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Schools for Automotive Upholstery

Auto upholstery schools train students in covering materials and fixing upholstery found in a car, truck or other automobile. Students who successfully complete the training program learn how to use different types of leathers, stuffing and other materials to cover car seats and other parts of a vehicle that need to be covered with fabric. Since auto upholstering is a very specialized skill, students need both hands-on and classroom training to be successful in their careers. A number of auto upholstery schools around the United States offer online, offline and correspondence course programs for students who want to become automobile upholstery technicians.

Attending Auto Upholstery School

Training in the field of auto upholstery requires extensive hands-on experience. Upholstery is considered a trade and requires students to learn a number of specialized techniques and skills so that they can repair, replace and cover different parts of a vehicle's interior. Some people need the assistance of a trained technician after their vehicle has been damaged in an accident, or just when the vehicle needs to be restored after extended use. Upholstery inside a vehicle can become damaged or worn down from the sun, excessive use or damaged when passengers spill something onto the fabric.

Individuals who have completed an auto upholstery training program learn how to repair and restore the material that has become damaged or worn down, and can create a beautiful, clean and lustrous interior for most types of vehicles.

What Do You Learn in an Auto Upholstery School?

These schools train students in the latest trim and upholstery technology, terminology, techniques and applications. Students learn how to use different tools of the trade, analyze seam types, work with existing patterns and layouts, construct and reconstruct different styles of seating and carpeting, identify various types of trim, and sew buttons and other fabric attachments. Some of the skills and techniques a student can learn include:

  • Constructing a seat cover using original patterns and designs
  • Calculating layouts and using blueprints to create insert designs
  • Sewing all basic seams
  • Operating and maintaining a sewing machine
  • Operating a button machine and creating new buttons
  • Recovering a headrest or armrest of a car seat or truck seat
  • Constructing and installing a headliner
  • Completing a written estimate for a vehicle interior

Types of Courses in an Auto Upholstery Training Program

Students typically take the following types of courses:

  • Auto Upholstery Hand and Power Tools
  • Auto Upholstery Materials and Designs
  • Automotive Interior Layout Design
  • Automotive Seat Designs and Styles
  • Automotive Carpeting
  • Pleating and Button Tufting Technique
  • Sew Beading
  • Zipper Inserts
  • Basic Customer Service Skills
  • Basic Business Skills Training

Types of Auto Upholstery Schools

Upholstery training programs are available at many trade schools that offer a program, but aspiring technicians can also find training programs at local automotive detailing shops or at an upholstery shop. Shops and detailers can offer extensive hands-on training and may be able to offer an individual a job after they complete the program.

Attending an auto upholstery school offers several distinct advantages over an apprenticeship because students learn through several hours of classroom training and hands-on training. Students typically learn the basics of upholstery and the specialized skills they need to succeed in their career.

Some schools offer distance learning and education programs where students can complete their education at their own pace, or by completing tutorials and training modules online. These can be advantageous to students who are not located within driving distance of a trade school or other training center that offers an auto upholstery training program. Distance learning and online programs are a good match for students who are self-motivated and for those who need a flexible schedule.

Some colleges and universities also offer auto upholstery training through a certification program. Certificate programs may last up to eight months and are designed to teach students all the basics they need to us various types of tools, identify materials and designs, and create layouts for different types of seats and vehicles.

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