Textile Operative

Job Description:

Textile operatives spin natural and synthetic material into yarns and fabrics for use in clothing, furnishings and industrial products.

Job Category:
Manufacturing & Electronics

What you will do:

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you will:

  • set up machinery and programme instructions
  • operate machine looms that knit, weave and loop threads together
  • prepare fibres and make sure they are combed, cleaned and twisted into yarns
  • spin fibres and wind them onto bobbins or cones
  • monitor production and report any problems
  • do quality checks
  • treat fabrics to make them stain or crease resistant
  • make sure machines are ready for handover to the next shift
  • keep production areas clean




You’ll need:

  • the ability to operate and control equipment
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • 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
  • observation and recording skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to work on your own (drive)
  • excellent verbal communication skills (teamwork skills)
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Textile Operative, you can focus on subjects that provide you with a foundation in textiles and relevant skills for working in the textile industry. Here are the subjects and areas of focus that can be beneficial:

  1. Design and Technology: This subject specifically focuses on textiles and can provide you with a solid understanding of fabric types, production processes, and practical skills related to working with textiles.
  2. Mathematics: Good mathematical skills are important for measurements, calculations, and ensuring precision in various textile production tasks.
  3. Science: A general science background can be valuable for understanding the physical and chemical properties of textiles, quality control processes, and safety considerations in the textile industry.
  4. English: Effective communication skills are essential for documenting processes, safety protocols, and conveying information within a team or to supervisors.
  5. Business Studies: Some knowledge of business and management principles can be beneficial, especially if you aim to work in a textile manufacturing or production facility. It can help you understand the business aspects of the industry.
  6. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Proficiency in using computer software and technology can be valuable, especially for tasks related to quality control, production monitoring, and data management.

Post School

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.

In the UK, for example, courses include:

  • Certificate in Textiles
  • Certificate in Fashion and Textiles


You could start by doing a textile manufacturing operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for work. There are no particular requirements although experience in textile manufacturing or sewing machinist work will be helpful.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 41-43 hours of work. You may be required to work between 8am and 6pm on shifts.

You could work in a factory or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be noisy.

Career Path & Progression:

You could move into a machine maintenance job or quality control after further training. With experience, you might get promotion to become a production supervisor then shift manager.