This is a core subject of The School of Stuff.  We teach traditional and modern upholstery and we offer a range of upholstery courses to suit different needs, from a two year course in traditional upholstery techniques for career changers to our project based twelve week evening classes for people who are doing upholstery for fun.  We run occasional five day intensive courses, weekend taster courses for beginners, and a one year one day a week course in modern techniques which is geared towards those wanting to set up in business.  So something for everyone.


Beginners are welcome on all these courses.

Taster Weekend

We run occasional weekend taster sessions in traditional upholstery.  You will learn some basic techniques and be introduced to tools and materials, and find out a bit about the history of upholstery.  You will learn how to upholster a drop-in seat for a dining chair (either your own or one we provide). If you get a taste for it, we have plenty of courses you can progress to.  Book here. 

Five Day Intensive

Upholstery school: 5 day intensive course, project based, but with small class sizes and suited to your needs. We run three of these every year, one at Easter and two in the summer.  This course is five days of intensive tuition in traditional or modern upholstery. Like the evening classes, it is project based, so you will learn what you need to know to upholster your particular chair, but we can help you structure your learning experience by pointing you in the direction of the right project or projects.    People work at different speeds, but you should be able to get a small armchair completed within five days.  Because of the flexibility of this course, it is suitable for beginners and those who have already done some upholstery.  Classes will start at 10.00am and finish at 4.00pm with an hour off for lunch. Book here.

Evening classes

Project-based evening classes:  bring along a chair and together we will reupholster it.  You will learn either traditional or modern techniques according to your choice of project.   Traditional upholstery is appropriate for older chairs - from the nineteenth and early twentieth century - and uses materials such as horsehair or coir fibre, hessian or linen and tacks for fixing, and employs sophisticated stitching techniques such as firm stitched edges - it is generally quite labour intensive; modern upholstery is usually more appropriate for post-war chairs and uses foam as a stuffing, and staples for fixing, and is quick to do, but hard to get right. Both types of upholstery require technical know-how and skill to produce a good finished piece, and that is what we aim to teach. Offered as a 12 week course, one night a week on Mondays, from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Click here for dates and booking

Two Year Course in Traditional Upholstery

Starts October. This course will equip you with the basic skills to start a new career as an upholsterer. 

Two year professional training in traditional upholstery: one day a week on Thursday, systematic step-by-step two year course in traditional upholstery techniques, taught through a series of exercises over a two year period. In the first year you will learn how to upholster a drop-in seat, a traditionally stitched edge square stool, a sprung dining chair, and a deep-buttoned dining chair.  You will also learn how to upholster a sprung scroll arm and an independent sprung edge.  All these exercises in the first year will prepare you for your second year project which is the complete re-upholstery of a fully upholstered sprung armchair.  The course is taught one day a week on Thursdays or Fridays, in six twelve week terms in all (three a year, roughly coinciding with school term times), building sequentially. The small class size – a maximum of 12 students - allows for intensive individual attention. You can book a year at a time and pay in instalments.

Email for course outline: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   Click here for dates and booking

One Year Course in Modern Upholstery Techniques

This course will develop your machining skills, teach you about modern fillings for upholstery, including foams and how and when to use them, modern spring systems and how to use them, and will introduce you to materials used in modern upholstery and give you a grounding in the skills and resources necessary to start your own upholstery business. As well as training in modern upholstery techniques, sessions on estimating, setting up a workshop, and marketing your skills and products will be included. Taught in three 12 week terms on Mondays from October.