AMUSF Training and Qualifications

Training with the AMUSF

The Association of Master Upholsterers and Soft Furnishers qualifications are based on acquiring good practical and relevant skills. These qualifications may lead to employment within the industry or with additional practice may lead to you starting your own small business.

The AMUSF qualifications in both Upholstery and Soft Furnishings are reviewed regularly to make sure they are consistent with current industry practices. Successful completion of all three stages in the Upholstery qualification will result in the award of the AMUSF Diploma.

Led by Expert Instructors

The Upholstery Qualification is delivered in three stages with each stage being a qualification in its own right and will be certificated separately. The Soft Furnishing qualification is a single stage. These qualifications can only be delivered by an AMUSF Approved Training Centre.

Each stage is designed to be delivered with a minimum 210 hours but Training Centres will arrange their timetables and commencement dates to match their demands.

Briefly, each stage of the Upholstery syllabus contains the following processes. Items highlighted in bold are the pieces that will be marked at the end of each stage but all other exercises must be completed. Students will also receive tuition on underpinning knowledge. It is expected that the written research project will be undertaken away from the class and is outside of the 210 hours.

The Process

Stage 1 – Craft Certificate

  • Drop-in seat (modern materials)
  • Drop-in seat (traditional materials including fabric and bottoming cloth)
  • Stitched and stuffed footstool or chair (traditional materials and methods including fabric and bottoming)
  • Sprung dining chair (traditional materials and methods including fabric and bottoming cloth)
  • Scatter cushion with piping and zip
  • Sprung arm exercise for an inset facing (traditional materials and methods. Calico to be stitched under the roll. Fabric need not to be applied)
  • Box Cushion with piping and zip (sample)
  • Bolster End with piping (sample)
  • Upholstered and lined box with deep-buttoned lid (modern materials, with a minimum of three diamonds)
  • Portfolio containing notes and details of work in progress
  • A Written Research Project
  • Note: Either the Box or the Scatter Cushion to include some form of decorative detail/fabric manipulation.

Stage 2 – Intermediate Craft Certificate

  • T-Shaped Cushion with piping and zips (samples)
  • Tailoring, including the fitting of caps and collars (samples)
  • Independent sprung edge for a cushion seat (exercise) (traditional materials and methods, including fabric and front border)
  • Armless chair with traditionally upholstered seat and back (seat to be sprung with coil springs)
  • Post 1950s Armchair upholstered using modern materials & methods
  • Portfolio containing notes and details of work in progress
  • Written Research Project

Stage 3 – Diploma

  • Substantial Traditional Armchair of advanced techniques, which should include at least two of the following elements: the fitting of caps and collars, scroll arms or stitched-up edges to arms, sprung arms, coil sprung seats, independent sprung edges, deep buttoning, fluting or an iron framed chair
  • Modern Chair with a concave inside back incorporating tailored fitting and top stitching
  •  i.e. Egg style (shell frame)
  •  Portfolio containing notes and details of work in progress
  •  Written Research Project

The Soft Furnishing Qualification – Essential Soft Furnishings – is a single stage qualification typically delivered over 210 hours. Students will be taught different techniques and make various samples before producing the following pieces for marking:

Essential Soft Furnishings Certificate

  • A pair of full-length interlined curtains with a hand-stitched heading and decorative detail
  • A roman blind with decorative detail
  • A piped scatter cushion with decorative detail and closure
  • A bolster cushion with decorative detail and concealed zip
  • A box cushion in a striped or checked fabric with piped edges and zip
  • A Portfolio Project to include design ideas, textile samples, window treatment suspension systems, order of work for projects and essential paperwork: costings, estimates, workroom sheets, invoices, terms and conditions

Good quality training is offered by our own AMUSF Approved Training Centres. Click Find out more about our individual Approved Training Centres and the courses they offer.