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: £1425 divided into 3 payments of £475

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Times: 9.00-4.00 weekdays only
Duration: 15 days
Cost: £1425 divided into 3 payments of £475

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, the majority of which are taught using practice boards, which will also be finished as headboards to enable you to sell them or use them after the course.

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 5 practice boards/ headboards, which can be single or double headboard size. The first one will introduce you to shallow buttoning and borders. The second will be about mastering the skill of deep buttoning, the third a more modern take on buttoning and your first foray into sewing; the square buttoning technique. On the fourth board you will learn how to flute and finally you will finish by learning another skill of creating a contemporary headboard with square tiles. 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 1 Drop in seat – all materials included
Module 2 Small Contemporary Stool – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 3 Single (90cm x 90cm) or Double Headboard (135cm x 90cm) with shallow buttoning and a border – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 4 Double Headboard (135cm x 90cm) with deep buttoning and van dyking (the process of joining fabric together so that the joins are hidden within the pleating of the deep buttoning. This skill enables you to tackle larger headboards or footstools after the course)– frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 5 Single (90cm x 90cm) or Double Headboard (135cm x 90cm) with square buttoning – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 6 Single (90cm x 90cm) or Double (135cm x 90cm) Headboard with fluting – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric
Module 7 Double Headboard (135cm x 100cm) with square tiles – frame and materials supplied, you must supply fabric


All 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 how to use a sewing machine, led by our full-time expert sewing tutor. The pieces that you make are all yours to keep. If you sell these you can expect to recoup around £1200! 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
  • Foam knowledge
  • Question & Answer

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

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 even do this course on a day/ week basis if this suits you so 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 15 day course as it is entirely flexible.

Booking is simple, to book a place you can pay your first instalment of £475 using the Buy button on this page and selecting the first week of attendance. You can then call or email us to book the rest of your time.* If you wish to book odd days or discuss availability, then please email us on or call us on 0161 222 4243.

*Please note that we have a maximum class size of 16 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 £475. Before you attend your 6th day you are required to pay the next instalment of £475. 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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