Designers Guild Franchini Fabric Bargain


When I first found this fabric on eBay, I had no idea what it was. I even quibbled about the price of the postage (two thirds of the starting bid), especially when I won the item, and noticed how cheap the postage actually was on the parcel. I paid £12.50 in total for 1.5 metres of the stuff.

A few weeks later, I was browsing the web, looking for inspiration for our new house, and came across this beautiful cushion by Designers Guild. I was simply searching through Google, and found this on, a website I hadn’t visited or used before. It’s no longer available there, but you can still find the images online.

I was struck by how similar the fabric was, and on further investigation, I discovered it’s not just similar, but the identical fabric. I managed to score a metre and half of this fabric for £12.50. The stuff retails for around £100 a metre!

It’s 100% pure silk taffeta, in the cobalt and white colourway and I love it. My plan when I bought it (simply labeled as ‘upholstery fabric’) was to cover the seats of two of our dining chairs, and make a matching cushion if there was enough left over.

The colour really is gorgeous. I love how saturated the deep cobalt blue is, and the slight sheen the fabric has gives a fabulous mix of tones when the light catches it just right.

If I can find the perfect shade, I’d like to paint the chairs in the matching blue first, re-cover the seats, and have them as the two feature dining chairs to the table and it’s four matching chairs (which I’d like to paint white). This project would be quite far off – we will finish the living room first and then, possibly over Summer, I might tackle stripping and painting the table and chairs, but that gives me plenty of time to figure out how best to use the fabric anyway.

If you have any experience of a similar project, feel free to share your ideas and tips!

For now, with love,


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