Traditional Upholstery Courses

Upholstery is a craft which began in the Middle Ages and which has been passed on for generations. It is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘to provide (furniture) with a soft padded covering’ and is often used as a general term for stuffed, padded and sprung furniture.

A piece of furniture upholstered traditionally will consist of layers of materials, which have been built up by hand and will have taken skill and many hours to complete.

A traditionally upholstered chair should last one hundred years. On a Sarah Louise Dix upholstery course, students will learn the traditional upholstery skills while using time-honored materials such as coil springs, fibre (coir), hessian, cotton wadding and calico.

About the courses

We offer a selection of courses and workshops, which are suitable for all levels – from beginners, for those with no experience, to intermediate and 10 week courses which are suitable for all levels.

Our classes and workshops are undertaken in small groups (maximum 10 students) and run during the week, at weekends and evenings. All our courses and workshops take place at our studio located in Godalming, Surrey.

Beginners Workshops – 

For students new to upholstery.

Available as a one day Saturday workshop. 10.30 to 15.30.

Students will be taught how to upholster a footstool with a drop in seat traditionally.

Course Requirements

Please note that you will NOT need to bring any furniture with you, as this is included.

You will need to provide your own top fabric. You will require approximately half a metre of upholstery weight fabric.

All tools and materials (excluding top fabric) are provided.

Camera (or mobile phone)

Intermediate or Upholster a Sprung Dining Chair

An ideal follow on from the Beginners Workshop.

Ideally students should have a basic knowledge of upholstery tools and some techniques.

Available as a one day Saturday workshop. 10.30 to 18.30.

Course Requirements

Students are required to bring along a sprung dining chair.

All tools are provided.

You will need to provide your own top fabric.  Please ensure that this is fire retardant and specific for upholstery.  You will require approximately half a metre.

10 Week Course

An ideal follow on from the Beginners Workshops and our Sprung Dining Chair course.

But you are welcome to join if you have no previous experience as you will be guide through the upholstery process.

10 x 3 hour sessions (school term times)

Course Requirements

Students are free to bring along an item of furniture no larger than a wingback armchair.  Please note that some complicated pieces (i.e. winged armchair) may take longer than 10 weeks to complete. 

All tools are provided.

Materials can be purchased from Sarah Louise Dix as required.  Students are expected to keep a record of what they have used.  A materials sheet will be provided for this. We kindly ask that all materials are paid for no later than the end of each course. To comply with 1988 fire regulations, fire retardant barrier cloth (wool) is always available for students to use on their furniture.



Sprung Dining Chair Workshop

View Intermediate course dates