Learn to upholster a dining or bedroom chair, using age old upholstery techniques: webbing, stuffing, stitching the seat pad into shape, tensioning of fabrics and develop an eye for the finishing details.
The weekend is scheduled for you to be able to complete a chair with a traditionally upholstered chair seat.
Please be aware that a chair with a back and/or arms will very likely take longer than 1 weekend.
Modern foam upholstery can also be accommodated.
I'm happy to advise on suitable furniture and fabric.
Points to remember:
- I cannot accommodate a big item like a sofa.
- Please don't bring anything that needs machine sewing unless you are competent at using a sewing machine! You are very welcome to bring your own machine along...
- Tartan or velvet is very tricky, please bring something else for your first attempt.
- You will need to strip your chair down before the course to save valuable time.
I am a City and Guilds Traditional and Modern Upholsterer and trained at Jacob Kramer College in Leeds.
I have been upholstering on and off for 20 years and have run Upholstery and Soft Furnishings workshops for City of York Council. I'm known for my straight forward approach and believe that my students need to understand each stage thoroughly. I'll make sure you get it right.
My workshops are good fun and hard work! You will be on your feet for most of the day - so comfy clothes and shoes are a must. My studio has a cement floor... you will need thick soled boots to keep you warm in winter.
Face masks and visors are required until the rate of infection has gone right down. I will provide the visors and hand sanitiser, but please bring your own mask. I will also clean the studio and toilet before the course, and at lunch time.
By lunchtime I will need a very quiet break! That means everyone out for food. Rogues Atelier Studio is in Fossgate - a thriving city street full of great independent restaurants and cafes in the heart of York.
There is central city car parking very close by. Your furniture can be dropped off with me before you park.
Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.
All materials are provided for traditional upholstery (within reason), apart from any springs (if needed), your top cover and braid.
If you have a small sofa or armchair expect to pay a little more for the extra you need. We can talk about that before you book.
For modern foam based upholstery you may have to bring your own foam, it's just too bulky for me to keep lots in stock - I'm happy to advise what you will need. You will have use of all my tools, however if you want to use an electric staple gun for your work then you will have to bring your own as too many of mine have ended up falling on the floor and breaking...
Teas and coffees are free of charge and available on tap!
2 days (9:30am to 4:45pm)
This craft course provider has been awarded Gold status for receiving 10 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.
The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.
They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.
An absolutely excellent course with a brilliant teacher!
I had so much fun over the course with Jo, reupholstering a lovely 1940s chair I inherited from my grandma.
Jo is an excellent, calm, quiet, patient, funny and attentive teacher. She was always ready with top tips, advice and encouragement. I really appreciated her letting us figure some things out for ourselves (which built confidence) and never being on top of us.
The class size was small - just 4 of us - so we all had plenty of help as we tackled each stage. It was great watching others upholstering different styles of chair. The materials provided were high quality and I even got to take away the wool scraps for composting.
It’s definitely not gentle work - I was knackered at the end of each day, but buzzing with the progress I’d made.
The venue is really central in York and you work in a cool artists’ studio surrounded by Jo’s own amazing artwork. I came up from the Midlands and made a weekend of it, staying nearby and enjoying the lovely shops and places to eat on the doorstep.
I’d never tried upholstery before, though I definitely had an advantage having used a sewing machine before. I finished the course with a newly padded and covered seat and back, with clear instructions for final finishing flourishes back at home.
I’m absolutely delighted with what I managed to achieve in the time. It’s like a brand new chair and I expect it’ll get another 70+ years of wear.
Thank you Jo for all your help and support. I’m already scouring Facebook marketplace for my next doer upper and may well be back for more!
Had great two days. Learned much. Jo is excellent tutor offering as much or little support and info as needed. Everything explained well. Recommend course. Terry May be reupholstering the whole house when we get back home. Thank you Jo.
I took an old wingback chair and wanted to learn how to recover it. My recovering was a quirky one. So I called before I signed up to the course to check first.
Jo explained " normally on your first attempt, nothing huge( mine was) no checked material ( I did) leather not advisable (I did)".
But Jo was great, she asked me to send pictures so she could advice and I explained I was crafty minded, she gave advice before I even signed up to the course.
Jo was always there to advise and assist throughout the day and explained each step, but also allowed you to get on with it, so you were learning by doing it.
I picked up a lot of new skills not just from doing my chair but from all the other people on the course too. I also changed my mind on my fabric choice on the first day. But my chair was brilliant I loved how it turned out.
The whole weekend was nice and relaxing and your so close to the York town centre and all the street cafes. Totally recommend it!
Very enjoyable two day course - the time flies. Jo teaches traditional techniques and her advice and expertise is invaluable. I learnt so much but Jo also gives you the confidence to go on to tackle further projects at home. I did four dining chair seats but was able to see and learn from others who were doing more ambitious projects. Absolutely recommend this course, thank you.
What a fun two days!
Jo was an excellent tutor. Advising where necessary and overseeing that instructions were being carried out. I stripped the chair prior to attending the course. I had taken my top cover fabric with me, but all other materials were provided along with tools to carry out the work. The chair was an ambitious project but Jo guided me through the basics with patience, and I will finish the project at home. There were seven of us in the group, ladies and a man. Interesting to see such a variety of projects and the pleasure to see completed items. I fully recommend this course.
I took a chair with an upholstered back and seat, so was pushing the envelope in terms of scope for a weekend. I had loads of contact with Jo beforehand regarding what I could expect to achieve and also about a broken spring that needed replacing.
The studio is in the centre of town which means there is loads of choice for lunch, you get a one hour break, which you need. The course is brilliant. There were 6 people on the October weekend and we were doing 5 different types of chairs between us. 3 of us were using traditional techniques and 3 more modern using foam etc. Jo is a really good teacher and only explained each step as we came up to it. When necessary she gave a time limit for a particular task, which was brilliant when I started getting tempted to "faff" too much. Jo kept everyone busy and I believe everyone achieved what they wanted. I was really impressed with what I got done and thoroughly enjoyed myself as well. It is hard work and more physical than I'd appreciated but that only serves to enhance the sense of achievement once you get your work home.
I would thoroughly recommend this course.
I attended Jo's weekend course in May. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting like minded 'up cycling' people and got as much from watching other people's chairs transforming over the two days as I did from learning how to upholster my modern high backed dining chair. Jo's focus is teaching traditional upholstery methods no staple guns! she is a great teacher - patient and down to earth and there was lots of laughter over the couple of days. The studio is very relaxing and the walls showcase some of Jo's artwork - it was such an inspiring environment but not daunting even though most of us were novices when it came to upholstery and not traditional artists. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending Jo's course. A really refreshing and inspiring weekend
A fantastic weekend. Jo was an excellent instructor who obviously enjoyed her craft and sharing a huge range of skills. The relaxed atmosphere and great company made two days of hard work fly by and the delight of completing a chair to be proud of was amazing. I will certainly be booking again!
Loved every minute of my upholstery weekend with Jo. I learnt so much in a great relaxed atmosphere and came away with a gorgeous upholstered chair I couldn't quite believe I did! Can't wait to get started on my next project. Thanks Jo for all your tuition and patience. The best course I have ever done.
Weekend upholstery workshop with Jo excellent in all respects. Good company and knowledgeable tuition with a light touch. Very enjoyable and informative with a successful outcome - chair completed!
This course allows a complete beginner to achieve results that look professional in only two days. Good workshop space and a small group with expert tuition makes for a great learning experience. I would recommend this course.
Two days later and I am still buzzing from the course. Fantastic teacher. Great atmosphere. I learnt so much and I cant wait to get started on my next chair. Thank you Jo.
I've just completed Jo's upholstery course and I'm thrilled at what I achieved. I upholstered a bench seat using foam and covered 2 dining chairs. Although I didn't choose to do a traditional seat like the others I still feel I learned what to do by following the other students. The studio is right in the middle of the city, a perfect location to explore after the course, and to enjoy the local cafes at lunchtime. I'd highly recommend this course.
I attended Jo's weekend course a month ago with the traditionally sprung back seat base from my vintage Austin and a leather hide. I now have a well shaped and comfortable seat upholstered in leather, and I did it myself! This was an enjoyable and relaxing weekend with a good tutor. Jo is an expert upholsterer but she also knows how to teach. I liked the fact that I was able to do the work myself but Jo was there to guide and show me whenever I needed it. She took a great interest in the actual job I was doing and understood the appearance I wanted to achieve. All excellent and good fun - thank you.
Returned home from attending Jo Walton's upholstery weekend the proud owner of a rather spanking upholstered chair by me!!! Jo was an excellent teacher oozing with knowledge..... Very patient......beautiful studio to work in , really relaxing.... Thank you Jo for sharing .
I had a 1900's small sofa that was in desperate need of a makeover. I took it to Jo's class to learn how to recover/upholster it. It turn out fabulously. Jo was on hand to advise and assist throughout the day and explained and demonstrated things clearly. I picked up a number of new skills and would feel quite confident in having a go at another piece of furniture on my own. The class is nice and relaxed and is excellent value for money. Totally recommend it!