blend with the original interior.









The box cushions are made with a zip in order to make cleaning easier. We can make box cushions for you in most of the fabrics that we stock and we can add piping if you wish.


To make the new interior complete, she decided to make some new curtains and to keep the cost down she used a basic dress weight cotton poplin.  In order to make them hang well and to look authentic from the outside, she used a coloured lining that picked up the orange in the cushions.  DSC_0435








The polka dot gives an up to date vintage look while the lining is true to the 70’s colour scheme.



Here’s how the curtain lining looks from the outside………..along with a couple of vintage recliners she picked up in Penzance, much to the dismay of her husband who had to carry them back to the car!!


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Blinds can be practical and decorative but sometimes you don’t aways need to the same type of blind in each room. A different style of blind can change the look of a fabric and a room.

Here’s a quick guide to the different types of blinds  available to you.

Austrain Blinds

2016-05-18 16.20.22

Austrian blinds are a cross between blinds and curtains. They act like blinds but are close to curtains with the texture. Most Austrian blinds have a gathered top like a pencil pleat curtain but then are stringed and pull up like a blind. Unlike a Roman blind they dont have the horizontal rods running through them giving them a ruffled bottom when pulled.



Roman Blinds

Roman blinds are structured blinds that use a system of vertical strings and horizontal rods. When pulled they fold into straight even folds. When let down the blind is completely flat.


Swedish Blinds

2016-05-18 16.21.01There are two different types of Swedish blinds, one is rolled and held with ribbon and one is corded. Both types work really well with coordinating fabrics as when it is rolled the back of the blind is seen.

Theses are all blinds that we can make to measure for your house. We can advise you on how it will hang with the space you have available in your house. We can offer the full service from measuring, making and hanging. If you are at all interested or would like more information please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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Make- Matching Blind and Curtain

bron blind

One thing that is worth thinking about when you are picking material for a roman blind or curtains is the other windows and door in the room, whether they will have matching fabric and whether the material will then be too much in the room. bron curtain

These two pieces of soft furnishings are examples of how this has been thought out. The window and door in this kitchen are less than a metre apart, and this gives the risk of the material over powering the room. The customer didn’t want the window and door to become a feature in the room and only wanted them to dress the openings in a subtle way.

The customer liked the patterned fabric but was concerned that when made into a door curtain it would then become too much, so it was suggested to her that adding a contrasting material in a plain to brake up the pattern. This then frames the patterned material and draws the eye towards it.

At Livingstone Textiles we pride ourselves in our complete service where if you want us to, we can measure, make and hang leaving you to the fun part of choosing your fabrics.

If you would like an further information on the service we offer please contact us and we will be happy to help.





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Brilliant Big Bean Bag

Another piece of customer inspiration for you today – this fabulous bean bag! In this case the customer had an existing large bean bag but it had no separate cover so was impossible to clean. They chose this stunning Clarke & Clarke fabric and our seamstresses made up a new cover, leaving the old cover to become the bean bag liner. We think you’ll agree the result is amazing!




You could also make an outdoor bean bag using our range of new waterproof outdoor fabrics.  Available in various patterns and plain colours, there is sure to be something to fit in with your outdoor colour scheme.Heavy Poly Wproof All

Bean Bag Filling

As well as being able to supply some great fabrics for bean bag covers and a bean bag liner (such as calico) we also stock the polystyrene beads for the bean bag filling. You can refill your bean bag or top up your existing bean bag filling, with small bags of bean bag beans starting at only £6

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Flame Retardant Treatment for Fabric

Flame retardant sprayFlame retardant fabrics are needed in public (non-domestic) buildings in the UK for curtains and blinds. However not all fabrics are available pre-treated to be flame retardant, and that is where this spray comes in handy. It is ideal for you to treat any fabric yourself to be flame retardant for domestic or contract use for curtains or blinds.

The spray is sold in litre bottles, complete with spray nozzle. We are also able to refill bottles once empty, or supply 5 litre refill containers.

The flame retardant spray will not affect the properties or appearance of the fabric, nor cause shrinkage, if allowed to dry naturally before use. The flame retarding is not affected by dry cleaning, wear or exposure to sunlight. However treated fabrics cannot be washed, as wetting the fabric requires it to be re-treated.

One litre of spray covers 6 square metres of fabric. Fabrics treated with this coverage have been tested and approved to safety standard BS5867 Part 2 Type B (for Hotels, Public Buildings and Offices).

To calculate how much spray you need for the quantity of fabric you are treating:

( No of metres x width in metres ) / 6

Example: 24 metres of fabric 183cm wide
24 x 1.83 = 43.92
43.92 / 6 = 7.32
So 24 metres of this fabric would need over 7 litres of flame retardant liquid, so you would need to buy 8 litres in total to cover it all.

A 1 litre bottle of Flamesafe flame retardant spray costs £11.90 and refills are available at £7.50 per litre – either in the original bottle or as a complete 5 litre container.

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Scissors and Cutting Tools

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Life is too short to use cheap tools and as any maker will tell you, high-quality sharp scissors are a joy to use when cutting out your fabric.  We stock a good range of Fiskars, which we believe are the best you can buy and we use them every day, many times over here in the shop when we cut cloth for our customers.  They will last a lifetime with occasional re-sharpening and this is another service that we are pleased to offer for a few pounds

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We stock Large Dressmaking Scissors, All Purpose Scissors for both left and right handed people, Pinking Shears and two sizes of finer scissors for detailed cutting and embroidery. We also keep these rotary cutters in stock.  They come with a safety guard and you can also purchase interchangeable straight edge blades or a set of pinking blades that give a fast and crisp zigzag through multi layers of fabric.  Rotary cutters save time when you wish to cut out multiples of shapes for smaller projects that involve patchwork and applique.


September posts 029Then we come to these clever little chaps, an absolute essential for any sewing kit.  Thread snips are so quick to use and make a fast job of neatening up those little ends when you come to the end of your project.  Just hold them in the palm of your hand and nip off the threads left at the start and end of your stitching line.  They are super sharp and so effective that you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.