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dwessl | Posted in Quilting and Home Decor on

Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows where I could learn how to upholster? I’ve taken high school course classes, but I would like something more in the way of training to get in the field? I live in the Metrowest area of Mass. I’ve tried looking online, but have not found anything.  I have called a few places to see if they would like an assistant, a few took my number, and “will call me”  I’ve done some work and was wondering if I should just start out small, doing small items then work into the bigger stuff? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance to any of your responses.


  1. softfurn | | #1

    There is a forum at http://www.upholster.com which may be a good place for you to inquire.Unfortunately, it is an industry that many people don't want to invest in trainees because they will up and leave to start their own business. If someone is willing to hire you, they may have you stripping furniture for several years before you get to do any real upholstery work. Good luck in your persuit.

    1. dwessl | | #2

      Thanks, I checked that out also. I understand that people might feel leary. I will keep looking, I'm not looking to start a business, but wouldn't mind side stuff after I learn. I just want a regular paycheck for now and to learn.

  2. Sewnut | | #3

    Hi! I too am interested in upholstery. I found that my local college offers classes in adult continuing education. I would check there. Good Luck

    1. dwessl | | #4

      i've taken a few classes at the High schools, which was fine but I want more learning than that.

      1. Sewnut | | #5

        Well, If I wanted to have my own upholstery business I would get a job in a upholstery shop. I would tell them what I wanted to do. I would select a shop far away from where I wanted to set up my own shop. This would be to show good faith in regard to the competition. I would take some business classes at the local college along with a few design classes so you could at least assist the customer in selecting the correct fabric. You want them to be happy with the end product. You might also consider some sales classes to market and sell to the customer. I know a women who upholsters out of her garage. She is swamped! I hope these suggestions help you.

        1. dwessl | | #6

          Sounds like a good plan. The shops that took my name are in another town a half hour away so that could be good. IF they call me.

    2. OinkOink | | #7

      Hi everyone:

      I studied upholstery at my local trade school for 2.5 years.  It was fantastic, and the classes were free (actually, I did pay for them, but through my property taxes).  Be sure to check your local community college/trade school for classes.

      Even though I don't upholster professionally, I have many folks who ask me to do work for them.  If I wanted to earn a living as an upholsterer, I could (I say this only because again, people have asked me to work for them).  I even learned how to tuft and channel at the trade school.  Classes were once a week on Saturdays, from 9am - 2pm.

      I buy everything I need (tools and supplies) through a great website called http://www.PerfectProductsOnline.com.  They sell all professional-grade materials - the same stuff that professional upholsters use/buy - but they sell the DYI'er the same stuff but in small quantities.  I was looking for rubberized curled hair (I know, it sounds really weird), and they had it available by the foot!  They also have a very nice selection of upholstery tools. 

      They also have an **amazing** selection of decorative nails/clavos which I've used to embellish chairs and an ottoman.  I'm thinking of ordering the same nails I've used in furniture and putting them on a door in my house.  The website has great customer service too.  Check them out!

      Good luck finding local classes - I hope you can find them because I LOVE to upholster and you will probably enjoy it too.  If you can't find any classes, there are two really good books (out of print) you can get on eBay or Half.com:  John Bergen's "All About Upholstering," and "Upholstering" by James E. Brumbaugh. A lot of the stuff they talk about in the book is available on the website listed above.


      Oink Oink!

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