Traditional Upholstery

When and Where

20 Apr 2020 - 6 Jul 2020 (33 hours, 11 weeks)
Days and times
Monday 18:00 - 21:00
Morley College London


Full fee
£325 Staged Payments available
Concession fee
Senior fee
Senior Fee discount not applicable

Quick Facts

Sam Edkins
Course code

What you will learn

On this upholstery course, students learn traditional techniques and the materials required to upholster different styles of furniture. Through a series of tasks and demonstrations students learn the correct use of upholstery tools and materials. These include stripping existing upholstery, preparing timber frames and their reupholstery using webbing, stitched and nailed hessian, stitched horse hair, another layer of hessian and a final layer of calico. Finish with a final layer of students' own top fabric and trim with various edging techniques. Suitable small scale personal projects could be dining chairs, footstools, occasional chairs, piano stools and other types of stools. Students are required to check their project is suitable with the tutor Equipment and tools are provided by the College, there is an additional charge for some materials.

By the end of the course you will be able to

  • Understand the safe and practical use of a workshop environment.
  • Name and correctly use traditional upholstery materials and hand tools.
  • Rip down a chair safely and efficiently.
  • Understand the traditional techniques required to complete your chair inc. webbing, tacking, stuffing, rolled and stitched edges.
  • Professionally finish, including the application of the top fabric, bottom cloth and different trims.

Class format and activities

Emphasis is on a practical approach to learning through a series of exercises, combined with tutor demonstrations, hand outs and student discussion. The personal project gives students an opportunity to use the skills learnt to produce a completed chair of their choice to take home. Students will be encouraged to keep a good work book of practical skills, sample materials and research.

In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.

Entry requirements

The course is aimed at giving beginners an introduction to traditional upholstery and improvers, a chance to practice and perfect their skills. The practical work undertaken does require a level of strength and mobility. Students are required to check their project is suitable with the tutor

What you need to know before you enrol

It is essential to bring a project/chair with you. You will also need your own top fabric, this can be discussed with the tutor once your project is underway. If you are unsure or have a question regarding your project please contact the tutor;

What you will need for your class

Students are required to bring a suitable chair with them and their own top fabric. It is advised that students bring with them a camera, notebook, A4 folder and pen to keep an accurate and useful work book. Sturdy shoes should be worn in the workshop, open toes and flimsy soles are not advisable. There will be a charge for specialist materials used in the studio.

Delivering your Project:

Ideally students should bring chairs with them on the first evening. Alternatively they can be delivered to the Nancy Seear building (A yellow and brown modern building) at King Edward Walk, SE1 7HT. Delivery by appointment. Contact 0207 450 1843 to arrange.

The room is on the top floor. The lift goes to the first floor, your project would need to be carried the rest of the way. Projects can be left at the far right hand side of the room. Security should be on reception and able to point you in the right direction.

Chairs should be clearly labelled with your Name, Number and Class.

Please note Morley College is in zone 1, inside the congestion zone. There is no car parking onsite and there is a limited amount of pay and display parking on King Edward Walk outside the building.

What you can do next

The course provides a good knowledge base from which to tackle a range of upholstery projects. There are many other courses in the Textiles section that complement and enhance traditional upholstery. Some are interiors related and others focus more on cloth.