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 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.