The Repair Shop’s Jayesh Vaghela makes family admission as sister inspires restoration

The Repair Shop: Jayesh on how sister inspired love of embroidery

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Jay Blades and his workshop of restoration experts have been putting smiles on faces and bringing back memories for over half a decade on the BBC. Now, a new series of The Repair Shop has begun to the delight of its millions of viewers, and newcomer Jayesh Vaghela shared some insight into his personal history as a hatter and embroidery master.

Jayesh revealed his sister’s love of embroidery partly inspired his career as a hatter in the latest episode of The Repair Shop.

Coming back for a brand new series, the team was tasked with another selection of tricky restoration projects.

While Steve Fletcher and his son Fred worked on one of the biggest and most complicated clocks ever seen by the workshop, Jayesh was given a slightly more modest task.

Die-hard Rotherham United fan Pete and his daughter Angela requested Jayesh to spruce up their lucky football hat, as the colour and lettering had faded over the years.

While he was working on the piece, Jayesh recalled how he would watch and learn from his sister’s sewing skills as a child.

He explained: “As I was growing up, my eldest sister, she was very good at hand-embroidery.

“As a child, I would be sat right next to her playing with my toys.”

Although he didn’t realise at the time, Jayesh actually managed to pick up a lot of the basics which he would later apply to his career as a professional embroiderer.

“I didn’t realise that, just from observing, I was picking up the skills,” he continued.

“And then it sort of flourished. I started doing it myself and the interest developed. And here I am.”

Jayesh first appeared in the series last year, when the team were given a hat worn by a World War II prisoner of war who worked on the Death Railway.

His careful hands and keen eye were once again put into good use for Pete’s cap, and the football fans were bowled over when they saw the final product.

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“I’m hoping it looks like new,” Pete told Jay and Jayesh. “As long as it’s not blue and white!”

The restored cap certainly didn’t disappoint, as Pete and Angela both let out gasps of astonishment when the cover was removed.

Pete exclaimed: “Wow! That is fantastic. That is superb, thank you.

“First match of the season, that will be on my head.”

Jay then encouraged Pete to try the hat on, which, of course, fit perfectly.

“Thank you very much,” he told Jayesh. “You’ve made me a very happy man.

“It’s part of me… It’s me. It gets me here,” he added as he held back tears. “I’ll remember you Jayesh, a long, long time.”

Pete suggested he might sleep in the cap that night, and he’ll certainly be bringing it along to all of Rotherham’s upcoming matches.

The Repair Shop airs Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC One.

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