Houses and Buildings

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

Practical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 2

Upholsterers select, cut, sew and fit fabric or leather materials to furniture and repair damaged furniture. Upholsterers make, rebuild and repair upholstered articles such as chairs, sofas, beds and mattresses. Decline


ANZSCO ID & description: 3933: Makes, rebuilds and repairs upholstered articles such as chairs, sofas, beds and mattresses.  

Alternative names: Upholstering and Bedding Tradespersons

Specialisations: Furniture Upholsterer, Mattress Maker,

Upholsterers usually work in one, or more, of the main fields:

  • Antique and Reproduction -  involves restoring genuine antiques or recreating the style of a certain era in history.

  • Custom Upholstery -  involves building furniture for special purposes, such as use in hotels, ships and airports.

  • Production UpholsteryOld Armchair needing restoring - involves upholstering mass-produced furniture in sections for the domestic or commercial market.

  • Renovation and Repair Upholstery - involves replacing old and damaged upholstery

Knowledge, skills and attributes

An Upholsterer should:

  • Enjoy practical and manual work

  • Be able to work neatly and accurately

  • Have an interest in furniture

  • Be physically fit

  • Possess normal colour vision

  • Have good hand-eye coordination

Duties and Tasks

Upholsterers may perform the following tasks: Upholsterer working

  • repair upholstered furniture by replacing covers, webbing, padding and springs

  • discuss colour, fabric, style and cost of upholstery with clients

  • staple lengths of webbing (a wide tape) onto the underside of the furniture frame

  • stretch webbing from side to side, interlacing it to form a base for the padding

  • lace tops of springs together to prevent sideways movement and staple hessian to the frame

  • cut and fit foam padding

  • measure and cut covering material, join sections and tack fabric onto the furniture frame

  • cover staples with decorative braid, trim, buttons or fancy nails and attach calico to the underside of the furniture

Working conditions

Upholsterers generally work in workshops but occasionally they may be required to work in clients' homes or other sites. Upholsterers stand for most of the day as the furniture is normally placed on a bench top while work is carried out.

Tools and technologies

An Upholsterer uses: sewing machines; staple guns; nails needles and pins; fasteners; foam; textiles; leather hides; webbing; sheers; hot knife cutters; press n snap fastener tools; glue guns; pliers; foam cutters; steamers; tack hammers etc.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can become an upholsterer by completing an upholstery apprenticeship. The apprenticeship usually takes 36 months to complete and is offered as a school-based apprenticeship.

It is also possible to complete a traineeship in Furnishing (Upholstery). The traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete and is offered as a school-based traineeship.



Did You Know?

Upholstery is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers. The word upholstery comes from the Middle English word upholder, which referred to a tradesman who held up his goods.

The term is equally applicable to domestic, automobile, airplane and boat furniture. A person who works with upholstery is called an upholsterer; an apprentice upholsterer is sometimes called an outsider or trimmer.

Traditional upholstery uses materials like coil springs (post-1850), animal hair (horse, hog & cow), coir, straw and hay, hessians, linen scrims, wadding, etc., and is done by hand, building each layer up. In contrast, modern upholsterers employ synthetic materials like dacron and vinyl, serpentine springs, and so on.

Upholstery-related tools

Upholsterer's Tools

Chalk (upholsterer's chalk or tailor's chalk)
Needle guards
Rubber mallet
Sewing machine
Staple gun
Staple knocker (staple puller)
Upholstery hammer
Upholstery needles (round point curved needles and button needles)
Upholstery regulator
Webbing stretcher
(Source: Wikipedia)







Construction Worker




Interior Designer

Floor Finisher


Interior Decorator

Pool Technician







Home Improvement Installer


Furniture Polisher

Airconditioning Refrigeration Mechanic




Lift Mechanic

Construction Project Manager

Quantity Surveyor

Construction Rigger


Solar Panel Installer