Beautiful Fabrics

To Complete Your Home

Do your curtains, cushions, blinds and bedding make your home sing or sigh? New move or happy home, now could be the perfect time for a fresh view. Kate Bowyer meets Mandy Marshall, head designer at independent interior fabric specialists Marshalls of Preston. Photography: Michael Porter

Stepping into Marshalls’ light, spacious showroom on Church Street, I treat my fingers to the pleasure of stroking satin fabric, luxurious rich velvet brocade flipping through a book of enticing swatches.

“Fabrics that you are welcome to touch,” nods Mandy Marshall of family-owned Marshalls, who have been turning dreams into reality and houses into homes for over 50 years.

“Going beyond colour and pattern, paint and wallpaper, they add a tactile feel with the pile, finish, depth and shine – the way they catch the light, or radiate warmth.”

Having worked in the family firm, founded by her father in 1966, for over 30 years, it’s not surprising Mandy has an instinctive feel for fabric: “Growing up in the business, I saw how much dad put into building it up,” she explains. “Helping in the school holidays was good for pocket money too!”

With a natural artistic eye, Mandy gained a degree in design, forging a career in the fashion industry in London. But, unable to resist helping out in the business on home visits, the lure of home and hands-on fabrics became too strong to resist.

“I’d been doing window displays and show houses, and realised how much I loved home interiors,” she recalls. “I think my business training helped, I started saying, ‘Why don’t we try this?’, we would, and it would work. Gradually I realised my place was in Marshalls, taking the expertise and passion my dad instilled in the business and getting creative beyond the curtains we were then known for.”

That was in the early 1990s. Now, thanks to Mandy, her team, and her father (who refuses to take a well-earned retirement), Marshalls are the go-to North West specialists for home soft furnishings. Curtains, nets, blinds, bedding, upholstery, accessories, kitchen fabrics and cushions – all carefully sourced, beautifully designed and seamlessly made and fitted.

It’s the personal touch that puts Marshalls pelmet-high above anonymous stores that ship in the same mass-produced fabric, whether you’re fitting a cottage in Cornwall or a granary in Glasgow. With a dedicated team of 10 including in-house seamstresses and fitters, you can choose off-the-peg with ease, alterations, or something personally bespoke – there’s the same care, attention and friendliness every time.

“We’ve built up partnerships with great fabric creators, designers and producers, so we can specialise in traditional and hard-to-get textiles,” says Mandy. “We work closely with local interior designers, and source locally wherever possible, including fabric, poles, tiebacks, bespoke bedding and headboards. We found the best-performing curtain linings, from thermal to blackout, for example, just down the M61 in Manchester!”

With over 14,000 fabrics and a sample ‘loan library’, including new sustainable fabrics and designer names like Prestigious, Fibré Naturel, Clarke & Clarke, Ashley Wilde and Style Library, customers will find plenty of inspiration in the shop. Mandy and her trusty tape measure, samples, ideas and expertise will also visit your home, project or premises across the North West.

Keeping travel impact down also ensures personal service, attention to detail and pleasing timescales from the first idea to the finished fitting, from barn to bungalow or terrace to townhouse. The team at Marshalls are renowned for fitting bespoke spans and heights where others don’t, there are also pre-made styles that are perfect budget options, or for keeping pace when kids’ tastes turn into teens.

“The fabrics that background our daily life are so much more than window-dressing,” concludes Mandy. “You should continue to love the designs, colours and fabrics in your home as much as the moment you said ‘that’s the one!’. At Marshalls, we love making that happen.”

29 Church Street, Preston PR1 3BQ
01772 257974
07800 539476



Tedd Walmsley

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