AMUSF Upholstery Diploma

This is a three-stage programme designed to develop a range of both modern and traditional upholstery skills, from a simple drop-in dining chair to large traditionally upholstered armchairs, as well as developing the tailoring skills required for mid-century modern furniture.

We pride ourselves in the fact that a large proportion of our students achieve Credits and Distinctions for their work and many go on to set up their own businesses or work for other upholsterers, including royal warrant holders, interior designers and members of the AMUSF.

Upholstery Stage 1 Diploma



During Stage 1 you will develop your practical skills, gaining knowledge and experience in the manipulation of a variety of materials and processes, within the context of a series of individual set exercises and/or assessment projects. 


You will also acquire an understanding of upholstery fabrics and textiles and will be encouraged to develop your own creativity.



  • Drop-in seat both modern & traditional materials
  • Stitched and stuffed chair
  • Sprung dining chair
  • Sprung arm exercise
  • Box Cushion with piping and zip
  • Bolster End with piping
  • Upholstered and lined box with decorative detail and deep-buttoned lid
  • Portfolio containing notes and details of work in progress
  • Written Research Project: Fabric Characteristics, Identification & Appropriate Usage

Upholstery Stage 2 Diploma




At Stage 2 you will further develop the skills learned at Stage 1 with a further range of projects designed to broaden your knowledge and skills, working alongside others who may be working on different styles of chairs:






  • T-Shaped Cushion with piping and zips
  • Tailoring, including the fitting of caps and collars
  • Independent sprung edge for a cushion seat (exercise)
  • Armless chair with traditionally upholstered seat and back
  • Post 1950s Armchair upholstered using modern materials & methods
  • Portfolio containing notes and details of work in progress
  • Written Research Project: History of Upholstered Furniture – a timeline and overview of the styles of upholstered furniture and the development of upholstery techniques and materials used

Upholstery Stage 3 Diploma



At Stage 3 you will develop these skills even further learning how to adapt and apply the skills learnt onto more advanced styles of traditional armchairs as well as the fitting and tailoring required for modern curved and shaped chairs.



  • Substantial Traditional Armchair of advanced techniques, which should include at least two of the following elements: the fitting of caps and collars, scroll arms or stitched-up edges to arms, sprung arms, coil sprung seats, independent sprung edges, deep buttoning, fluting or an iron framed chair.
  • Modern Chair with a concave inside back incorporating tailored fitting and top stitching i.e. Egg style or shell frame
  • Business Set-Up
  • Written Research Project: 20th Century Furniture Design – an overview of the styles, periods and iconic designers of the 20th Century.

Note: The items in bold are assessment pieces that will be marked and graded by an External Verifier from the AMUSF.

Certificates are award upon the successful completion of each Stage.  Upon the successful completion of Stage 3 you will achieve an AMUSF Diploma and with practice you will be equipped to take on the challenges of upholstering a diverse range of furniture, creating beautiful work stamped with your own individuality and creativity.

Enrichment Programme

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

Course Structure

These qualification courses can be studied in two formats starting week beginning 3rd September 2018:

Stages 1 and 2 can be studied in the first year over two-days per week (Mondays & Tuesdays), with Stage 3 studied one-day per week the following year.

Or the three stages can be studied one-day per week over a three-year period (Mondays).

Courses are based around the academic year starting the first week in September through to mid-July, with half-term and holidays in line with Hertfordshire schools.

Contact Us for more details and an Application Form.



"I have found the course to be quite intense but extremely absorbing and enjoyable.  It certainly is not a leisure course and I have learned a tremendous amount in a short period of time. I was amazed at how quickly we started to work on actual pieces and was learning from day one. The 20th century Furniture Design project has been time consuming but I have learned a great deal from doing the project and have put my new found knowledge to use at a recent Antiques Fair.  The course is expensive but having said that I am very impressed with the level of teaching and you do have to pay for this high standard." - Irene W, Hertfordshire.


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