Lux­ury bed­maker: Vis­pring

Country Life Every Week - - Interior Design Made In Britain -

You might as­so­ciate the River Ta­mar with all sorts of things— Cote­hele, ot­ters or the End­sleigh es­tate, for in­stance—but per­haps not gilded bed springs. The mil­lion or so springs made each year at Vis­pring’s fac­tory on the out­skirts of Er­ne­set­tle in Devon are steel but one cus­tomer asked for his to be gilded. oth­ers have made sim­i­larly un­usual re­quests such as the Amer­i­can (and very large) bas­ket­ball player who asked for a mat­tress that was 100in square.

Jim Gerety, the new man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, who has been with the com­pany for five years, points out that this is one of the ad­van­tages of any busi­ness that makes al­most ev­ery­thing by hand; Vis­pring’s crafts­men can cre­ate vir­tu­ally any shape, size and spec­i­fi­ca­tion of bed a cus­tomer asks for. ‘It means that there are no short­cuts,’ he says. ‘The only thing we make with a ma­chine are the springs. Ev­ery­thing else—the nest­ing of the springs, the side stitch­ing, the teas­ing of the fill­ings and the tuft­ing—is done by the team of 150 staff at the fac­tory.

Vis­pring started life in London in 1901 and in­vented the first pocket spring, which is made by wrap­ping each one in a cal­ico pocket, al­low­ing them to move in­de­pen­dently and be more ac­co­mo­dat­ing. Since then, both the tech­niques and the ma­te­ri­als have hardly changed. ‘We con­tinue to use nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, in­clud­ing the fact that they of­fer greater com­fort,’ ex­plains Mr Gerety. un­bleached cal­ico is used for the pock­ets and, de­pend­ing on the spec­i­fi­ca­tion, the fill­ing is a com­bi­na­tion of Bri­tish wool, cash­mere, al­paca and bam­boo. And the com­pany’s name? ‘oh, that’s a very clever ref­er­ence to the fact that our springs have six coils.’ Giles Kime (01752 366311; www.vis­

Pho­to­graph by Richard Can­non

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