Have you always been an upholsterer?

“No.” Ram Rich Pal Singh has an abrupt way of speaking, but it’s not without warmth. “I was in the paramilitary for 22 years,” he tells us. “After I retired, it wasn’t long before I got sick of sitting around the house. “He bangs his hand on the table for emphasis. “I think it’s better to work than to laze around the house.”

 

Armchair, French style

Mr Singh tugs on a roll of Duck Egg Blue basket weave cotton, causing the fabric to slide out over the workshop table in waves. “I have an appreciation for fabric that I never had before,” he says, cutting out the pattern for our Lille armchair. “I like basket weave cotton the most. It’s strong and textured.”

 

Armchair, French style

Leaning on the workbench Mr Singh smiles to himself, as though there’s something this former military man can’t fathom. “I find that when I go out now, I can’t help touching fabric,” he says, and then gives us a stern look. “Only upholstery though. I have no interest in women’s saris.”

 

Ram Rich Pal Singh, upholsterer

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