NOTE: Our SUMMER PROGRAM for CHILDREN is canceled, along with all SUMMER and FALL In-House classes.

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Upholstery 4S20 CANCELED

Choose your time of the week and join a shop away from home, with tools, mentorship and community. Work on a project of your choice in an open-format classroom; the teacher will circulate and give instruction at all levels, but there is not a set curriculum. Start with a dining chair or ottoman; large chairs take more than one semester. Bring your piece to the first class. Storage is limited. No love seats, chaise lounges, sofas. Once you select your section, that is your weekly time in the shop. We do not permit switching between sections. Limit 8 Students

Kathleen Gaskin

Kathleen Gaskin-Holland student

Kathleen Gaskin is proprietor of Decorator’s Workroom (Jamaica Plain), an upholstery shop which she founded in 1990. She grew up in Trinidad, where her father was a joiner and carpenter and her mother a seamstress and chair caner. She is proud to follow in their footsteps.

Kathleen has received numerous awards for her contributions to Jamaica Plain and the City of Boston, including the 2009 Local Hero Award from Vinfen, 2010 Award for outstanding contributions to Boston’s neighborhooods from Action for Boston Community Development, and 2005 Community Leadership Award from Spontaneous Celebrations.

Kathleen first taught at the Eliot School in 1991.

Upholstery & Slipcovers
Materials & Tools:


NO LARGE ITEMS (sofa, bed, love seat, chaise lounge)

ONLY ONE PIECE AT A TIME per student, as our storage space is limited

YOU MUST TAG YOUR FURNITURE with your name, phone number and semester

YOU MUST REMOVE YOUR FURNITURE at the end of the semester

Bring to the first class:

Your piece of furniture. You may store it here for the semester but you must remove it after that. Beginners will learn to strip furniture in the first class session.

Two dropcloths (old bedsheets work well): one to cover work surface, one to cover furniture in storage

Needed after the first class:

Tool Kit

Check with instructor in class before shopping.

Measuring tape

Good pair of scissors suitable for upholstery-weight fabric

Tack and Staple Remover (Tool #121)

Tack claw (Osborne # 202)

Magnetic hammer (Osborne #222)

10" Upholstery shears (Osborne #684-10)

Ripping tool (Osborne #402)

Curved needles (Osborne #K-3)

Straight-point needles (Osborne # K-5)

Upholstery pins (Osborne #190)

6-oz. Upholstery tacks

Marking chalk (Osborne #88)

Additional Supplies

The following will be discussed in class:




1” or 4” foam

cushion foam

cotton batting


Italian Ruby twine – 1 lb. spool

spring-tying twine

spring nails

fabric: 5/32” welt