Textile operatives spin natural and synthetic material into yarns and fabrics for use in clothing, furnishings and industrial products.
Salary range: £13,000 to £25,000
How to become a textile operative
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- applying directly
You could do a college course, which may help you when you start looking for work. Courses include:
- Level 1 Certificate in Textiles
- Level 2 Certificate in Fashion and Textiles
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
You could start by doing a textile manufacturing operative intermediate apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You can apply directly for work. There are no particular requirements although experience in textile manufacturing will be helpful.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to operate and control equipment
- the ability to work well with your hands
- the ability to work on your own
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- excellent verbal communication skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- observation and recording skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- operating machine looms that knit, weave and loop threads together
- preparing fibres, making sure they are combed, cleaned and twisted into yarns
- spinning fibres and winding them onto bobbins or cones
- treating fabrics to make them stain or crease resistant
- cleaning production areas
You could work in a factory or in a workshop.
Your working environment may be noisy.
Career path and progression
You could you could move into a machine maintenance job or quality control. You might also get promotion to become a production supervisor then shift manager.