Upholsterers pad, cover and re-cover furniture with materials like leather, suede or cotton.Job Category:
What you will do:
In this job you could:
- plan work, advise on fabrics and estimate costs
- prepare patterns and templates
- cut fabric to correct measurements
- fix webbing and springs
- cover furniture frames with padding and fabric, using stitching, staples, tacks or glue
- make soft furnishings like cushions
- add trimmings like piping, fringing and buttons
- remove old upholstery and repair frames before re-upholstering
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- design skills and knowledge
- the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
As well as:
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to work well with your hands
- the ability to use your initiative
to be flexible and open to change (adaptability skills)
- the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
You could take a college course, like a:
- Certificate in Upholstery
- Diploma in Furnishings – Traditional Upholstery
- Diploma in Furnishings – Modern Upholstery
Courses like these may be useful when looking for a trainee upholsterer job with a company.
You could do a furniture manufacturer intermediate apprenticeship or an upholsterer advanced apprenticeship.
These typically take 24 months to complete as a mix of learning in the workplace and off-the-job study.
You may be able to get work as a trainee upholsterer, without any experience. You would then do qualifications and get experience on the job.
Working Hours and Environment:
Typical hours are 43-45 hours a week.
You could work as a freelancer and manage your own hours.
You could work in a workshop, in a factory, at a client’s business or at a client’s home.
Your working environment may be physically demanding.
Career Path & Progression:
With experience, you could
- move into a supervisory or management position.
- specialise in re-upholstering antique furniture or work in interior design.
- become self-employed and set up your own upholstery business.
- teach your upholstery skills to apprentices and students in further education.