Inspired, Sophia Wimpenny and Ali McCulloch – Precious McBane

At Precious McBane we like to collaborate wherever possible with companies that have a different perspective to our own. We read about Fine Cell Work a few years ago and bookmarked it for future collaboration. What FCW does is simple – teaching embroidery, patchwork and quilting to prison inmates. The prisoners earn money, while learning skills. Most of the prisoners have never invested their energies in something creative and the therapeutic effect is profound.

FCW produces a great range of traditional embroidery, but we wanted to give it a more contemporary project. The opportunity for collaboration came about during our transformation of Virgin Radio’s Soho headquarters in 2007.

We designed the station as a rock town house, referencing stately home conventions, and wanted to provide the bathrooms with suitable handmade artwork. The result was a series of full-sized classic album covers in needlepoint. They include Abbey Road, Dark Side of the Moon and Sticky Fingers.

Several designers and celebrities have already contributed one-off cushion designs to the charity, but what we were able to do was show off FCW’s flexibility. Normally, we like to keep trade secrets under wraps, but FCW is too good to keep to ourselves.

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