Currently viable crafts


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.

This craft uses products derived from animals – please read our ethical sourcing statement.


Status Currently viable
Craft category Textiles
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






Local forms




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.


Support organisations

Craftspeople currently known


Other information

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.