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Traditional Upholstery


...with Bristol Upholstery Collective Founder & Creative Director,

Leigh-Anne Treadwell




Venue Dartington Hall, near Totnes, Devon

Course duration: Five days (4-8 March)

Part of our Inspirational British Art and Craft Course series

Prices £625 (includes all tools required for the course, some materials will incur an extra charge)

Next date 4th Mar 2020 10:00 am


On this course, you’ll create beautiful and unique pieces, meet like-minded people and enjoy the learning process with one of our expert upholsterers and tutors.

Dartington has a long history of textiles and furniture making so it is a great pleasure to offer this unique workshop experience with a professional and inspiring tutor of upholstery. Students will upholster an item of their choice, using traditional upholstery techniques, tools and natural materials.

What will happen during the class?

Students will learn traditional techniques and the materials required to upholster different styles of furniture. Through a series of tasks and demonstrations, students will learn the correct use of upholstery tools and materials.

These include stripping existing upholstery, preparing timber frames and their reupholstery using webbing, stitched and nailed hessian, stitched horse hair, another layer of hessian and a final layer of calico. The piece is then finished with a final layer of students’ own top fabric and trim, using various edging techniques.

Suitable small scale personal projects tackled on this course could be dining chairs, footstools, occasional chairs, piano stools and other types of stools. (In advance of the course, students are required to check their project is suitable with the tutor.)

This five-day intensive course starts with a site-specific presentation on the Dartington Hall sofas dated 1812, the fabric mill, and the skilled crafts people at Dartington, plus an insight to approaching furniture renovation in the context of Dartington’s historic crafts scene.

By the end of the course you will be able to...

– Understand the safe and practical use of a workshop environment.
Name and correctly use traditional upholstery materials and hand tools.
– Rip down a chair safely and efficiently.
– Understand the traditional techniques required to complete your chair inc. webbing, tacking, stuffing, rolled and stitched edges.
– Professionally finish, including the application of the top fabric, bottom cloth and different trims.
– Consider the sustainability potential of upholstery through the reupholstering of your old chair frames. Considering the materials involved, there journey and life

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