Knitting Machinist

Job Description:

Knitting machinists produce products including clothing, soft furnishings and medical textiles on knitting machines.

Job Category:
Manufacturing & Electronics

What you will do:

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • read and interpret knitting instructions
  • select and use the right yarns
  • set up a knitting machine and keep your workstation tidy
  • adjust machines and change needles
  • sort materials to be reused, recycled or thrown away
  • check quality and prepare items for the next stage of the production process



You’ll need:

  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination (drive)
  • the ability to work on your own
  • observation and recording skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others (teamwork skills)
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a knitting machinist, you typically don’t need specific qualifications. However, having a good general education, including some key subjects, can be helpful for securing a position and performing well in the role. Knitting machinists operate and maintain knitting machines to create textiles and fabrics. While formal education requirements are not stringent, here are some subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

  1. Mathematics: Basic math skills are important for measuring materials, calculating dimensions, and making adjustments to knitting machines.
  2. Design and Technology (Textiles): If your school offers a design and technology (textiles) course, it can provide you with valuable knowledge about fabrics, textiles, and the basics of knitting.
  3. Art and Design: Courses in art and design can help you develop an understanding of patterns, colors, and the aesthetic aspects of textiles, which can be useful when creating fabrics.
  4. English: Good communication skills, including reading and writing, are important for following instructions, maintaining records, and communicating with supervisors or colleagues.
  5. Physical Education (PE): Knitting machinists may spend extended periods on their feet, so being physically fit and comfortable with standing for long hours can be beneficial.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You may be able to start by doing a course. In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Award in Fashion and Textiles
  • Certificate In Fashion

You’ll need to check that knitting is included in the course content. Some colleges and adult learning centres offer machine knitting and hand knitting craft courses for learners who have a general interest or knit as a hobby.

There are no entry requirements for this route.


You may be able to gain some of the skills needed in this role through a sewing machinist intermediate apprenticeship.

You could get into higher level roles where you would have responsibility for setting up and programming machines, through a knitted product manufacturing technician advanced apprenticeship.

These typically take between 12 and 24 months to complete. You’ll do a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Direct Application

You could apply directly for jobs if you’ve got experience in creative crafts, sewing or textiles. Training is given on the job in many cases.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week may consist of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work between 8am and 6pm.

You could work in a workshop, in a factory or from home.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could become a production supervisor, move into quality control or set up your own small business.

You could become a knitwear designer for a textiles company by completing a higher education qualification in fashion or textiles.