We are very pleased to announce that we will be able to offer a year-long (3 x 12 weeks) upholstery course starting on Wednesday 12th September 2018. We keep our classes small – maximum of 8 students to ensure you benefit from close personal attention during your course.

This course is ideal for those who wish to learn all of the practical skills associated with becoming a professional upholsterer, but do not wish to commit to the academic side of an accreditation. Our focus will be on developing  top quality practical results, so that learners can learn the exacting standards required by professionals.

With opportunities to study for one day per week for 36 weeks, you will be guided by an experienced professional upholsterer  throughout your learning, teaching you their specialist skills to ensure you have an overall grounding.

The course will cover the basics of both traditional and modern processes as required by all professional upholsterers. This reflects the techniques used within the furniture industry but will also allow for an individual’s creative desire to push the conventional boundaries. As one of our tutors sometimes says, ‘Craftspeople use this technique until someone comes up with a better way’.

Our courses are taught from our newly equipped studio close to Southwark and Borough tube, within walking distance of Waterloo and London Bridge.

Course Outline

During your 36 week course you will first learn, then put into practice, the key and advanced processes needed to achieve a skilled level of upholstery. Whatever your current level of experience, age or intentions for the future, we have the necessary knowledge and passion for our craft to see you succeed.

Key processes that will be taught throughout the course will include:

  • -Health & Safety: safe use when working with tools and equipment in a workshop.
  • -Description and use of traditional and modern fillings.
  • -How to work out the material cost of a project.
  • -Uses of knots, sewing thread and hand stitching techniques.
  • -Fabrics- selecting, marking out, cutting, pattern matching, sewing.
  • -One-to-one tuition in the use of domestic Bernina and Janome sewing machines.
  • -Basic machine sewing techniques. Inserting zips.
  • -Appropriate use of hand and machine tools and equipment.
  • -Trims and detailing, such as piping and double piping.
  • -Understanding chair frame construction and  experience of repair where necessary.
  • -Basic repair techniques to add blocks using saws, drills, glues fillers and screws.
  • -Use of stains, water based paints, french polish, waxes where needed.

Health and safety procedures, good practice use of all hand tools and machines is taught throughout. Business acumen in costing materials, pricing work, invoicing and basic online bookkeeping will also be covered.

Practical projects that will be completed during your course:

  • -A completed drop-in seat using modern materials and techniques.* Yours to take home
  • -A completed drop-in seat using traditional materials and methods.** ***
  • -A completed stuffed and stitched footstool or chair frame using traditional materials and methods.** ***
  • -A completed sprung dining chair frame^ using traditional materials and methods.** ***
  • -A ‘Sprung arm’ exercise for an inset facing using traditional materials and methods.** ***
  • -A boxed cushion with piping and zip.  Yours to take home
  • -A small upholstered and lined box with choice of lid. We will make the box for you. Yours to take home.
  • -A deep buttoned footstool frame using modern materials and  techniques.**  Yours to take home.


** Fibre/hair/hessian/linen stitching

*** This project uses materials that will be re used in other upholstery modules.


Learners will spend a total of 216 hours of learning time during the course. Attendance is recorded and this can be used to verify your time here. We will issue a certificate of completion at the end of the course and will be happy to write references for job applications or for placements onto advanced accredited courses.

Teaching & Learning

Learners will have full access to our well equipped upholstery workshop and the majority of the teaching will be by practical experience on your own projects (listed above).

There will be set exercises to be completed and tutors will help learners evaluate their own work in private and group tutorials throughout the course. Any additional projects the learner takes on will be encouraged. Feedback will be given throughout the course.

Fundamental knowledge will be explained in interactive lectures in the workshop using practical examples where possible. Different basic topics will be explored and learners are encouraged to develop their own creativity and confidence as they progress.

Tutors will encourage, support and arrange informal external visits to museum collections and professional businesses.

We encourage learners to develop a comprehensive and reference-able folder of notes as a valuable and visible aid to learning, as well as an ongoing portfolio of your own projects.

Your learning will also include tuition from our restoration tutor so you can learn how restore and french polish a chair frame.

Entry Requirements

This course is suitable for absolute beginners as well as those who have some previous experience. As much of the learning is transferred verbally, a good knowledge of English is required. We do not have minimum academic qualification requirements.

Career Progression

Learners will be encouraged to attain professional standards in their upholstery and soft furnishing projects, as well as acquiring a background knowledge in a broad range of basic techniques. Final projects can be used to show a high standard if a learner has a desire to continue to onto an accredited higher level.
Students will be encouraged to work independently as they would have to in industry.

Supplementary Learning

In addition to our the core upholstery course, learners have the opportunity to round-off their knowledge by attending our other related workshops at a substantial discount.
These workshops run regularly, in the evenings  and at weekends, and can be taken at any time during your upholstery course.
These complementary workshops will improve your skill levels and abilities in curtain making, hand caning, restoration and  basic woodwork, providing you with a very comprehensive grounding in all levels of upholstery and furniture restoration

Tutors – Sally Mollett

Sally Mollett is passionate about upholstery. After a career in accounting she retrained and now runs her own business- ‘The London Upholstery House’ in Streatham, South London, taking on modern and traditional projects from Mid Century G-Plan dining chairs to original Regency Sofas, and everything else in between.
While studying upholstery at the London Metropolitan University she was awarded prizes for her work two years in a row. Sally says ‘if I can do it – you can too’.

Additional Tutors

Steve English – Furniture restoration
Steve has been a professional restorer and french polisher for over 30 years. He has a friendly teaching style that is enriched by educational anecdotes about his fascinating experiences working for Harrods Furniture Depository restoring fine antiques.

Fees and Payment Structure  36 weeks September 2018
Total cost £2800.00 including VAT @ 20%    (36 x 6 hours – 216 hours)

This is inclusive of all materials. We supply the frames for the exercises that you will not keep. (The spring frame, arm frame, traditional dining chair).

Payment is due via the following methods-
1.  Payment in full before the beginning of the course. 
2. This method incurs an admin charge of 3% –  £933.00 by beginning of first term (12th September  2018) The  balance (£1923.00) will be invoiced in 2 parts (£961.00) which will be due on 12 November and 12 March.

Our class sizes are small. Maximum 8 per course.
We encourage you to secure your place as soon as possible.


All basic materials for the projects are included in the cost of the course. Additional materials used on learner’s own chairs will be charged at nominal prices. Legs for the projects can be purchased at cost price.

Term Dates

The course takes places weekly each Wednesdays 10am-1pm / 2pm-5pm. Term dates (2018-2019) for the course are:
Autumn Term
September 12,19,26.- October 3,10,17 (Half term Oct 24) October 31 – November 7,14,21,28 – December 5.
Spring Term
January 9,16,23,30 – February 6,13 (Half term Feb 20) February 2 – March 6,13,20,27 -April 3. (Easter Holidays)
Summer Term
April 24 -May 1,8,15,22 (Half term May 29) June 5,12,19,26 – July 3,10,17.

For those wishing to take an accreditied course, please consult for a full list of training centres.

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Dates for this workshop/Course

  • 12/09/2018
    10:00 am - 5:00 pm


49-55 Great Guildford Street
United Kingdom