Grahams Upholstery

SkillsOne meets David Gray, who takes us through the fine detail which is involved in being an upholsterer. He chats about how he became an upholsterer, what tasks are needed for the job and about the changing industry.

About Upholstery: 

Upholstery is the work of providing furniture, especially seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers. The word "upholstery" comes from the Middle English words up and holden, meaning to hold up. The term is applied to domestic furniture and also to applications in automobiles and boats. A person who works with upholstery is called an upholsterer; an apprentice upholsterer is sometimes called an outsider or trimmer.

About Graham's Upholstery: 

Graham's Upholstery is run by David Gray. He began his career working in his father's upholstery business. They prefer to do domestic work, rather than commercial work. Graham feels as though when completing commercial work they are not really working for themselves. There is a lot more job satisfaction working on domestic pieces.

Competition in the Upholstery business has dwindled since Graham started 40 years ago. He believes that there is about a ¼ of the businesses around. This is due to the fact that no one is replaced, rents have risen and the economy has slowed.

There has been a real switch in how furniture is made. From antiques, to retro 50’s-60’s to Scandinavian, Graham will cover all these pieces.

The largest job he has worked on was State Parliament House on the screens in the Members eating rooms.

VJ Matthew Jenkin

Supported By

  • TAFE NSW