Reinventing Furniture: Upholstery and Chair Caning Workshop

Sat 11 and Sun 12 February 2017, 10.30am – 4pm, £150 (Members £112.50)

Chair Caning

Join chair seater and traditional upholsterer Sheonagh Winterborne to learn different ways of bringing some life to an old piece of furniture using the traditional techniques of chair caning and upholstery.


This two day session, inspired by Kettle's Yard at The Hepworth Wakefield, will look at the importance of furniture which is personal and not mass produced.

The session will begin with demonstrations of the processes of re-seating a chair through upholstery and chair caning. You will be invited to pursue one of these processes using your own design ideas and taste over the course of the weekend. This is a rare chance to learn traditional processes whilst also creating an exciting piece of repurposed furniture for your home.

By the end of the workshop you will have an individually upholstered or caned chair revitalised and re-seated.


Sheonagh Winterborne graduated from Leeds College of Art & Design after studying Advanced Furniture Restoration. The course introduced students to a restoration skills, but above all it was traditional upholstery which particularly fired her enthusiasm. Sheonagh has a keen desire to work by hand and to use natural materials where possible. Her life-long interest in fabrics and textiles led to further study, before setting up her own upholstery workshop in North Lincolnshire (now in West Yorkshire). A long-time member of the Basketmakers' Association, Sheonagh has taught chair caning and rush seating at various colleges and schools across the UK.

In 2015 Sheonagh delivered workshops and demonstrations of chair caning for Post Forma, a major new commission by acclaimed Italian designer Martino Gamper, as part of British Art Show 8. This work, which was presented at Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, was driven by Gamper's interest in how an object can be transformed or renewed rather than thrown away.


A basic set of materials will be provided as part of the ticket price, including a wooden chair, which you will be able to transform through either chair caning or upholstery. In order to enable you to personalise the chair more to your own taste you are asked to bring your own fabrics for upholstering (approximately 1m square is ideal). You are also welcome to bring a chair of your own, should you want to – however please note that this is a short session and you will only be able to rework the seat part of a chair, therefore armchairs and larger items of furniture are not suitable for this workshop.


To book a place on this workshop click here. If you have any questions or special requirements  then don't hesitate to get in touch by emailing or calling 01924 247398.

Half of the allocated places are offered at the Members discounted rate of 25%. A two-week priority booking period is offered to all Members and discounted places are sold on a first come, first served basis. To find out about becoming a member click here.


  • 11 February 2017
  • 12 February 2017