When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Late starts accepted
  • Tutor Sam Edkins
  • Course Code W23TTSI01C
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

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. In advance of the course, students are required to check their project is suitable with the tutor by emailing sam.edkins@morleycollege.ac.uk. Equipment and tools are provided by the College, there is an additional charge for some materials.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this 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
  • Consider the sustainability potential of upholstery through the reupholstering of your old chair frames. Considering the materials involved, there journey and life expectancy.


  • Full fee
  • Concession fee
  • 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 are encouraged to keep a good work book of practical skills, sample materials and research.

    Entry requirements

    The course is aimed at giving beginners an introduction to traditional upholstery and improvers, the chance to practice and perfect their skills. The practical work undertaken does require a level of strength and mobility. There is limited storage capacity in the studio. In advance of the class, students are required to check their project is suitable with the tutor sam.edkins@morleycollege.ac.uk

    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; Sam.Edkins@morleycollege.ac.uk

    What you need

    Students are required to bring a suitable small chair or stool with them and their own top fabric. If you are unsure or have a question regarding your project please contact the tutor; Sam.Edkins@morleycollege.ac.uk. 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 from the studio. Delivering your Project. Students are strongly advised to bring chairs/stools 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 only in special circumstances. Contact 0207 450 1843 to arrange. The studio 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 righthand 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, phone 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.