The Worshipful Company of Upholders was formed in 1360 to support our craft, maintain standards and regulate training.
In common with most Liveries our statutory powers to control our trade were lost in the late 19th century and by the middle of the 20th century our links with the crafts were very weak.
Today however the Livery has strong links with some of our ancient crafts and enthusiastically supports them. We are proud to work with The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers (AMUSF) and the Guild of Traditional Upholsterers to develop the crafts of Upholstery and Soft Furnishings. We are also actively building our links with Undertakers who represent another branch of our craft.
The Livery encourages anyone involved in our crafts to become Liverymen or Freemen at preferential rates.
Students and past students of courses approved by the AMUSF or the Livery are invited to become Yeomen of the Livery.
Hi I’m Darren Blackwell and I’m 20 years old and for the last two years I have been an apprentice upholsterer for William fountain upholstery based in E11 east London, I’m now going in to my third and final year.
The average day for me consists of an early start. I’m up at 5, on the road by 6 and starting work at 7, this is because I live in the countryside. Once in the factory and all set up I find what’s the job for the day, and this can be anything.
The work and jobs you get in upholstery are very varied, you can be doing anything from covering a loose seat for an old client round the corner to making bespoke furniture to kit out a professional footballers house. All of which I have been involved in so far, from the bottom to the top of the scale.
Techniques and methods I have learnt come just as varied as the jobs itself. Old traditional upholstery uses natural materials and methods to create that old age long and recognisable look which is know today for that style of furniture. At the other end of the spectrum modern upholstery sees the use of man made materials and more recent methods to create that look which is more seen and recognisable in today’s market.
I guess you can say upholstery is one of the few trades where you will always continue to see something new and different, and that the beauty of it to me and why I enjoy it. I will continue to go forward in this trade and see what the future holds!
Below two pieces I made showing both ends of upholstery: