Job type


£12k - £25k

Typical salary

18 – 45

Hours per week

Upholsterers pad and cover, or re-cover, furniture and other items with fabrics.

More info

  • Use practical and creative skills to apply fabric coverings to furniture like chairs and sofas
  • Work can be physically demanding, as you'll be lifting furniture
  • Work as a restorer or make new furniture, either in a craft setting or in a factory or company workshop

As an upholsterer you'll do hands-on creative work with a wide range of fabrics, padding and covering furniture, like chairs, bedheads, sofas, or vehicle seats. Your job could involve factory work, upholstering complete items or particular parts like chair or sofa arms, craft work on individual pieces of new furniture, or renovation of old or antique furniture.


  • Plan the work
  • Advise on fabrics and estimating costs
  • Prepare patterns and templates
  • Cut out fabric
  • Fix webbing and springs
  • Cover frames with padding and fabric
  • Use stitching, staples, tacks or glue
  • Make cushions
  • Add trimmings like piping, fringing and buttons
  • Remove old upholstery
  • Repair frames before re-upholstering


You'll need numeracy skills, practical skills, and an appreciation of colour and shape. 

You'll usually work in a factory or workshop. You'll set your own hours if self-employed. As a self-employed upholsterer, you might visit clients' homes to give estimates, and collect and deliver furniture. 

The job can be physically demanding, involving lifting and carrying furniture. You may not find this work suitable if you have certain allergies. 

You'll need

There are no set entry requirements, and you may be able to get work as a trainee upholsterer without any experience. You would then do qualifications and get experience on the job.

You'll need attention to detail, the ability to work well with your hands, and a good eye for shape and colour.

You could take a college course like a Level 2 Certificate in Upholstery or Level 2 Diploma in Furnishings, or you could do a furniture manufacturer intermediate apprenticeship.

Or, you can train for upholstery qualifications with The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers.


With experience, you could progress to a supervisory or management position or set up your own business and become self-employed.