Upholstery courses - top 5 by Debbie Lowndes January 17, 2016 20:42 1 Comment

 It’s January, a time when we often start thinking about what we might like to learn for the year ahead….

It’s also quite chilly out, so hard physical activity at this time of year is an ideal way to keep warm!
We get asked about Upholstery training courses all the time, so here are our absolute favourite recommendations for quality upholstery courses for pleasure or for a new career.
The London Metropolitan University, Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture & Design - London E1.
Where we all trained.  Excellent courses, full time, part time and evening.  Sadly, they don’t do City & Guilds upholstery courses anymore, but the courses are part of the AMUSF (The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishings) Professional qualification programme. This is, in our opinion the best place to learn the craft with tip top teachers and equipment. The course is run by Franco Marinelli,  Mat Gates and Malcolm Hopkins

School of Stuff, Dalston

The School of Stuff - Dalston, London
Where I first got the upholstery bug.  It’s a great place to learn upholstery.  Led by Amanda Girling Budd who used to teach Conservation/upholstery at The London Metropolitan University.  Amanda's a bit of a gem, enthusiastic, adaptable, authentic, with a wealth of knowledge.  She’s a furniture aficionado. Lots of well stocked courses run alongside upholstery, including Furniture Restoration, Recycling, Cabinet Making, Chair caning, Chair rushing and weekend taster sessions and weekend workshops, all in a super friendly environment in super cool Dalston.  What’s not to love.

  Kent School of Upholstery
Kent School of Upholstery, Faversham, Kent
A unique upholstering experience with Master Upholsterer Alex Law.  He taught us at the London Met and has since gone on to set up his own upholstery courses in Faversham.  The classes are intimate with top notch tuition from a true pro.  He also runs a once a month chair club session as well and designs and produces beautiful chairs for sale which can be seen in the LCC shop.  More details on upholstery, design, screen printing your own upholstery fabric can be found here:

Peak Upholstery

Peak Upholstery - Matlock, Derbyshire
Set high up on the hillside in the stunning Peak District, overlooking the Derwent Valley towards Oker and Snitterton. Peak Upholstery is a family affair, with Angie running intimate upholstery and soft furnishing courses from a well set up and organised snug (the 18th century house used to be a pub!)  
You can book a course and stay in their home too, they have three comfortable rooms.  Angie, Carl & their son, grow their own organic vegetables and fruit, keep chickens and honeybees, so the food is as delightful as the tuition.  A really wonderful way to learn upholstery in a relaxing environment.
Angie runs evening and weekend courses, more details can be found here:

ST Augustine's Workshop

St Augustine's Workshop, N19

St Augustine’s Workshop, London N19
Pia St John of The London Chair Collective, along with Tessa Hauxwell, Betty Hall and Gill Wright, run upholstery classes from a huge basement workshop space underneath a church just off the busy Archway Road.  It’s wonderfully old fashioned and perfect in so many ways…with little booth lighting for your sewing machines, enormous storage for your chairs (very rare) and perfect classes run by practising upholsterers with a wealth of knowledge.  Morning, afternoon and evening classes for all levels are friendly, informative and have a real sense of community feel to them with many of the students coming back year after year and becoming great friends.
Debbie Lowndes