Upholsterer Careers

How to become upholsterer

What does an upholsterer do?

Upholsterers shape and cover furniture such as chairs, bedheads and sofas. The two main types of work are production and craft upholstery.

Production upholstery generally involves work with new furniture, using pre-cut materials. Some upholsters may be employed working on a particular part of the job, whilst others work on the item as a whole.

Craft upholsterers work on new furniture and renovate or re- upholster old and antique furniture. They may be required to give advice and estimate the costs of repairs.


What's the working environment like for upholsterers?

Working hours vary depending on the employer. In factories and workshops there may be a 39-hour week, but some evening and weekend work may be required. Working hours for self-employed upholsterers will often be more irregular.

Upholsterers may work in workshops, studios or factories. Self-employed upholsterers may visit clients' homes to give estimates, and collect and deliver furniture. The job can be physically demanding, involving lifting and carrying furniture, and a lot of bending and standing.

A driving licence will be useful if self-employed.


What does it take to become an upholsterer?

To be an upholster you should:

  • be very skilled at taking measurements and calculating quantities

  • be able to pay strict attention to detail and accuracy

  • be practical and enjoy using machinery and tools

  • have an interest in furniture design and history

  • have an appreciation of fabrics, colour and design

  • have patience and perseverance

  • be physically fit as the work involves moving furniture

  • be safety conscious, well organised and tidy

  • be self-motivated and able to work without supervision, particularly if self- employed

  • have good interpersonal skills in order to get on with customers and colleagues

  • have good business skills if self-employed.


Further information

If you would like to know anything about working in soft furnishings that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Furniture, Furnishings and Interiors National Training Organisation (FFINTO)
67 Wollaton Road
Tel: 0115 9221200

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