Upholstery and soft furnishings
The provision of furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing and textile or leather covers (upholstery), and the making of cushions, curtains and other soft furnishings.
|Historic area of significance||UK|
|Area currently practised||UK|
|Origin in the UK|
|Current no. of professionals (main craft)||1,000+|
|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main craft)
|Current no. of trainees||201-500|
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
Training issues: Skill shortages caused by lack of training and apprenticeships over last 25 years.
Training issues: Apathy of the educational system to teach vocational subjects, pushing children into meaningless degrees when they should be entering a craft.
Training issues/funding issues: Lack of funding and joined up policy on apprentice training.
Craftspeople currently known
- The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers has a list of members on its website.
- The Guild of Traditional Upholsterers also has a list of members on its website.
- The Wendy Shorter Interiors website also has a list of upholsterers and soft furnishers.
In 2018, the Worshipful Company of Upholders launched the Upholders’ Travel Bursary inviting applications from a wide variety of training, craft and heritage organisations relating to its traditional associated trades of upholstery, soft furnishings, funeral directing, furniture conservation and the bedding industry.