Business Start Up Course in Modern Upholstery
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Business Start Up Course in Modern Upholstery


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5 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
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Times: 9.00-4.00 weekdays only
Duration: 40 days
Cost: £3200 divided into 4 payments of £800

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Times: 9.00-4.00 weekdays only
Duration: 40 days
Cost: £3200 divided into 4 payments of £800

Want to start a new career in upholstery? Then why not study with the UK’s leading modern upholstery school!

We have designed our unique 40 day Business Course in Modern Upholstery for those who want to learn the comprehensive skills required to be able to go on and start a business. Our course is taught at our fully equipped Manchester workshop and is carefully structured to ensure that you will cover all the key skills needed to go on and tackle a range of complex upholstery projects.

This course takes the student through a set programme of practical work, starting with a basic drop in seat dining pad and progressing all the way through to a large wingback chair. Ministry of Upholstery is a modern upholstery school, so you will be coached through all modern upholstery skills required to complete a large range of projects. Although the majority of the course focuses on modern upholstery methods, we also understand the importance of traditional upholstery and so to ensure that you cover all main techniques, you will complete one of our cocktail chairs using mainly traditional methods.

This unique course also allows for you to bring a selection of your own pieces for re-upholstery. Once you have gained the basic skills and feel confident, you will be encouraged to bring your own pieces. This is known as free learning and you can even start to bring customer jobs. This important part of the course allows you to start to think about your own style and the focus your business will take. You may even wish to design your own fabric and use this! Ministry of Upholstery have recently invested in the latest digital printing technology, allowing our students the opportunity to print their own fabric designs in-house. This course even includes a theory session based around the basics of Photoshop and creating your own designs!

Finally, you will finish this course with 5 days in your own self-contained workshop, known as a Pod, where you be encouraged to work autonomously and put everything you have learned into practice. Upon completion of this you will be awarded the Ministry of Upholstery ‘Graduate’ seal of approval, which you can display on your social media and website to show people that you have trained with the best modern upholstery school in the UK!

Throughout the course you will be encouraged to build up a photographic and video portfolio of your work, which will document the techniques used and skills gained. This record will provide an invaluable reference tool to enable you to go on to independent work. You will also take part in a range of classroom sessions covering the following less hands-on side of running an upholstery business:

  • Fire Regulations
  • Workshop set up at home and introduction to compressors
  • Fabric Knowledge
  • Job Costing
  • Introduction to Sewing Machines
  • Fabric Design
  • Fabric Measuring
  • Setting up a business
  • Plus more

We work to a set programme to ensure that you complete all key skills within our skills matrix.  Throughout your course, you will complete the following practical projects, all of which are included in your course:

Module 1Drop in seat dining pad – all materials included
Module 2Small shallow buttoned footstool – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 3Large deep buttoned footstool – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 4Wingback chair focusing on cap on arm and box seat cushion – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 5Wingback chair focusing on scroll arm, pattern matching and fixed seat – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 6Cocktail chair using traditional methods – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 7Free Learning – you will supply frames and fabric. All materials, except specialist foam, will be included
Module 8Pod Time – you will supply frames and fabric. All materials are chargeable. We estimate the cost of this to be between £40 and £60.

These frames are all included in the cost and are brand new frames made by our expert frame-makers. Everything you require to upholster these jobs is also included in the cost of the course. You will only need to supply the fabric and any fire retardant interliner, should you require it. You will also be given a full induction in sewing and, as part of the course, you will make a buttoned scatter cushion. You will be required to supply a small selection of projects of your own choosing for your free learning and one piece for your 5 day Pod time. These can be pieces that you source or we can provide you with a new frame at extra cost. The pieces that you make are all yours to keep. If you sell these you can more than cover the cost of the course as we estimate the market value around £4000!

Techniques and skills covered

  • Full health & safety induction and introduction to tools and materials
  • Sewing machine induction
  • Shallow buttoning
  • Deep buttoning
  • Facings
  • Borders
  • Cutting and applying foam
  • Scatter cushion
  • Box cushion
  • Pattern matching
  • Fluting
  • Costing jobs
  • Pleating
  • Tool selection
  • Stripping
  • Piping
  • Arms
  • Seats
  • Applying ply grip
  • Applying backtack strip
  • Slip stitching
  • Double piping
  • Fabric costings
  • Fire regulations
  • Close nail studding
  • Sprung seats
  • Sewing
  • Webbing
  • Cutting
  • Measuring fabric and fabric guide
  • Use of machinery
  • Workshop set up advice
  • Information about setting up in business
  • Fabric design and printing

If you are looking for a course which focuses on smaller projects, then why not consider our brand new Access Course in Modern Upholstery

Availability and Booking
After the initial induction day, which you must select from the dropdown box above, this course can be taken on a totally flexible basis. The core hours are 9.00-4.00 Monday to Friday but you are not required to attend 5 days per week. You can select to attend on any weekdays to suit your schedule; meaning you can even do this course on a day/ week basis if this suits you. Please call us for a chat if you would like to discuss this in more detail, we’re always happy to help. Please note that there is no specified timeframe within which you have to complete the 40 day course as it is entirely flexible.

Booking is simple, to book a place you just need to select your start date from the dropdown box. This day is an induction day carried out in small groups of new starters. It involves a full staple gun and health and safety induction, tour andas a classroom session during which we will talk you through every element of your course and life at the Ministry. This first day will be a shorter day, starting at 10.30 and finishing approximately 3.00pm, group size dependent.

Once you have booked your first day, we will then contact you to book the rest of your time. If you wish to check or discuss availability before booking, then please email us on or call us on 0161 222 4243.

*Please note that we have a maximum class size of 8 per teacher and classes are booked on a first come, first served basis. If you want to check availability for the whole course before you book then please contact us.

We appreciate that this course is a large amount of money to pay in one go so we have devised a payment scheme that allows you to pay for it in four smaller, more manageable instalments.

Upon booking your first week, which you can do online, you are required to pay the first instalment of £800. Before you attend your 6th day you are required to pay the next instalment of £800. The same again before you attend your 11th and 16th days. This allows you to stagger the payments according to your attendance rate. If you attend once per week for example, then you’ll only make a payment every 5th week!

Although this course is about focusing on skills and not completed projects, we estimate the total value of the products you will make throughout the duration of the course will exceed £4000!

Additional Information


Week commencing 4th Jan, Week commencing 18th Jan, Week commencing 15th Feb, Week commencing 22nd Feb, Week commencing 29th Feb, Week commencing 21st March, Week commencing 28th March


  1. 5 out of 5

    Just completed this course and have really enjoyed it. Flexible learning has been ideal for me fitting it in between work and home life. I’ve completed lots of different projects and gained a really good insight into both modern and traditional upholstery techniques. My confidence has grown throughout my time at yhe Ministry thanks to Anthonys encouragement and teaching style. I’m now taking on projects at home on my own and am loving the challenge. Doing this course has been the first step to mybuilding up a business for the future. Would recommend this course without a doubt. Thanks Anthony and Susie for all your support.

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