Weekly upholstery workshops with Cherry Dobson



Cherry Dobson is author of the extremely popular "The Upholstery Bible", which has sold 56,000 copies! Cherry started teaching Upholstery in Colchester 30 years ago for the Adult Education Centre. While tutoring in Colchester Cherry attended an Advanced City and Guilds Course at the Guildhall University London gaining a Distinction. I have always worked on private commissions myself, and so have considerable hands-on experience in the craft. Courses include both traditional and modern methods of upholstery.

Tuition is on an individual basis and students should bring a piece of furniture e.g chair, stool or headboard to the class, whether it be large or small and so long as it fits in your car!

The traditional method of upholstery using springs, hessian, hair etc. is taught but also modern techniques using rubberised hair, foam etc. Cane seating and Rush work are also taught.

Beginners and Improvers are both welcome at these classes but if you are a beginner it is better to start on a small project rather than a large armchair!

Lilac Barn is an ideal venue with easy access. Numbers are restricted so no student is kept waiting to see a tutor.
Students coming for a week are able to leave their project in the barn for the duration of the course.

Course places can only be reserved with course fee.

These classes are fun, constructive and addictive....beware!!

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 2 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

These workshops costs £190 for 5 days. The workshops run from 10am to 4pm on various Tuesdays,Thursdays and Fridays throughout the year.
Students should enrol for either Tuesdays, Thursdays or Fridays
All materials can be purchased at Lilac Barn and tools are available to borrow.

Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided but students should bring their own lunch. Students should bring along the chair, stool or headboard they wish to work on.


Cherry Dobson at Lilac Barn
Mother Hubbard, Curload
Stoke St Gregory

Suitable for

  • Adults
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Wheelchair users
Gold Badge
What does this mean?

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.




5 weeks (10:00am to 4:00pm)

The course doesn’t currently have live dates

Contact the tutor for more information

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In-person course
Judith - - #27922

What a fantastic week I have just had on Cherry Dobson's upholstery course. Her knowledge and expertise is second to none and her ability to explain and show you how to deal with a seemingly impossible project is superb. It does not matter whether you are a complete novice or have been doing upholstery for years - there is always something to learn and the small classes means that Cherry always has time for you.

The lunches and cakes that she provides are delicious and these together with the fun atmosphere make the whole week feel like a (productive) holiday.

I cannot recommend Cherry's courses highly enough.

In-person course
Jenny - - #27827

This course is supported by expertise, a wealth of experience and individual attention delivered with good humour and patience.
The environment works well, the materials and tools needed are all available to buy/use (though many have their own tools) and advice is offered for continuing projects at home as well as throughout the course.
Refreshments are frequent, tasty, homemade and generous.
But take care - this course is addictive!

In-person course
Delia - - #12432

I was lucky enough to attend a five day upholstery course with Cherry Dobson. I am a complete beginner and had no idea what to expect. Cherry’s approach was extremely professional. She guided me through each step, was extremely patient and has a wealth of knowledge on her subject. I finished the week with a fantastic winged armchair, now in tartan fabric!!! I cannot recommend this course enough. I have booked to return in November with another challenge! I think the course was also made enjoyable by the great bunch of people learning alongside me. Now totally hooked on upholstery.

In-person course
Julie - - #9023

I have just completed a weeks upholstery course with Cherry having taken a week off work and booked myself a holiday cottage! Was a most relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a week. Cherry's teaching style means you get on with your own project no matter what your level but she is on hand to help and guide you. The lunch and cakes she provides are delicious and she makes everyone feel very welcome and has the patience of a saint with 8 students all wanting help at the same time! I would thoroughly recommend this course and hope to go back one day.

In-person course
Lynn Faulkner - - #6965

This is the first chance I have had to get back to you. I wanted to thank you for the fantastic course that you ran last week. I learnt so much and was so pleased with my creations by the end of the week.

In-person course
Sheila - - #4947

Cherry is a fantastic teacher, and so helpful and supportive. I thoroughly enjoy my Upholstery days at The Lilac Barn, and always look forward to spending the day learning from Cherry with such a lovely group of fellow students. I have reupholstered 2 chairs, and am so pleased with them, and another is underway.

In-person course
Kate Bartlett - - #1613

I have just got home from a 5 day course with Cherry ,what can I say, fantastic! there was 8 of us all doing different projects ,in the time I have covered a small sofa ,finished a nursing chair I had started previous and then started another chair .I have also attended the daily classes too.
Very highly recommended and can't wait to go back

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