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Occupation Details

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Textile & Fabric Workers

Job Zone

Education
These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a bank teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognised apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€20k >  
Textile Technologist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€20 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
SOLAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Textile operatives carry out jobs concerned with the manufacture of textiles.


The Work header image

Textile operatives are involved in the many processes of textile manufacturing, from the raw materials stage to completing the finished product. Many operatives are responsible for monitoring and controlling textile machinery. Often, these machines use the latest electronics and computerisation.  
 
Precise duties depend on the company and the type of textiles and end products involved. The majority of operatives specialise in a particular job and usually remain within one area of textiles, such as woollens, cotton, carpets or lace.  
 
In the first stage of the process, operatives may select, sort and clean raw materials. They usually monitor machinery that sorts fibres according to length and removes dirt and grease. With woollen textiles, operatives can be involved in spinning and twisting to incorporate man-made fibres or to produce yarns of different thicknesses. Cotton and a wide range of man-made fibres, like acrylic and polyester, are blended and spun to produce yarns for weaving and knitting. Operatives monitor machines and stop them if anything goes wrong. They may be required to solve minor problems.  
 
Two main methods of production are weaving and knitting. Weavers operate a number of high-speed machines. They start and stop machines and look out for errors. They also do various jobs when a machine completes a run, for example 'tying in ends'. Knitters are involved in similar work. They operate the latest technology machines to produce a wide range of knitted fabrics.  
 
Operatives can also specialise in dyeing or colouring processes. Dye house workers control machinery that colours large quantities of yarn or finished cloth. With some fabrics, designs are printed onto cloth, so operators set up and operate various types of printing machines.  
 
Finishing jobs depend on the type of fabric. For example, carpets may be brushed or sheared and woollen fabrics are checked for flaws and quality. Chemical treatments may be applied to fabrics, such as woollens or carpets, to make them shrink-resistant, flameproof or shower proof. Textile operatives usually wear protective clothing such as overalls, safety footwear, gloves and masks.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Remove defects in cloth by cutting and pulling out filling.

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Inspect products to ensure that specifications are met and to determine if machines need adjustment.

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Observe woven cloth to detect weaving defects.

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Thread yarn, thread, and fabric through guides, needles, and rollers of machines for weaving, knitting, or other processing.

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Examine looms to determine causes of loom stoppage, such as warp filling, harness breaks, or mechanical defects.

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Notify supervisors or repair staff of mechanical malfunctions.

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Set up, or set up and operate textile machines that perform textile processing and manufacturing operations such as winding, twisting, knitting, weaving, bonding, or stretching.

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Start machines, monitor operations, and make adjustments as needed.

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Inspect machinery to determine whether repairs are needed.

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Record information about work completed and machine settings.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Handling and Moving Objects:  Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

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Controlling Machines and Processes:  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

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Performing General Physical Activities:  Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material:  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings:  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment:  Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Administration and Management:  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Production and Processing:  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Personnel and Human Resources:  Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Operation Monitoring:   Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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Operation and Control:   Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

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Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Troubleshooting:   Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Equipment Maintenance:   Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Most of the work involves controlling machinery so concentration is essential.  
 
Good hand skills are needed by some operatives, to thread up machines with individual yarns or to correct faults. Good eyesight is useful for many jobs. For dyeing and colouring work your colour vision may be tested.  
 
Operatives often spend long periods on their feet, and may undertake lifting and carrying work.  
 
Health and safety is important in all aspects of the work - it is essential that you follow regulations and adopt safe working practices.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Analytical Textile Technologist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Leather Craftworker - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Leather Technologist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Pattern Cutter - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Pattern Grader - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Technical Textiles Designer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Textile Operative - from:  N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Textile Technologist - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: British Textile Machinery Association (BTMA)
  Address: Mount Pleasant, Glazebrook Lane, Glazebrook, Warrington WA3 5BN, UK
  Tel: +44 (0)161 775 5740
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Oil and Colour Chemistry Association (OCCA)
  Address: Priory House, 967 Harrow Road, Wembley, HAO, 2SF, UK
  Tel: +44 (0)208 908 1086
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Irish Clothing and Textile Alliance (ICATA)
  Address: Confederation House, 84-86 Lower Baggot St., Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 605 1529/1580
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

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Organisation: Design & Craft Council of Ireland
  Address: Castle Yard, Kilkenny
  Tel: (056) 77 61804
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

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Career Guidance

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Art, Craft & Design

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