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Overview of the role

Producing upholstered furniture by preparing and cutting fabrics, creating/repairing frames and joints, selecting and applying suspensions and upholstering frames

Advanced upholsterer

Reference Number: ST0656

Details of standard

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the Furniture, Furnishings and Interiors industry, it can also relate to the automotive and marine industry where they have upholstered items such as seating.  Advanced Upholsterers will specialise in either traditional or modern upholstery and will choose one option.  

The UK furniture, bed and furnishings manufacturing is a substantial growth industry for the UK. Latest verified government figures from 2016 put total consumer expenditure on furniture and furnishings at £16.7 billion, supporting over 327,000 jobs.

The broad purpose of the occupation is to produce upholstered furniture by preparing and cutting fabrics, creating/repairing frames and joints, selecting and applying suspensions and upholstering frames.  An Advanced Upholsterer is a skilled and methodical individual capable of creating ergonomic and comfortable furniture using traditional or modern techniques, materials and fabrics to produce aesthetically pleasing and fit for purpose consumer products.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a range of colleagues including production/manufacturing managers, quality technicians, production leaders, designers and product developers. Advanced Upholsterers will work alone or within small teams with other upholsterers and will be responsible for liaising with colleagues, suppliers and customers. They tend to work in small craft workshops but can also work in larger factories. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for the quality of their work and the relevant resources to carry out their activities.

Advanced Upholsterers may also have managerial responsibility for team members, the level of responsibility varies depending on the size of the organisation that they are working in. Depending on the size of the organisation, they will report to a production manager or a managing director.

Option 1: A Traditional Upholsterer is a skilled craft person who creates individual pieces of new furniture or renovates or re-upholsters old or antique furniture they also reupholster new furniture using traditional methods. Traditional upholsterers use materials like coil springs (post-1850), animal hair (horse, hog and cow), coir, hessian, linen scrim, wadding etc., and is done by hand, building up each layer.

Option 2: An Advanced Modern Upholsterer is a skilled person who understands frame construction, adds padding, springs and coverings to furniture such as chairs and sofas. Advanced Modern Upholsterers understand ergonomics and aesthetics required to apply methodically and accurately a wide range of modern upholstery techniques, materials and fabrics, to produce furniture that meets specification and is fit for purpose.

Typical job titles

Typical job titles include Upholsterer, Traditional Upholsterer. Furniture Upholsterer, Upholstery Technician, Automotive Upholsterer, Marine Upholsterer, Development Upholsterer.

Core occupation duties

Duty

Criteria for measuring performance

KSBs

Duty 1 work safely at all times following relevant legislation and regulations ensuring self and others safety

following relevant health and safety legislation and guidance

K1

S1

B1

Duty 2 prepare, cut and sew fabric components for upholstery products to specification

delivered in line with specifications

K2, K3

S2, S3

B2, B3, B4, B5, B1, B6


Duty 3 evaluate construction of / repair upholstery frames and joints using appropriate tools and equipment

delivered in line with customer expectations and specifications

K4

S4

B3, B6

Duty 4 Identify any faults in hides of leather and propose solutions so it can be used in upholstery

delivered in line with specifications

K5

S5

B3, B6

Duty 5 ensure upholstery products meet industry specific regulations, legislation and standards

delivered in line with industry specific regulations, legislation and standards

K6

S6

B2, B3, B7

Duty 6 realise and maintain customers’ expectations when upholstering products

delivered in line with customer expectations

K7

S7

B2, B3, B7

Duty 7 manage internal upholstery projects from conception to successful completion.  This can include projects such as creating bespoke pieces of furniture and introducing new products and materials.

delivered in line with agreed timescales and costs

K8

S8

B2, B3, B7

Duty 8 effectively communicate with colleagues and customers (internal/external)

communicated clearly and succinctly

K9

S9

Duty 9 manage upholstery resources effectively to meet budgets

delivered in line with agreed budgets

K10

S10

B3, B7

Duty 10 develop furniture product specifications and standard operating procedures for upholstered products

delivered in line with industry standards

K11, K12, K13

S11

B3, B6

Duty 11 select and apply suitable upholstery fillings and suspensions using traditional or modern techniques

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K14

S12, S13

B1, B3, B6

 

 

Option 1: Traditional Upholsterer option duties

Duty

Criteria for measuring performance

KSBs

Option duty

1:

manufacture to traditional standardS, renovate and reupholster old or antique furniture to the required standard

 

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K15

S14

B2, B5, B6


Option duty

2:

apply traditional upholstery techniques in order to create, renovate or restore furniture pieces

 

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K16, K17

S15, S16

B2, B5, B6


Option duty

3:

strip back old/antique upholstery in order to start the restoration/repair

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K18

S17

B2, B5, B6

Option duty

4:

provide estimates for traditionally upholstered furniture to customers to meet their requirements

delivered in line with customers expectations

K19

S18

B1


Option duty

5:

understand and appreciate the finish of show wood frames and implement traditional solutions, for example French polishing

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K20

S19

B2, B5, B6


Modern Upholsterer option duties

Duty

Criteria for measuring performance

KSBs

Option duty

1:

use modern techniques to upholster products to specifications using power tools and machinery

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K21, K22

S20, S21, S22

B2, B5, B6


Option duty

2:

design and create modern upholstered furniture to meet customers’ requirements

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K23, K24

S23

B1, B2, B5, B6


Option duty

3:

define materials, construction methods and specifications for upholstered furniture to be produced

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K25, K26

S24, S25

B7


Option duty

4:

provide estimates for modern upholstered furniture to customers to meet their requirements

delivered in line with agreed timescales and specifications

K27

S26

B1


Option duty

5:

lead, manage and coach teams to ensure effective results in a modern upholstery environment

delivered in line with industry standards

K28, K29

S27, S28, S29

B8, B9

 

KSBs

Knowledge

K1 health, safety and environmental management and risk assessment for example Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), Health And Safety At Work Act (HASAWA), Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) and manual handling

K2 fabric characteristics, identification and appropriate usage of fabrics

K3 how to create templates, lay, cut, prepare and sew fabric components

K4 upholstery frame construction and repair techniques for example jointing, gluing and replacing components

K5 leather faults and how to mark and resolve for example scuffs, scratches, stains, burn marks, water marks and discolouration in leather

K6 upholstery industry specific regulations, legislation and standards, covering flammability regulations, British Standards, CE Marks (Conformité Européenne), Intellectual Property and renewable practices

K7 how to realise and manage customer expectations for example statutory rights and responsibilities, consumer rights, lead times, after sales support

K8 basic project management including principles and techniques of good project management

K9 effective communication skills and techniques including verbal, written and physical non-verbal

K10 how to manage upholstery resources effectively to meet budgets for example raw materials

K11 industry materials including fabrics, springs, fillings, frames, linings, trimmings, legs, feet and castors

K12 modern and traditional manufacturing methods for example traditional hand techniques and modern machinery techniques

K13 ergonomic and aesthetic design principles in the upholstery industry

K14 different types of filling materials and when they should be used for example polyurethane foam, synthetic cotton and feathers

K15 styles, periods and iconic designers from pre-20th Century, 20th Century including 1930s art deco through to current trends and history of upholstered furniture, materials and methods

K16 traditional upholstery methods for example hand stitching, tacking and stuffing

K17 how to create, renovate or restore furniture pieces for example re-covering or replacement fillings

K18 how to strip back old/antique upholstery in order to start the restoration/repair

K19 budgeting, including providing customer estimates and costing projects

K20 how to finish show wood frames for example French polishing

K21 modern upholstery techniques including the use of power tools and machinery

K22 modern methods of bespoke furniture production and assembly including stapling, machine sewing

K23 history of upholstered furniture and styles, periods and iconic designers of the 20th & 21st Century

K24 how to design, bespoke pieces of furniture using modern manufacturing methods

K25 materials, construction methods and product specifications used in modern upholstery, for example boards, springs, spring units, webbing, alternative support systems, fastenings and fabrics

K26 limitations relating to process and end uses and how to identify these

K27 how to provide estimates to customers and cost projects

K28 equality and diversity and how this applies in the workplace

K29 conflict management

Skills

S1 work safely at all times

S2 prepare and sew fabric components using advanced methods for example fluting, float, deep-buttoning and other decorative detailing.

S3 create templates, lay and cut fabric components

S4 evaluate upholstery frames and repair as required

S5 identify, mark and resolve faults in leather for example scuffs, scratches, stains, burn marks, water marks and discolouration

S6 quality assure upholstery products to meet relevant industry specific regulations, legislation and standards

S7 realise and manage customer expectations

S8 apply basic project management techniques

S9 apply effective communication techniques at all levels including written and verbal communication skills

S10 manage upholstery resources effectively to meet budgets including materials, components and time

S11 define materials, construction methods and product specifications for furniture to be produced

S12 select and fix different types of filling materials for example natural and manmade fillings

S13 select and apply materials for suspensions including springs, sprung units, suspension systems and webbing.

S14 upholster products using traditional materials and methods such as using materials like coil springs (post-1850), animal hair (horse, hog and cow), coir, fibres, hessians, linen scrims, wadding by hand, building each layer up

S15 apply traditional upholstery techniques, for example hand stuffing, hand stitching and tacking in order to renovate/restore furniture pieces

S16 apply traditional upholstery materials and fabrics for example hessian and linen to repair antique/old furniture

S17 strip back upholstery to frames using appropriate tools and methods

S18 provide accurate estimates to customers

S19 identify the process to finish / repair show wood frames

S20 upholster products using advanced modern methods for example stapling, machine sewing

S21 use power tools and machinery to upholster products for example CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) cutting machinery and staple guns

S22 produce & assemble bespoke pieces of furniture using modern methods

S23 design and create bespoke pieces of furniture using modern manufacturing methods

S24 define manufacturing processes for furniture to be produced

S25 set timescales and costings for furniture to be produced

S26 provide accurate estimates to customers

S27 manage self and others to achieve objectives and lead teams by providing directions, instructions and guidance

S28 apply coaching, mentoring and team development techniques such as the GROW model (Goal, Current Reality, Options (or Obstacles) Will (or Way Forward) and apply basic conflict management skills including recognising and resolving conflicts

S29 apply basic conflict management skills including recognising and resolving conflicts

Behaviours

B1 have a safety-first attitude, ensuring the safety of self and others as appropriate

B2 is customer focused, demonstrate behaviour that puts the customer first

B3 commit to achieving and maintaining upholstery quality standards and efficiently rates

B4 has a calm and reasonable approach when completing upholstery tasks

B5 approaches each task with enthusiasm and demonstrates a high level of motivation and resilience when facing challenges

B6 thorough and accurate when accomplishing upholstery tasks

B7 adheres to company values

B8 be reflective on skills, knowledge and behaviours and seek opportunities to develop and advance skills in response to the evolving manufacturing environment and technologies

B9 demonstrate confidence in your ability and enthusiasm as an upholsterer

Qualifications

English and Maths qualification

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Additional details

Occupational Level: 3
Duration (months): 24

Review

This standard will be reviewed after three years.


Crown copyright © 2019. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 3
Reference: ST0656
Version: 1
Date updated: 30/09/2019
Approved for delivery: 30 September 2019
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration: 24 months
Maximum funding: £10000
Options: Modern Upholsterer, Traditional Upholsterer
Trailblazer contact(s): ljwconsultancy@outlook.com
Employers involved in creating the standard: Harrison Spinks, Association of Master Upholsterers & Soft Furnishers, DFS, Silentnight, Hypnos, Senator, Duresta, GPlan, Duresta, Rolls Royce
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 30/09/2019 Assessment plan and funding band first published

Not available

1 16/01/2019 Standard first published

Not available