Certificates and associate-level degrees related to upholstery are available from community and vocational schools, but online upholstery courses from accredited institutions are hard to come by. However, online courses covering relevant concepts are available on topics like furniture history, furniture design and textiles.
Several websites and individuals offer upholstery education via correspondence, some of which include written materials and DVDs. These are not courses from accredited institutions. Students should be sure to determine whether individual courses fulfill their specific educational purposes, whether they be purely informational or for professional recognition in the field.
Online Upholstery Courses
Below is a sample of online courses related to upholstery.
- Textiles Course: Students learn about both the man-made and natural fibers used in upholstery. Included is a discussion of the nature of various textiles and their design, manufacture and aesthetic applications. The structures of the yarns, fibers and fabrics used in the textile fiber classification system are also covered, along with characteristics like fiber content, surface treatments and embellishments. Material considerations like performance features, aesthetics, comfort and maintenance are also considered.
- Upholstery Overview Course: Students will learn about the origins and history of the upholstery craft in this course. The basic components of the upholstery of domestic furniture covered include furniture frames, spring systems, padding and fills, cushions and fabrics. Other types of upholstery, including automobile, marine and commercial, are also discussed. An overview of upholstery-related tools, materials and skills is included.
- Residential Upholstery Course: This course discusses how to make repairs and recover most types of domestic furniture. Instruction on repairing and tying springs, installing or replacing webbing, cutting material around frames and safely using a nail gun is provided. Students learn to implement specific features like pleats, diamond tufts or buttons, as well as how to make skirts, cover arms and fashion slipcovers. Typically, instruction on how to square corners, insert zippers and sew cushions by hand is also provided.
- Auto Upholstery Course: Skills and techniques needed for automobile upholstery are the focus of this course. Students learn to rebuild automobile seats, often including how to cut, sew and cover seats, whether they're bench, bucked or boxed style. Upholstering door and trim panels, headrests and sun visors is discussed, along with installing convertible tops. Working with block and injected mold foam is also commonly covered.
- Tools of the Upholstery Trade: This course covers the identification and operation of tools and machinery typically used in an upholstery shop, including industrial sewing machine, staple gun, heat gun, steamer, and foam cutter. The shop configuration and types of buildings that can effectively house an upholstery shop, as well as fixtures, such as a cutting table are also discussed.