Ardington School of CraftsArdington School of CraftsArdington School of Crafts
Ardington School of CraftsArdington School of CraftsArdington School of Crafts
Ardington School of CraftsArdington School of CraftsArdington School of Crafts
Ardington School of CraftsDoorway
Course Dates: Saturday 4th November 2017 to Sunday 5th November 2017
Category: Furniture
Price: £160


Learn traditional upholstery techniques from the application of webbing, hessian and filling with horse hair and cotton wadding, right through to lashing down springs, stitching an edge roll and applying the calico layer and top fabric, as applicable to your piece of furniture. You will be guided through each step and produce a rejuvenated and comfortable seat.

Further Detail

Drop-in seats, stools or a stuffed sprung or unsprung chair make ideal projects for a two or three day upholstery course. It is not advisable to tackle a larger piece in the time. 

Stripping the existing upholstery from your chair in advance will save time on the course. If you feel confident in doing this and choose to do so, please take photographs at every stage and bring these and the old upholstery with you to the course.

Please contact us as least three weeks before the course to let us know the type of chair or stool you will be working on. It would be very helpful if you could send a photo of your piece. This helps us to prepare for your course and ensure that you have all you need. Information can be sent to:

Skills/Techniques Covered

The following will be covered, as applicable to the peice you are working on:

  • stripping (taking down) old upholstery layers
  • understanding the structure of the piece to be worked on
  • tacking on webbing using a web stretcher
  • stitching in and lashing down springs
  • tacking on 10oz base hessian
  • sewing on twine bridle loops and stuffing with horsehair, or application of rubberised hair (modern equivalent)
  • covering cotton wadding and polyester (Dacron)/ the horse hair pad with scrim
  • stitching a hard edge roll, with blind and top-stitching
  • applying second stuffing (hair and/or cotton wadding)
  • tacking on calico and top cover
  • applying gimp or braid trimming


This course is designed for a range of abilities including beginne


Materials are not included in your course fee. All materials can be provided by the tutor. The cost will depend on the project(s) completed.  

The cost of materials for a drop-in seat (excluding the final top cover) is in the region of £15–£25. 

Sprung Stuffover Chairs: The springs already in a chair are often reuseable, but not if they are very worn. If you strip down your piece in advance and find that you will need new springs, please let the tutor know before the course, via the school: There will be springs in various sizes available at the school for those who choose to strip down their piece during the course.

Please note that we do not have the facilities to take card payments in the workshops. Please remember to bring cash or your cheque book if your course involves buying materials from the tutor.

Please bring with you:

  • any upholstery materials or tools that you already have (but do not rush out to buy them, as the tutor can provide everything you will need) – a hammer, tape measure, sharp scissors (large and small)
  • notebook and pen would all be useful, although comprehensive handouts are provided
  • an old blanket to work on, if you have one
  • a camera if you would like record the progress of your work
  • your own top-cover fabric and trimmings, or you can use those supplied by the tutor
  • a chair with a drop-in seat or a stool to work on (or two, in case there’s time and you make good progress). Alternatively, a sprung or unsprung stuffover chair. 

What students have said about this course/tutor:

"Excellent tutor, lots of attention." L Newson

"Really, really good." J Clay

Tutor Profile

Jenny Jones is trained in both upholstery and soft furnishings, in which she is a City and Guilds Silver Medallist. She is an experienced and qualified tutor, having taught at both arts and crafts centres and colleges. Jenny has a passionate interest in furnishing techniques and textiles. 

Timings & Refreshments

Coffee is available from 9.45am. The course starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm. Fresh ground coffee and a range of teas are provided all day, along with biscuits in the morning, a sandwich lunch and cake in the afternoon. SPECIAL DIETS: If you are vegetarian, please tell us when you book. If you have other special dietary needs/preferences, please see our terms and conditions for detailed information on the food provided.