How to become a Upholsterer

Upholsterers select, cut, sew and fit fabric or leather materials to furniture and repair damaged furniture.

Personal requirements of a Upholsterer

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Able to work neatly and accurately
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team
  • Interested in furniture
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Normal colour vision
  • Good hand–eye coordination

Education & Training for a Upholsterer

To become an upholsterer you usually have to complete an apprenticeship in Upholstery. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Upholsterer

Upholsterers may perform the following tasks:

  • discuss colour, fabric, style and cost of upholstery with clients
  • repair upholstered furniture by replacing covers, webbing, padding and springs
  • staple lengths of webbing (a wide tape) on to the underside of the furniture frame
  • stretch webbing from side to side, interlacing it to form a base for the padding
  • lace tops of springs together to prevent sideways movement and staple hessian to the frame
  • cut and fit foam padding
  • measure and cut covering material, join sections and tack fabric onto the furniture frame
  • cover staples with decorative braid, trim, buttons or nails and attach calico to the underside of the furniture.

Working conditions for a Upholsterer

Upholsterers generally work in workshops but occasionally may be required to work in clients' homes or other sites. Upholsterers stand for most of the day, as the furniture is normally placed on a benchtop while work is carried out.

Employment Opportunities for a Upholsterer

Upholsterers are employed by furniture makers in the production of commercial, household, marine and caravan furniture. Most furniture upholsterers work in factories making new furniture. Some work in small businesses, where they may undertake antique, customised, renovation, repair and recovery work, or combine repair and manufacture. Those specialising in restoration work require knowledge of old and modern techniques. Opportunities for self-employment are greater in restoration work.

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