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upholstered chairs



This is a three-stage programme designed to develop a full range of both modern and traditional upholstery skills, and is suitable for both beginners and those with some upholstery experience.  Starting with the basics of a drop-in seat, our students progress all the way to large traditionally upholstered armchairs, as well as developing the tailoring skills required for mid-century modern furniture.

Each student is encouraged to push themselves and aim for skills and creativity of the highest quality.  We pride ourselves on the achievements of our upholstery students and our 100% pass rate, a high proportion of them achieving credits and distinctions for their work.  Many go on to set up their own businesses or join other upholsterers and collectives, like our own at SAUS.

Certificates are awarded by the AMUSF on the successful completion of each stage.  By the end of the third stage students will have achieved the full AMUSF Diploma and with practice will be equipped to take on the challenges of upholstering a diverse range of furniture, producing high quality work stamped with individuality and creativity. 

Stage 1

During Stage 1 you will develop your practical skills within the context of the following set of exercises and assessment pieces:

- Drop-in seat both modern & traditional

- Stitched and stuff chair

- Sprung dining chair

- Sprung arm exercise

- Scatter cushion with piping and zip*

- Box cushion with piping and zip

- Bolster end with piping

- Upholstered and lined box with deep-buttoned lid*

- Portfolio containing notes and details of your work in progress

- Written research project on fabric characteristics, identification and appropriate usage.

*one of which must include some decorative details or fabric manipulation

Stage 2

During Stage 2 you will extend your skills with a range of more complex projects.  We encourage our students to undertake different styles of chair from each other so that more techniques can be observed and understood.  Good quality upholstery is achieved by eye, feel and judgement and these are additional skills we aim to help our students develop.

- T-shaped cushion with piping and zip

- Tailored cover including caps and collars

- Independent sprung edge for a cushion

- Armless chair with traditionally upholstered seat and back

- Post 1950s armchair upholstered using modern materials and methods

- Portfolio containing notes and details of your work in progress

- Written research project on the history of upholstered furniture up to 1900

Stage 3

During Stage 3 you will broaden your knowledge and experience further working on more demanding styles of modern and traditional chair.  There are no excise pieces at this stage.

- Modern chair with concave inside back in corporating tailored fitting and top-stitching

- Substantial traditional armchair using advanced techniques: at least two of the following - caps, collars, scroll arms, sprung arms, stitched-edge arms, sprung seat, independent sprung edge, deep buttoning, fluting, ironback.

- Portfolio containing notes and details of your work in progress

- Written research project on 20th century chair design

- AMUSF Business studies seminar: the requirements for setting up a small business

ENRICHMENT PROGRAMME:  Our courses are enhanced by industry based tours and visits and students' work is also eligible for a variety of competitions sponsored by various fabric companies and industry supporters and suppliers, giving students the opportunity of developing their design and creative skills.

*Bold text indicates examined pieces

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