Got a chair that’s looking a bit tired or threadbare? You could send it to the upholsterer, but think how much more satisfying it might be to restore it yourself. These three courses will get you started…
1 The Traditional Upholstery Workshop in West Wales is set in a rural location with spectacular views and enables beginners to progress at their own pace. Start with a week-long course that covers the basics, including details of tools and fabrics, plus skills such as webbing, springing, stuffing and buttoning. There are only five students per class and two tutors, so you get plenty of attention. You are asked to bring your own sprung dining chair and drop-in seat, or ottomans can be supplied. £380 per week.
2 The Upholstery Skills Centre in Stapleford Abbotts, near Romford, has a two-day course during which students upholster a headboard, footstool or dining chair (for the latter, bring your own to work on). All tools are supplied and you will learn a mix of traditional and modern skills. There are also evening classes available; if you’re feeling adventurous, you could progress to a ten-day ‘Make a Chaise Longue’ course. £185 for the two-day course.
3 The Goodlife Centre near Waterloo in South London has a range of courses suitable for beginners, each with a different focus. The one-day ‘Intro to Upholstery’ allows you to restore a chair seat (£165); there are two-day courses focusing on buttoned or traditional footstools (£325); or if you’re serious and have a project that you want to work on, sign up for one of the ‘Bring Your Own Chair’ ten-week courses for around £465.