Business Foundation Certificate
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Business Foundation Certificate



Times: 9.00-4.00 weekdays only
Duration: 15 days
Cost: £1575 divided into 3 payments of £525

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Times: 9.00-4.00 weekdays only
Duration: 15 days
Cost: £1575 divided into 3 payments of £525

Are you inspired by fabric, pattern and design?

Do you want a full or part time career involving upholstery?

Do you want to focus your skillset to suit smaller, designer-led, accent pieces of furniture?

Do you want to attend a course, which has the flexibility to fit around other work or family commitments?

Why study with Ministry of Upholstery?

At Ministry of Upholstery, we don’t just teach modern upholstery. We are at the forefront of innovation when it comes to upholstery design and we encourage all our students to access and nurture their own sense of creativity, whilst teaching all the technical and practical skills required to translate those ideas into reality.

Why choose the Business Foundation Certificate?

Our Business Foundation Certificate course has been designed as a completely accessible and flexible entry into the world of upholstery. It has been carefully constructed to allow you to create a highly successful full or part-time business in a relatively short period of time, by focusing on a smaller core set of products. These items can be bold, on-trend and more flamboyant and allow you to choose brighter, patterned fabrics. The beauty of this course is:

  • The projects are small, so a kitchen table can provide sufficient working space.
  • The focus is on a core set of skills, which will be mastered during this course and refined 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.

Course Outline

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 are vast.

Designed for absolute beginners or those wishing to turn their hobby into a business, 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, an occasional cocktail chair and an opportunity to tackle your choice of project at the end! To support the practical skills we also offer a range of theory sessions, which can be attended via live Zoom sessions or accessed as recordings.

Day 1 – The Induction Day

The first day on all our Certificate courses is an induction day. This takes place away from the workshop and with other students, who are all embarking on the same course. The induction is led by the founders of Ministry of Upholstery, who will spend time getting to know you and ensure you feel totally at ease with the Ministry, the team and how everything works. After a tour of the facilities and a thorough look at the content of your course, we will give you a full health & safety induction. This will introduce you to our pneumatic staple guns and tools. You will spend time mastering how to use the staple gun, so that you feel at ease and comfortable before any upholstery begins.  We will finish this day with a Q&A session.

The Practical Side

Once you are up to speed and feel confident after your induction day, you will be provided with a drop-in dining seat pad frame 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 other modern upholstery materials. 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 have 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 or pattern 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 incorporates a fluted back; yet another transferable skill for your arsenal. Finally, time-permitting, you may have the opportunity to work on something of your choosing. 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 be up and running with 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


Practical Techniques

  • Full health & safety induction and introduction to tools and materials
  • Sewing machine induction
  • Shallow buttoning
  • Deep buttoning
  • Square buttoning
  • Borders
  • Cutting and applying foam
  • Fluting
  • Pleating
  • Tool selection
  • Piping with and without sewing
  • Applying ply grip
  • Applying backtack strip
  • Close nail studding
  • Sewing
  • Webbing
  • Prepping
  • Use of machinery
  • Van dyking
  • Creating a sprung seat
  • Creating mitred edges

Theory Sessions

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

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

These theory sessions can be attended live via Zoom or accessed as recordings through a student login.

You will also be granted access to our exclusive Facebook group just for students and graduates of Ministry of Upholstery.

What’s Included?

All frames are 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, i.e. the cost of the course! 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!

What is the Ministry Certificate?

Established in 2014, Ministry of Upholstery are now world-renowned as the go-to place for learning the craftmanship of modern upholstery. Upon completion of this course, you will be awarded the Ministry of Upholstery Foundation Certificate. We will provide both a virtual and physical certificate, which you can display on your social media and website to show people that you have trained with the leading modern upholstery school in the UK.

If you are looking for a course which is more in depth and covers larger projects, then why not consider our Business Certificate. If you are not able to come to us in Manchester to study, then why not consider our Business Foundation Certificate Online.

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 must 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 £525. Before you attend your 6th day you are required to pay the next instalment of £525. 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


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