Tresithick Upholstery and Restoration

Traditional Upholstery Courses

Our upholstery courses suit a wide range of interests and abilities, from the complete beginner to those who may already have some experience in upholstery.

We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching which is led by Head Tutor and Master Upholsterer, Richard Hooper. Together, our 2 tutors have a wide experience ranging from work for the National Trust and large private estates to contemporary works which have been exhibited at London Design Week and in North America.

Our focus is on our students at all times, and against this background we create a very relaxed yet inspirational learning environment in which you can have fun whilst being creative and getting to grips with this wonderfully absorbing craft.

"...I just wanted to say thank you ... I've had a wonderful time and have learnt so much... the whole experience has been magical!"

For more detailed information on our courses please see our guide to courses.

What you will learn

If you are new to the craft we would encourage you to start with a piece such as a stuff-over pad like a Victorian dining chair. This entails the building of a stitched pad, with 2 stuffing layers, which is tacked permanently to the chair frame. These chairs sometimes have a coil sprung base. If so, you will learn how to position and tie in the springs, and create a spring unit by lacing each spring together with laid cord. These chairs are an ideal first project as they are relatively small but entail mainy of the basic upholstery techniques, all of which are transferable to larger more complex items.

During the process of upholstering your furniture we will cover how to measure up for, and plan fabric requirements, as well as cutting out. In addition, any aspects of furniture restoration that may be required will be covered, including the polishing of show wood for example, just to add the finishing touches to the piece and leave it looking its best.

"...I've learnt so much thanks to your patient and thoughtful've given me the confidence and knowledge to go forwards with my own projects..."

With these basic building blocks in place, you will feel confident enough to tackle a whole range of furniture types either at home, if you have a suitable place to work, or by returning to the workshop at Trevilvas at a later date.

We always strive to match the training to exactly what our students want to achieve so, if you've already had some training, perhaps from a night class or similar, then please ring us to discuss what you would like to achieve during your course and thus what item of furniture to bring.


All the necessary tools and equipment , including aprons. It is worth bringing a camera which is useful to record the various stages of your work, along with a notebook and pen.

Please Note: Frame repairs can take some time to complete and often need to be left so that any glue used is allowed to set fully. This may delay the upholstery and it is thus advisable to ensure that any furniture you wish to upholster is already sound.