Access Course in Modern Upholstery
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Access Course in Modern Upholstery



Times: 9.00-4.00 weekdays only
Duration: 15 days
Cost: £1500 divided into 3 payments of £500

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Times: 9.00-4.00 weekdays only
Duration: 15 days
Cost: £1500 divided into 3 payments of £500

Are you completely new to upholstery, thinking about our Business Course in Modern Upholstery but want to ease yourself in with some smaller projects, whilst developing a core set of transferable skills?
Are you considering entering the world of upholstery but want to focus your efforts on smaller upholstered items?
Do you already do some upholstery and want to take it to the next level and convert your hobby into a business?

Designed as a precursor to the Business Course, or as a course in its own right, we have developed this course after witnessing many Ministry of Upholstery students make very successful businesses by focusing on a smaller core set of products; such as footstools, dining chairs and headboards. The beauty of this is:

  • They are small, so a kitchen table can provide sufficient working space
  • They all focus around a core set of skills, which will be mastered during this course and refined very quickly through repetition
  • These skills can be easily transferred from one project to another. For example: deep buttoning can be transferred from a footstool to a headboard and vice versa
  • You will reduce your set-up costs by concentrating your efforts around a smaller set of products and
  • In turn, this will maximise your profits.
  • By taking this course before the full Business Course in Modern Upholstery, you can already be establishing a business, taking a wage and learning and developing your core set of skills, at the same time as developing new ones and expanding on your offering

This 15 day course is taught at our fully equipped, state of the art Manchester workshop and has been carefully structured so that you will cover a concise range of skills concentrated around a select few pieces of upholstery. The skills are transferable so actually, the range of projects which can tackled after this course is vast.

This course takes the student through a structured programme of practical work including a dining chair pad, different styles of footstools, varying styles of headboards and an opportunity to tackle your choice of project at the end!

On your first day you will be eased in with a thorough induction and introduction to the pneumatic staple gun and tools of the trade. Once you are up to speed and feel confident, we will provide you with a drop-in dining seat pad and our expert upholstery teachers will guide you step-by-step through each process until you complete the task. With this basic introduction under your belt you will move onto our contemporary stool, expanding on the basic prepping skills and introducing you to piping, borders and modern upholstery materials such as backtack strip. After this you will complete the first of two headboards. This can be a single or double (you choose) and will introduce you to borders. You will create a sleek modern headboard with loads of transferable skills. Next up is a large deep buttoned footstool. This is a meaty module, covering loads of skills. We’ve also incorporated Van Dyking into this module; the method of joining two pieces of fabric together, hidden in the pleats of deep buttoning. It allows you to work on bigger items and keep the pile running the correct way. The must-have technique in any upholsterer’s toolbox; think headboards and bench seating. After this you are onto the second of our headboards which features a more modern take on buttoning; the square buttoning technique. Then it’s our gorgeous statement cocktail chair, which combines the best of modern and traditional techniques and incorporated a fluted back; yet another transferable skill for your arsenal. Finally you get to work on something that you choose. This could be something you provide yourself or a frame you buy through us. We’d recommend something like an upholstered dining chair, but of course the choice is yours.

Ministry of Upholstery is a modern upholstery school, so you will be coached in modern upholstery skills and using modern upholstery materials. This makes for a course which is more accessible, the skills are easier to master and therefore you can up and running your new business in no time. 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 at home.

Course Content at a glance

Module 1Drop in seat – all materials included
Module 2Small Contemporary Stool – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 3Single (90cm x 90cm) or Double Headboard (135cm x 90cm) with a border – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 4Deep Buttoned Footstool with van dyking – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 5Single (90cm x 90cm) or Double Headboard (135cm x 90cm) with square buttoning – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 6Cocktail Chair with Fluted back – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 7Free Learning – materials supplied except any specialist foam, you must supply (or you can buy through us at extra cost) frames and fabric


All frames are all included in the cost of Modules 1-6 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 how to use a sewing machine, led by our expert sewing tutor. The pieces that you make are all yours to keep. If you sell these you can expect to recoup around £1500! We also sell kits for all products, so once your friends and family start to ask you to make for them, you can hit the ground running and start your business! If you don’t have the tools and space to get you going, don’t worry, we have 3 equipped self-contained workshops (or Pods), which we rent out on day rates to students. It’s as simple as:

Learn the skills          Buy the Kit            Rent the Pod or use your own space           Make the product          Start the business!

Classroom Sessions Covered

In addition to the practical side of the course we have also selected some core classroom sessions, designed to give you the knowledge to maximise your new business. These are:

  • Fire Regulations
  • Fabric Knowledge
  • Job Costing and pricing

Practical Techniques and skills covered

  • Full health & safety induction and introduction to tools and materials
  • Sewing machine induction
  • Shallow buttoning
  • Deep buttoning
  • Borders
  • Cutting and applying foam
  • Fluting
  • Costing jobs
  • Pleating
  • Tool selection
  • Piping
  • Applying ply grip
  • Applying backtack strip
  • Fabric knowledge
  • Fire regulations
  • Close nail studding
  • Sewing
  • Webbing
  • Prepping
  • 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 is more in depth and covers larger projects, then why not consider our Business 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 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 briefing of every element of your course and life at the Ministry, a staple gun and health and safety induction, a tour and fire regulations session. 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 three smaller, more manageable instalments.

Upon booking your first week, which you can do online, you are required to pay the first instalment of £500. Before you attend your 6th day you are required to pay the next instalment of £500. The same again before you attend your 11th day. 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!

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


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