Manufacturing > Upholsterers > Overview
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Upholsterers - Overview

Upholsterers install springs, padding, and fabric on new and used furniture.

Upholsterers replace worn or outdated coverings on old furniture. Sometimes they upholster new furniture.

When working on a used piece of furniture, upholsterers begin by removing the old covering and padding. They inspect the wood frame inside the furniture for defects and loose pieces. Upholsterers do minor repairs such as gluing or refinishing. More extensive repairs are given to woodworkers.

When the frame is ready, upholsterers tightly stretch and attach webbing strips across the frame. Upholsterers position and attach the springs so they are even and secured to the webbing and frame. The springs are covered with burlap cloth. Upholsters place padding or stuffing made of cotton, foam, or other synthetic fibers over the burlap.

Upholsters stack and measure pieces of fabric. They cut pieces, creating as little waste as possible. They sew pieces together to create pillows. Upholsters attach the fabric onto the furniture and make adjustments as needed. After they make the final adjustments, they secure the fabric firmly with glue, tacks, or staples. Upholsterers also attach fringe, buttons, or other decorations.

Sometimes upholsterers pick up and deliver the furniture they work on. They also help customers pick new coverings by providing samples of fabrics and pictures of finished pieces.

Some upholsterers work on automotive or airplane interiors. They make, install, or repair seat covers.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.