Job Description:

Upholsterers pad, cover and re-cover furniture with materials like leather, suede or cotton.

Job Category:
Manufacturing & Electronics

What you will do:

Day-to-day tasks

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




You’ll need:

  • 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
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies

College Course

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.