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RMH
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« : February 13, 2015, 05:53:09 PM »

Hi!
I am very interested in learning the trade of upholstery...specifically for vehicles. I sew a bit and my husband restores old vehicles, and I think it would be awesome to be able to do the upholstery work in them. The only thing is, I'm a hands on learner. Videos and things like that are ok, but I would love it so much more if someone could physically teach me how it's done. The thing is, I'm unsure of where to turn. Any ideas of where I could find someone to help me learn the trade? I've heard it's usually passed down through families, or maybe close friends...but none of mine have ever dealt with this type of skill. Any tips or ideas at all are greatly appreciated!
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #1 : February 13, 2015, 08:03:48 PM »

Visit some auto upholstery shops and ask them if they would mind you being a free apprentice. Someplace where you can just watch and help out a little at first. Then move up to a true apprentice at some point. It is always nice to get some work done by someone that is willing to help out on whatever they can for free. And as you watch you will learn. I wouldn't do this for long for free but you might find it gets you in the door so to speak. Also you don't want to be taken advantage of.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
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RMH
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« #2 : February 14, 2015, 08:12:07 AM »

Thanks!
Actually, there is one place that I'd like to try out...I'm just worried they won't want to teach me. But I guess you never know until you try! :)
kodydog
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North Central Florida


« #3 : February 14, 2015, 08:53:08 AM »

Paul's idea is a good one. Most shops could use a person to do some of the menial tasks.

Another idea to get started is do one of your cars or a car for a friend. OEM seat covers can be bought on line. Already sewn just take the old cover off and put the new one on. This is not custom upholstery like you intend but would give you a feel for the work and see if its something you want to do before you invest in all the equipment that a custom shop would need.

A customer of mine has a 40 something Cadillac. Hes not an upholsterer but he bought and replaced his own covers. And from what I could see it turned out pretty nice.

Just a thought, I'm a furniture guy.
« : February 14, 2015, 09:07:53 AM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #4 : February 14, 2015, 10:11:44 AM »

I'm always curious when I hear the "free apprentice" idea.

How does that work from a legal standpoint? Is it technically legal for someone to hang around a workplace and work for free? What if they get injured?

RMH: I know that you said that videos and tutorials don't help much. But watch as many as you can, and try what you learn on your own car seat. You would be surprised at how much they really do help.

Do you have a good sewing machine? What other equipment/tools do you have?

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #5 : February 14, 2015, 10:18:29 AM »

Sofa,
  Back in the day it would have never come to mind. Having someone hang out to learn and help. Maybe the word apprentice should not have been used until it became a paid position. I know you can still have an "intern" for free so maybe an Internship would be more appropriate. Modern times stick me once in awhile.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #6 : February 14, 2015, 10:59:07 AM »

Sofa,
  Back in the day it would have never come to mind.
And it still shouldn't. Whatever agreement that consenting adults enter in to should be kept between them. But in these modern times, everybody is "all lawyered up".

I would go crazy if I had someone "shadowing" me all day. And I'm afraid that it would quickly get to the point where I was either ignoring them, or taking advantage of their free labor.

Free apprenticeship, or internship (whichever is the PC term nowadays) is a concept that I just can't wrap my wee little brain around.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
byhammerandhand
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"By hammer and hand, all arts do stand."


« #7 : February 14, 2015, 04:46:10 PM »

For me, maybe not so much legal CYA, but a mutual understanding of what is to be done by both parties.

I would not want to get into an "unpaid apprenticeship" where my only functions were picking up and delivering furniture, cleaning up the shop, cutting out fabric, but never doing any more with it, and applying decorative tacks and having to take them out and re-do them if they were not absolutely up to the master's approval (without ever having been taught how to do it.)



Sofa,
  Back in the day it would have never come to mind. Having someone hang out to learn and help. Maybe the word apprentice should not have been used until it became a paid position. I know you can still have an "intern" for free so maybe an Internship would be more appropriate. Modern times stick me once in awhile.

Keith

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Thomas A. Edison
RMH
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« #8 : February 17, 2015, 12:19:16 PM »

Thanks for all the great advice and opinions!

I think I'm going to try the thing you suggested kodydog, about ordering the seat covers and trying to install them that way first. I definitely want to do custom seats myself though, but a little practice will be nice. Also, I am still wanting to learn in a shop, and I still have one in mind, but honestly I don't know what to say when I go talk to them. Not to mention the fact that I am afraid of getting taken advantage of, since I could a lot of the time be classified as a "push over". I will still be going to talk to them though. No harm in finding out what they think.

You guys are a big help! When I finally go talk to them, I'll post and let you know what was said and how it went!

MinUph
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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.


« #9 : February 17, 2015, 06:35:36 PM »

RMH,
  When you go talk to the shop owner just explain that you want to see how you like the business and want to learn. Don't be afraid of being taken advantage of as you can leave whenever you want to.

Paul
Minichillo's Upholstery
Website
Mike
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Marine canvas & upholstery SWFL


« #10 : February 18, 2015, 06:40:34 PM »

of someone want to hang around me and learn they would be in the way and slow me down ,just sayin'

papasage
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« #11 : February 20, 2015, 07:35:27 AM »

i have don that and  it still take up my time and when they  learn a little they go open a  shop and don`t do a good job . that take work i could get and and make the upholster business look bad .
 if i was going to do any training  they would sign  a  agreement not to go out and open a shop  and use my name as a trainer until i approved it . and then not in  the area . like selling a business  and signing a  agreement not to the  opening another shop in the county and  surrounding county for 5 years .

just recovering 40 years
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