3 Day Traditional Upholstery Course

About the Course

This three-day course focuses solely on the skills and materials of the traditional upholsterer. The course is designed for both beginners and those with some experience.

The Dates

All courses are currently suspended due to Covid-19 social distancing rules. We’ll get some new course dates planned as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Booking Your Course

A complete course will cost just £450 for the 3 days (+ VAT charged at the standard rate) including a cold buffet lunch and refreshments. Upon booking, a suitable frame must be purchased. We accept Credit, Debit cards and PayPal as well as Cheques and BACS payments. Click here to book and reserve your place on the course or phone Sue, Chris or  Tasha on 01691 624023 to book or learn more. If you’re looking to buy a course as a gift for someone, we can provide open-dated vouchers, so the recipient can choose when to attend. Please see our course terms and conditions here



  • Beginners – one footstool (530mm x 330mm) with a standard hair-stuffed and stitched pad.
  • Experienced – a larger footstool/coffee table type (600mm x 500mm)  with sprung, stuffed and stitched seat and a piped border to finish.

With the brand new frames supplied for purchase, the student does not have to spend any valuable time working on the frame to ‘get it up to scratch’. The stool comes with polished legs and castors (student chooses and purchases these on the day) and is ready to go. Students may supply their own fabrics (must be discussed prior to attending) or purchased from J A Milton.

Course notes, relevant to the first day, will be emailed to the student prior to the start date; so there will be no time lost on arrival, enabling you to begin upholstering as your confidence allows. The course aim is for you to understand, appreciate and become confident in practising the art of traditional upholstery. Remember, ‘practice makes perfect’ and ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.

Course content and what you will learn:

  • The importance of Frame and Upholstery profile – ‘the line’
  • Use of curved, circular and straight Needles and skewers.
  • The importance and mastery of the Regulator.
  • Tacks – their type, use, importance and positioning.
  • Staples – where, when and when not to use.
  • Webbing use and fitting.
  • Hessians and scrim – types, when and where and how to cut.
  • Twines – types, when and where and ‘the knots’.
  • Springs – selecting, spacing, sewing, lashing/tieing and setting
  • Upholstery construction – what should it look like?
  • Hair and fibre – use of and differences.
  • The art of stitching and use of the needle.
  • Top stuffing and what to remember.
  • Use of skin wadding, calico and/or barrier cloth.
  • Further Stitches – Which? How? When? Where?
  • Fabrics……..discuss
  • Fabric cutting, fitting, sewing and finishing.
  • Piping – discuss.
  • Final application of fabric and the finishing touches, trimmings and Nails as appropriate.

What do I need to bring?

It will be of advantage if you could bring with you bags of enthusiasm, a pair of leather gloves (vital) and a good quality handcream!

Classes are small with 4 – 6 students and tutor to ensure everyone gets time with the tutors but work and learn at their own speed. The classes take place in our workshop in Ellesmere, Shropshire from around 9am until 4pm including a cold buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day. If you would like to come to us for a course we can recommend some of our local accommodation. Please note that there must be at least 4 students booked in order for the course to run.

Your Tutor

Tony Dickin

Tony Dickin has many years’ experience in the Furniture Industry:

Experienced in both Modern and Traditional Upholstery, he specialises in Period Upholstery and Furniture Restoration/Conservation working with both private and commercial clients. After completing a full Furniture Industry City and Guilds Apprenticeship, Tony went into teaching in both FE and HE, becoming Head of Upholstery, Course Leader BA(Hons) Applied Furniture Studies and course leader in Antique studies.

Course Feedback

I just wanted to thank you once again for last week's course, everything you taught me & your patience. Although I have always wanted to try upholstery I wasn't sure how I would get on but I really did enjoy every minute of it & learnt so much. The good news is that my sister did, very kindly, find and give me her tool box. The bad news is the tools have never been taken out of their original packing(!!) but I will soon look to change that; I'm hoping to finish the stool next weekend & I have purchased a copy of Practical Upholstering. I'm already excited about my next project, even though I don't know what that will be yet. Thanks again, you're a great tutor.