Traditional Upholstery Classes

Upholstery is one of the oldest crafts still in widespread use. Making furniture both beautiful, durable and comfortable for the human form to occupy, demands skills that no machine has yet been able to emulate. And of course no matter what modern furniture manufacturers devise, we’ll always need to refurbish our cherished furniture using the techniques with which they were first made, before staple guns and rubber foam were invented.  Adrian Padgham is a master upholsterer with 49 years experience and has been teaching Padgham Upholstery’s workshop classes since 2006. His patience and persistence has won his trainees Victoria’s Apprentice of the Year award, three years running.

Our Traditional Courses deliver 16 hours of award-winning tuition at our factory/showroom in Warrigal Road, Moorabbin and you can choose between a number of classes over different time periods and days consisting of 4 classes. We ask our participants to bring a small chair with 'coil' springs. Class participants have travelled from as far as Singapore, Perth, Adelaide and Queensland to complete our courses. View our class photo gallery

We now limit our hands on classes to a maximum of 6 participants with a teacher and assistant.  In our courses we teach the techniques – past and present - of upholstery, including the purpose and correct use of tools and working with fabrics. A range of tools is also required depending on the class and of course we can supply these. We have comprehensive upholstery kits or you can buy tools individually at a 15% course participants’ discount. Here is what you’ll need:


  • Webbing stretcher
  •  6 inch/ 15 cm bent packing needle
  • Tack claw &/or staple remover
  • Blue cut tacks both 12mm & 15mm
  • Magnetic Hammer
  • Good pair of fabric scissors (not paper scissors)
  • Pliers may also be useful.

Please note: The chair will need to approved by Padgham Upholstery as suitable for class. Any sewing of fabric for traditional classes will need to be undertaken privately or by pre-arrangement with Padgham Upholstery. This service is not included in our class fees. Students will take their chair home after each class & bring it back for the next class. Some homework may be required.  Your course fee includes some basic upholstery supplies such as jute webbing, hessian, calico, and threads. Other items may need to be purchased depedning on youe chair.

Conducted for those who have already completed one of our traditional courses either to finish off a project or direction for a more complex project.

Enrol now for our 2019 classes! 

For all class terms and conditions click here.  Course terms & conditions


Rhonda-  Facebook April 2018 recommends PADGHAM UPHOLSTERY: "Just completed the intensive traditional course with Adrian and his wonderful assistants Lisa and Jen. Highly recommend Padgham’s : great tutoring and professional supply of tools and materials. 

Ollie, June 2016 Adrian and Dianne, plus the other helpers who popped in, were fantastic throughout the course. I was expecting more structured sessions with periods of teaching/modelling followed by us doing what we'd just been taught, so it was a surprise to get straight into it with assistance as required, but soon recognised the huge variety of chairs and the diverse range of upholstery techniques required for each. I quickly grew to love this style of session, as I not only got ample one-to-one guidance relating to my chair, including support beyond the allocated sessions to finish off, but got to observe a number of other techniques that I didn't need to employ. Overall, a very specialised yet also very eclectic introduction to traditional upholstery. As advertised, I'm hooked!

Natalie May 2015 Many thanks once again, to all of you for the part you've played in my newfound hobby. I've thoroughly enjoyed myself and will be in touch frequently I'm certain, for supplies, help and advice.

John January 2015  I want to thank all of you for your patience, help and instruction. As a teacher I must say I was impressed with Adrian's ability to give just enough information to get each task done without bamboozling with the big picture of every task - I feel confident to move on to my next project and am searching eBay religiously.

Penny March 2015 Hi guys thanks for the best workshop ever.

Trudy April 2015 Thanks so much for providing a wonderful course, such friendly and expert advice and on-going support. It is great to know you are there!