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Gertrude Darby - master upholsterer

Published on 20 May 2019

Gertrude Darby is a seamstress who started working on the bases of sofas and seating cushions at the Newry workshop 40 years ago.
Pedar (Left), Brian (Middle), Gertrude (Right) - 40 years of experience

“Brian’s my younger brother”, she tells when asked how she knew the founder. “I used to pick up Ciaran (Creative director and son of Brian) from school, along with my own four children. One day, Brian asked me to come in to help out – I used to do wee bits of sewing at home.”

"If I had to choose my favourite piece it would be The Canyon Sofa. It's just huge and ridiculously comfy which is what I look for in a sofa."

She gladly complied. “In the beginning it was all about helping Brian to get established”, she explains, “I really enjoy it. I know how to do everything and I keep the place rolling!”

(@orior_furniture)

Preparing the leather for an upholstered cushion.
Getrude cutting her leather ready for sewing.

Things took off from there, and here she still is, along with many others who never left. “There are not too many people coming and going at Orior. Everyone who’s here tends to stay here for a long time.”

“We’re a very close-knit family, we see each other each day”, Gertrude says. “Three years ago I got very ill and I didn’t think I’d be back in here. After I recovered, I just really looked forward to coming to work again.”