Learning Upholstery FAST!!!
In this country it seems like everyone wants to have things instantly. This attitude can easily transfer over to learning a skill, such as upholstery.
You might ask me, "How can I learn upholstery really fast!"
I would respond, "You can't. Next Question Please?"
That wasn't quite what you expected. So you might change your question a little, "What is the fastest way I can learn upholstery?" To this I might reply, "Wrong Question."
All kidding aside, I would turn the focus around and ask you a question. "Why do want to learn upholstery FAST? "
To this you might say, "because I want to cover my furniture and perhaps do some work from friends."
To this I would reply, "Cover your own dining chair seats. Go buy some fabric, take the cover off the chair seats and put the new cover on. Then find another piece to cover, and another, an another." To be sure, at first you will do a sloppy job. But that's OK, you are learning. You will get better with each piece that you do..."
You might answer my question this way, "... because I want to start doing upholstery for a living. I want to do work for other people.
Well, my answer would be the same, "Cover your own dining chair seats first. Go buy some fabric, take the cover off the chair seats and put the new cover on. Then find another piece to cover, and another, an another. To be sure, at first you will do a sloppy job. But that's OK, you are learning. You will get better with each piece that you do..." and this would be followed by one very important piece of advice: Fix your mistakes as soon as you see them. Fixing your mistakes is one of the fastest ways to improve the quality of your work.
Whether you want to just do a few pieces for yourself, OR if you want to make a career of upholstery, the answer is the same. Just start doing it. Start where you are with what you have available to you. If you can't find a teacher, start without one.
You might reply, "I can't find an upholstery class, OR the class starts in 2 months, etc." My answer would be the same. Don't wait, "Just start doing it. Start where you are with what you have available to you. If you can't find a teacher, start without one."
In any event, don't TRY to learn fast, you'll put too much pressure on yourself and thus hinder your learning. Just keep aware and do your best in each moment. As you continually try to do your best, you will continually get better. Upholstery is a skill that takes many years to learn well. As long as you are focusing on learning fast you will be hindering your learning. One good way to learn is to slow down and learn each step well as you go along.
Slow down and learn each step well.. Take time to pay attentions, watch and study what you are doing. Think about what you are doing. As you proceed, review in your mind what you have done and what you are doing.
As you take the furniture apart, keep your camera handy and take lots of pictures of how it was put together. This wil be your guide to put it back together.
What is the Secret it Learning Fast?
Now, to answer the question, "How can I learn upholstery FAST?". You will learn at whatever speed you are capable of learning. The only things that will help you to learn faster is to continue to cover furniture as much as you can. There is no trick and no magic about it. To learn upholstery: just do it.
Even if you don't have a teacher, fill all your spare time with upholstery projects. Cover as many pieces as you can. Work on furniture as much as you can. To start with, do work for free for other people, they purchase the supplies and the fabrics. Tell then that you are just learning and not to expect perfection. Better yet, buy cheap chairs at yard sales, etc. When you are finished sell the chairs. This way people will see what they are getting.
The Secret: Be Proactive!
While it would help you learn faster if you had a teacher, there are very few upholstery schools or upholstery teachers around. Fortunately you can get some upholstery books either at the library or online. In addition you can buy some upholstery videos or search through YouTube to find upholstery videos.
If there is any "secret" or "magic" to learning upholstery it is this: Don't just read the book! Don't just watch the videos! DO IT. The more you put into practice what you read or watch, the quicker you will learn. If you are really in a rush to learn upholstery, then fill EVERY SPARE MOMENT with you reading upholstery books, watching upholstery videos and then finding an upholstery project to do and doing it.
When You First Start
And here is another key point. Especially on the first few pieces of furniture, it would be better if you got some old junk furniture from wherever (garage sale, thrift store, junk pile) to cover. That way you aren't under the added pressure of trying to make them good enough to please someone else. (Imagine if while you were just learning that you did a very sloppy job on some friends furniture.) When you are finished with those pieces, sell them at a garage sale, Craigslist, etc.