- >Upholstery Diamonds February 2022
Oksana Ignatova of Stitch Girl (Wauconda, IL)
What does being an upholsterer mean to you?
For me, being an upholsterer means getting to do what I really like – to help my clients bring their ideas to life and to be able to create something new and different. It is not only my job but my favorite hobby. If I’m not working on the clients projects, I am either doing something for one of my cars, practicing, or making something new that we can bring to this industry.
How did you get started in upholstery?
My husband and I had a small car restoration shop in Florida. While he was wrenching on the cars, I got my first ever sewing machine and started practicing on our projects. I fell in love with what I was doing and just couldn’t stop!
What types of upholstery do you do?
Mostly I do automotive upholstery with the rare airplane, motorcycle, or marine project.
How long have you been upholstering?
What is your biggest consumer demand?
Wrapping steering wheels.
What is your favorite upholstery project you've done?
So far, my favorite is a Jaguar XJ13 I did this summer. It was a unique mid-60s Le Mans prototype, hand built in polished aluminum. I upholstered the seats in American Buffalo leather, added some small details, and handmade the floor mats!
What is the strangest item you've found in a restoration?
A nicely preserved and absolutely dry lizard inside of the headliner.
Have you noticed any up and coming trends?
Laser engraving is becoming more and more popular, because machinery is getting more affordable and it is different from traditional embossing or embroidery.
What changes would benefit the upholstery industry?
Fresh blood. This industry needs more young people to be involved in it. They would bring new technologies, new trends, and designs.
Have you ever been featured on television, online, or in another publication?
Yes, I have been featured on “SEMA 35 under 35” in 2020; an interview published at the Hog Ring; another interview with the Russian online magazine “Fabricator Online”; and I was recently on the “NC Shop Talk” podcast from NC Carpet Binding.
Some answers have been edited for clarity.