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.
|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.