Fashion and Clothing Industry Job Descriptions
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Learn about fashion jobs from the Fashion Job Descriptions by Category guide.

Apparel Workers

Apparel Manufacturer

Apparel Merchandisers

Buying Agents

Cutters

Fashion Designers

Laundry and Dry Cleaning Workers

Merchandise Displayers / Window Dressers / Visual Merchandising

Pattern Makers

Photographers - Fashion & Glamour

Pressers

Production Management / Engineering

Retailers - clothes

Set and Exhibit Designers

Sewing Machine Operators

Shoe & Leather Workers

Textile Bleaching & Dyeing Machine Operators

Textile Machine Operators

Writers and Editor Job Descriptions
 

Apparel workers. Apparel workers cut fabric and other materials and sew it into clothing and related products. Workers in a variety of occupations fall under the heading of apparel workers. Tailors, dressmakers, and sewers make custom clothing and alter and repair garments for individuals. However, workers in most apparel occupations are found in manufacturing, performing specialized tasks in the production of large numbers of garments that are shipped to retail establishments for sale to the public.

Working conditions vary by establishment and by occupation. In manufacturing, machinery in textile mills often is noisy, as are areas in which sewing and pressing are performed in apparel factories; patternmaking and spreading areas tend to be much quieter. Many older factories are cluttered, hot, and poorly lit and ventilated, but more modern facilities usually have more workspace and are well lit and ventilated. Textile machinery operators use protective glasses and masks that cover their noses and mouths to protect against airborne materials. Many machines operate at high speeds, and textile machinery workers must be careful not to wear clothing or jewelry that could get caught in moving parts. In addition, extruding and forming machine operators wear protective shoes and clothing when working with certain chemical compounds.

Work in apparel production can be physically demanding. Some workers sit for long periods, and others spend many hours on their feet, leaning over tables and operating machinery. Operators must be attentive while running sewing machines, pressers, automated cutters, and the like. A few workers wear protective devices such as gloves. In some instances, new machinery and production techniques have decreased the physical demands upon workers.  For example, newer pressing machines are operated by foot pedals or computer controls and do not require much strength to operate them.

Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates for Jobs in textile, apparel, and furnishings occupations. Entrants with postsecondary vocational training or previous work experience in apparel production usually have a better chance of getting a job and advancing to a supervisory position. Regardless of the setting, workers usually begin by performing simple tasks.

In manufacturing, textile and apparel workers need good hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, physical stamina, and the ability to perform repetitive tasks for long periods. Machine operators usually are trained on the job by more experienced employees or by machinery manufacturers representatives. As they gain experience, these workers are assigned more difficult operations. Further advancement is limited, however. Some production workers may become first-line supervisors, but most can advance only to more skilled operator jobs. As machinery in the industry continues to become more complex, knowledge of the basics of computers and electronics will increasingly be an asset. In addition, the trends toward cross-training of operators and working in teams will increase the time needed to become fully trained on all machines and require interpersonal skills to work effectively with others.

Retailers prefer to hire custom tailors, dressmakers, and sewers with previous experience in apparel manufacture, design, or alteration. Knowledge of fabrics, design, and construction is very important. Custom tailors sometimes learn these skills through courses in high school or a community college. A few private schools and colleges offer advanced training in sewing, draping, patternmaking, and design. Some experienced custom tailors open their own tailoring shop. Custom tailoring is a highly competitive field, however, and training in small-business operations can mean the difference between success and failure. Although laundries and drycleaners prefer entrants with previous work experience, they routinely hire inexperienced workers.

Precision shoe and leather workers and repairers generally learn their skills on the job. Manual dexterity and the mechanical aptitude to work with handtools and machines are important in shoe repair and leatherworking. Shoe and leather workers who produce custom goods should have artistic ability as well. Beginners start as helpers for experienced workers, but, in manufacturing, they may attend more formal in-house training programs. Beginners gradually take on more tasks until they are fully qualified workers, a process that takes about 2 years in an apprenticeship program or as a helper in a shop. In a vocational training program, it can take 6 months to a year. Learning to make saddles takes longer. Shoe repairers need to keep their skills up to date in order to work with the rapidly changing footwear styles and materials. Some do this by attending trade shows, while others attend specialized training seminars and workshops in custom shoe making, shoe repair, and other leatherwork sponsored by associations. Skilled workers who produce and modify prescription footwear may become certified as pedorthists by the Pedorthic Footwear Association after completing 120 hours of training and passing an examination. Some in the shoe and leather working occupations begin as workers or repairers and advance to salaried supervisory and managerial positions. Some open their own shop, but knowledge of business practices and management and a pleasant manner when dealing with customers are needed to stay in business.

Employment in the domestic textile and apparel industries has declined in recent years as foreign producers have gained a greater share of the U.S. market. Domestic production especially of apparel will continue to move abroad, and imports to the U.S. market will increase. Declines in U.S. apparel production will cause reductions in domestic textile production because the apparel industry is the largest consumer of American-made textiles. Fierce competition in the market for apparel will keep domestic apparel and textile firms under intense pressure to cut costs and produce more with fewer workers.

The textile industry already is highly automated, but it will continue to seek to increase worker productivity through the introduction of laborsaving machinery and the invention of new fibers and fabrics that reduce production costs. Despite advances in technology, the apparel industry has had difficulty employing automated equipment extensively due to the soft properties of textile products. The industry produces a wide variety of apparel items that change frequently with changes in style and season. Technological developments, such as computer-aided marking and grading, computer-controlled cutters, semiautomatic sewing and pressing machines, and automated material-handling systems have increased output while reducing the need for some workers in larger firms. However, assembly and sewing continues to be the most labor-intensive step in the production of apparel, and increasing numbers of sewing machine operator jobs are expected to be lost to lower wage workers abroad. Still, improvements in productivity will allow many of the presewing functions of design, patternmaking, marking, and cutting to continue be done domestically, and employment of workers who perform these functions will not be as adversely affected.

Outside of the manufacturing sector, tailors, dressmakers, and sewers the most skilled apparel workers also are expected to experience declining employment. Demand for their services will continue to lessen as consumers become increasingly likely to buy new, mass-produced apparel instead of purchasing custom-made apparel or having clothes altered or repaired.

cutters  Before sewing can begin, pattern pieces must be made, layouts determined, and fabric cut.  In less automated companies, cutters may use electric knives or cutting machines to cut pattern pieces. In more automated facilities, markers electronically send the layout to a computer-controlled cutting machine, and textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders monitor the machine's work.  Cutters and trimmers take the patterns and cut out material, paying close attention to their work because mistakes are costly. Following the outline of the pattern, they place multiple layers of material on the cutting table and use an electric knife or other cutting tools to cut out the various pieces of the garment; delicate materials may be cut by hand. In some companies, computer-controlled machines do the cutting.   Most production workers are trained on the job. Although a high school diploma is not required, some employers prefer it. Basic math and computer skills are important for computer-controlled machine operators.   Cutters and pressers are trained on the job, while patternmakers and markers usually have technical or trade school training. All of these workers must understand textile characteristics and have a good sense of three-dimensional space. Traditional cutters need exceptional hand-eye coordination. Computers are becoming a standard tool for these occupations because patternmakers and markers increasingly design pattern pieces and layouts on a computer screen. New entrants seeking these jobs should learn basic computer skills. Those running automatic cutting machines could need technical training, which is available from vocational schools. 
 
Fashion Designers are the artists of the apparel industry.  They create ideas for a range of products including coats, suits, dresses, hats, and underwear.   Fashion designers design clothing and accessories. Some high-fashion designers are self-employed and design for individual clients. Other high-fashion designers cater to specialty stores or high-fashion department stores. These designers create original garments, as well as clothing that follows established fashion trends. Most fashion designers, however, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men's, women's, and children's fashions for the mass market.  Fashion designers begin the process by making rough sketches of garments or accessories, often using computer-assisted design (CAD) software. This software prints detailed designs from a computer drawing. It can also store fashion styles and colors that can be accessed and easily changed. Designers then create the pattern pieces that will be used to construct the finished garment. They measure and draw pattern pieces to actual size on paper. Then, they use these pieces to measure and cut pattern pieces in a sample fabric. Designers sew the pieces together and fit them on a model. They examine the sample garment and make changes until they get the effect they want. Some designers use assistants to cut and sew pattern pieces to their specifications.   Designers need a good sense of color, texture, and style. In addition, they must understand the construction and characteristics of specific fabrics, such as durability and stiffness. Many employers seek designers who know how to use computer-assisted design. This specialized training usually is obtained through a university or design school that offers 4-year or 2-year degrees in art, fine art, or fashion design. Many schools do not allow entry into a bachelor's degree program until a student has completed a year of basic art and design courses. Applicants may be required to submit drawings and other examples of their artistic ability. Formal training is also available in 2- and 3-year fashion design schools that award certificates or associate degrees. Graduates of 2-year programs generally qualify as assistants to designers.  Beginning designers usually receive on-the-job training. They normally need 1 to 3 years of training before they advance to higher level positions, such as assistant technical designer, pattern designer, or head designer. Sometimes fashion designers advance by moving to bigger firms. Some designers choose to move into positions in business or merchandising.  Designers employed by manufacturing establishments, large corporations, or design firms generally work regular hours in well-lighted and comfortable settings. Designers in smaller design consulting firms, or those who freelance, generally work on a contract, or job, basis. They frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients schedules and deadlines, meeting with the clients during evening or weekend hours when necessary. Consultants and self-employed designers tend to work longer hours and in smaller, more congested, environments.  Designers may transact business in their own offices or studios or in clients homes or offices. They also may travel to other locations, such as showrooms, design centers, clients exhibit sites, and manufacturing facilities. Designers who are paid by the assignment are under pressure to please clients and to find new ones in order to maintain a steady income. All designers sometimes face frustration when their designs are rejected or when their work is not as creative as they wish. With the increased speed and sophistication of computers and advanced communications networks, designers may form international design teams, serve a geographically more dispersed clientele, research design alternatives by using information on the Internet, and purchase supplies electronically, all with the aid of a computer in their workplace or studio.  Fashion designers generally worked in apparel manufacturing or wholesale distribution of apparel, piece goods, and notions.  A large proportion of designers are self-employed and do freelance work full time or part time in addition to holding a salaried job in design or in another occupation.  In fashion design, employers generally seek individuals with a 2- or 4-year degree who are knowledgeable in the areas of textiles, fabrics, and ornamentation, and about trends in the fashion world.
 
Formal training for some design professions also is available in 2- and 3-year professional schools that award certificates or associate degrees in design. Graduates of 2-year programs normally qualify as assistants to designers, or they may enter a formal bachelor's degree program. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is granted at 4-year colleges and universities. The curriculum in these schools includes art and art history, principles of design, designing and sketching, and specialized studies for each of the individual design disciplines, such as garment construction, textiles, mechanical and architectural drawing, computerized design, sculpture, architecture, and basic engineering. A liberal arts education or a program that includes training in business or project management, together with courses in merchandising, marketing, and psychology, along with training in art, is recommended for designers who want to freelance.
 
Employers increasingly expect new designers to be familiar with computer-aided design software as a design tool. Individuals in the design field must be creative, imaginative, and persistent and must be able to communicate their ideas in writing, visually, and verbally. Because tastes in style and fashion can change quickly, designers need to be well read, open to new ideas and influences, and quick to react to changing trends. Problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently and under pressure are important traits. People in this field need self-discipline to start projects on their own, to budget their time, and to meet deadlines and production schedules. Good business sense and sales ability also are important, especially for those who freelance or run their own business.

Beginning designers usually receive on-the-job training and normally need 1 to 3 years of training before they can advance to higher level positions. Experienced designers in large firms may advance to chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory positions. Some designers leave the occupation to become teachers in design schools or in colleges and universities. Many faculty members continue to consult privately or operate small design studios to complement their classroom activities. Some experienced designers open their own firms.

Laundry and drycleaning workers. Laundry and drycleaning workers clean cloth garments, linens, draperies, blankets, and other articles. They also may clean leather, suede, furs, and rugs. When necessary, they treat spots and stains on articles before laundering or drycleaning. They tend machines during cleaning and ensure that items are not lost or misplaced with those of another customer. Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials shape and remove wrinkles from items after steam pressing them or ironing them by hand. Workers then assemble each customer's items, box or bag them, and prepare an itemized bill for the customer.  Laundries and drycleaning establishments often are hot and noisy; those in retail stores, however, tend to be less noisy and more comfortable. Areas in which shoe and leather workers make or repair shoes and other leather items can be noisy, and odors from leather dyes and stains frequently are present. Workers need to pay close attention when working with machines, in order to avoid punctures, lacerations, and abrasions.
 
Merchandise displayers and window dressers, or visual merchandisers, plan and erect commercial displays, such as those in windows and interiors of retail stores or at trade exhibitions. Those who work on building exteriors erect major store decorations, including building and window displays and lights. Those who design store interiors outfit store departments, arrange table displays, and dress mannequins. In large retail chains, store layouts typically are designed corporately, through a central design department. To retain the chain's visual identity and ensure that a particular image or theme is promoted in each store, designs are distributed to individual stores by e-mail, downloaded to computers equipped with the appropriate design software, and adapted to meet the size and dimension requirements of each individual store.  Designers may transact business in their own offices or studios or in clients homes or offices. They also may travel to other locations, such as showrooms, design centers, clients exhibit sites, and manufacturing facilities. Merchandise displayers , Window Dressers and Visual Merchadisers as well as fashion designers who are paid by the assignment are under pressure to please clients and to find new ones in order to maintain a steady income. All designers sometimes face frustration when their designs are rejected or when their work is not as creative as they wish. With the increased speed and sophistication of computers and advanced communications networks, designers may form international design teams, serve a geographically more dispersed clientele, research design alternatives by using information on the Internet, and purchase supplies electronically, all with the aid of a computer in their workplace or studio.  A large proportion of designers are self-employed and do freelance work
full time or part time in addition to holding a salaried job in design or in another occupation.
 
Formal training for some design professions also is available in 2- and 3-year professional schools that award certificates or associate degrees in design. Graduates of 2-year programs normally qualify as assistants to designers, or they may enter a formal bachelor's degree program. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is granted at 4-year colleges and universities. The curriculum in these schools includes art and art history, principles of design, designing and sketching, and specialized studies for each of the individual design disciplines, such as garment construction, textiles, mechanical and architectural drawing, computerized design, sculpture, architecture, and basic engineering. A liberal arts education or a program that includes training in business or project management, together with courses in merchandising, marketing, and psychology, along with training in art, is recommended for designers who want to freelance.
 
Employers increasingly expect new designers to be familiar with computer-aided design software as a design tool.
 
patternmakers (of apparel & textiles) create the blueprint or pattern pieces for a particular apparel design. This often involves grading, or adjusting the pieces for different sized garments. Grading once was a time-consuming job, but now it is quickly completed with the aid of a computer. Markers determine the best arrangement of pattern pieces to minimize wasted fabric. Traditionally, markers judged the best arrangement of pieces by eye; today, computers quickly help to determine the best layout.  A large proportion of pattern makers are self-employed and do freelance work full time or part time in addition to holding a salaried job in design or in another occupation.  Pattern Makers convert a clothing designer's original model of a garment into a pattern of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric. After discussing the item with the designer, these skilled workers usually use a computer to outline the parts and draw in details to indicate the positions of pleats, buttonholes, and other features. (In the past, patternmakers laid out the parts on paper, using pencils and drafting instruments such as rulers.) Patternmakers then alter the size of the pieces in the pattern to produce garments of various sizes, and they may mark the fabric to show the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material.
 
Photographers - Fashion & Glamour produce and preserve images that paint a picture, tell a story, or record an event. To create commercial quality photographs, photographers need both technical expertise and creativity. Producing a successful picture requires choosing and presenting a subject to achieve a particular effect, and selecting the appropriate equipment. For example, photographers may enhance the subject's appearance with natural or artificial light, use a particular lens depending on the desired range or level of detail, or draw attention to a particular aspect of the subject by blurring the background.  Using computers and specialized software, photographers also can manipulate and enhance the scanned or digital image to create a desired effect. Images can be stored on portable memory devices including compact disks (CDs) or on new types of smaller mini pocket storage devices such as flash disks, which are small memory cards used in digital cameras. Digital technology also allows the production of larger, more colorful, and more accurate prints or images for use in advertising, photographic art, and scientific research. Some photographers use this technology to create electronic portfolios as well. Because much photography now involves the use of computer technology, photographers must have hands-on knowledge of computer editing software.  Photographers may start out as assistants to experienced photographers. Assistants learn to mix chemicals, develop film, and print photographs, and acquire the other skills necessary to run a portrait or commercial photography business. Freelance photographers also should develop an individual style of photography in order to differentiate themselves from the competition. Some photographers enter the field by submitting unsolicited photographs to magazines and to art directors at advertising agencies. For freelance photographers, a good portfolio of their work is critical.  Photographers need good eyesight, artistic ability, and good hand-eye coordination. They should be patient, accurate, and detail-oriented. Photographers should be able to work well with others, as they frequently deal with clients, graphic designers, or advertising and publishing specialists. Increasingly, photographers need to know how to use computer software programs and applications that allow them to prepare and edit images.  Photographers who operate their own businesses, or freelance, need business skills as well as talent. These individuals must know how to prepare a business plan; submit bids; write contracts; market their work; hire models, if needed; get permission to shoot on locations that normally are not open to the public; obtain releases to use photographs of people; license and price photographs; secure copyright protection for their work; and keep financial records. Knowledge of licensing and copyright laws as well as contract negotiation procedures is especially important for self-employed photographers, in order to protect their rights and their work.  Photographers can expect keen competition for job openings because the work is attractive to many people. The number of individuals interested in positions as commercial and news photographers usually is much greater than the number of openings. Those who succeed in landing a salaried job or attracting enough work to earn a living by freelancing are likely to be the most creative, able to adapt to rapidly changing technologies, and adept at operating a business. Related work experience, job-related training, or some unique skill or talent'such as a background in computers or electronics
also are beneficial to prospective photographers.
 
Pressers receive a garment after it has been assembled. Pressers eliminate wrinkles and give shape to finished products. Most pressers use specially formed, foot-controlled pressing machines to perform their duties. Some pressing machines now have the steam and pressure controlled by computers. Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers inspect the finished product to ensure consistency and quality.    Most production workers are trained on the job. Although a high school diploma is not required, some employers prefer it. Basic math and computer skills are important for computer-controlled machine operators.   Cutters and pressers are trained on the job, while patternmakers and markers usually have technical or trade school training. All of these workers must understand textile characteristics and have a good sense of three-dimensional space. Traditional cutters need exceptional hand-eye coordination. Computers are becoming a standard tool for these occupations because patternmakers and markers increasingly design pattern pieces and layouts on a computer screen. New entrants seeking these jobs should learn basic computer skills. Those running automatic cutting machines could need technical training, which is available from vocational schools.
 
Production Management / Engineering  Those interested in engineering or production management need a bachelor's degree.  Degrees in mechanical, chemical, or industrial engineering are common, but employers may also accept degrees in related studies. A few programs offer concentrations in apparel and textile production that focus on the unique characteristics and issues associated with apparel production. Universities offering these specializations generally are found in the South and Northeast.
 
Set and exhibit designers typically this job functuion is in regard to movies, theater or TV.  However, exhibit designers play a big part in the Apparel Industry as well.  Exhibits, booths and sets are created at fashion shows, and clothing industry trade shows around the world.  Set and exhibit designers create sets for movie, television, and theater productions and design special exhibition displays. Set designers study scripts, confer with directors and other designers, and conduct research to determine the historical period, fashion, and architectural styles appropriate for the production on which they work. They then produce sketches or scale models to guide in the construction of the actual sets or exhibit spaces. Exhibit designers work with curators, art and museum directors, and trade-show sponsors to determine the most effective use of available space.  Set Designers employed by manufacturing establishments, large corporations, or design firms generally work regular hours in well-lighted and comfortable settings. Designers in smaller design consulting firms, or those who freelance, generally work on a contract, or job, basis. They frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients schedules and deadlines, meeting with the clients during evening or weekend hours when necessary. Consultants and self-employed designers tend to work longer hours and in smaller, more congested, environments.  Designers may transact business in their own offices or studios or in clients homes or offices. They also may travel to other locations, such as showrooms, design centers, clients exhibit sites, and manufacturing facilities. Designers who are paid by the assignment are under pressure to please clients and to find new ones in order to maintain a steady income. All designers sometimes face frustration when their designs are rejected or when their work is not as creative as they wish. With the increased speed and sophistication of computers and advanced communications networks, designers may form international design teams, serve a geographically more dispersed clientele, research design alternatives by using information on the Internet, and purchase supplies electronically, all with the aid of a computer in their workplace or studio.  A large proportion of designers are self-employed and do freelance work full time or part time in addition to holding a salaried job in design or in another occupation.  Set and exhibit designers typically have college degrees in design. A Master of Fine Arts degree from an accredited university program further establishes one's design credentials. For set designers, membership in the United Scenic Artists, Local 829, is recognized nationally as the attainment of professional standing in the field.

Formal training for some design professions also is available in 2- and 3-year professional schools that award certificates or associate degrees in design. Graduates of 2-year programs normally qualify as assistants to designers, or they may enter a formal bachelor's degree program. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is granted at 4-year colleges and universities. The curriculum in these schools includes art and art history, principles of design, designing and sketching, and specialized studies for each of the individual design disciplines, such as garment construction, textiles, mechanical and architectural drawing, computerized design, sculpture, architecture, and basic engineering. A liberal arts education or a program that includes training in business or project management, together with courses in merchandising, marketing, and psychology, along with training in art, is recommended for designers who want to freelance.  Employers increasingly expect new designers to be familiar with computer-aided design software as a design tool.

Sewing machine operators assemble or finish clothes. Sewers join the parts of a garment together, reinforce seams, and attach buttons, hooks, zippers, and accessories to produce clothing.   After the product is sewn, other workers remove lint and loose threads and inspect and package the garments. Most sewing functions are specialized and require the operator to receive specific training. Although operators specialize in one function, the trend toward cross-training requires them to broaden their skills. Team assemblers perform all of the assembly tasks assigned to their team, rotating through the different tasks, rather than specializing in a single task. They also may decide how the work is to be assigned and how different tasks are to be performed.  Sewing machine operators must have good hand-eye coordination and dexterity, as well as an understanding of textile fabrics.  They normally are trained on the job for a period of several weeks to several months, depending on their previous experience and the function for which they are training. Operators usually begin by performing simple tasks, working their way up to more difficult assemblies and fabrics as they gain experience.   Advancement for sewing machine operators, however, is limited. Advancement often takes the form of higher wages as workers become more experienced. Experienced operators who have good people and organization skills may become supervisors. Operators with a high school diploma and some vocational school training have more chances for advancement.  Sewing machine operators are paid on a piecework basis determined by the quantity of goods they produce. Many companies are changing to incentive systems based on group performance that consider both the quantity and quality of the goods produced. A few companies pay production workers a salary.
 
Shoe and leather workers. Shoe and leather workers are employed either in manufacturing or in personal services. In shoe manufacturing, shoe machine operators and tenders operate a variety of specialized machines that perform cutting, joining, and finishing functions. In personal services, shoe and leather workers and repairers perform a variety of repairs and custom leatherwork for members of the general public. They construct, decorate, or repair shoes, belts, purses, saddles, luggage, and other leather products. They also may repair some products made of canvas or plastic. When making custom shoes or modifying existing footwear for people with foot problems or special needs, shoe and leather workers and repairers cut pieces of leather, shape them over a form shaped like a foot, and sew them together. They then attach soles and heels, using sewing machines or cement and nails. They also dye and polish the items, utilizing a buffing wheel for a smooth surface and lustrous shine. When making luggage, they fasten leather to a frame and attach handles and other hardware. They also cut and secure linings inside the frames and sew or stamp designs onto the exterior of the luggage. In addition to performing all of the preceding steps, saddle makers often apply leather dyes and liquid topcoats to produce a glossy finish on a saddle. They also may decorate the surface of the saddle by hand stitching or by stamping the leather with decorative patterns and designs. Shoe and leather workers and repairers who own their own shops keep records and supervise other workers.
 
Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators control machines that wash, bleach, or dye either yarn or finished fabrics and other products. Textile knitting and weaving machine operators put the yarn on machines that weave, knit, loop, or tuft it into a product. Woven fabrics are used to make apparel and other goods, while some knitted products (such as hosiery) and tufted products (such as carpeting) emerge in near-finished form. Different types of machines are used for these processes, but operators perform similar tasks, repairing breaks in the yarn and monitoring the yarn supply, while tending many machines at once. Textile cutting machine operators trim the fabric into various widths and lengths, depending on its intended use.
 
Textile machine operators. Textile machine operators run machines that make textile products from fibers. Textiles are the basis of towels, bed linens, hosiery and socks, and nearly all clothing, but they also are a key ingredient of products ranging from roofing to tires. The first step in manufacturing textiles is preparing the natural or synthetic fibers. Extruding and forming machine operators, synthetic and glass fibers set up and operate machines that extrude or force liquid synthetic material such as rayon, fiberglass, or liquid polymers out through small holes and draw out filaments. Other operators put natural fibers such as cotton, wool, flax, or hemp through carding and combing machines that clean and align them into short lengths called 'sliver. When sliver is produced, different types of natural fibers and synthetics filaments may be combined to give the product a desired texture, durability, or other characteristics. Textile winding, twisting, and drawing-out machine operators take the sliver and draw out, twist, and wind it to produce yarn, taking care to repair any breaks.
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Learn about more career resources at our Fashion Jobs and Clothing Industry Employment Agencies sections.


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