The people that produce fiber, upholstery, and cloth are called textile workers. These professionals take these items and make them into products we use everyday. Sheets, clothes, towels, and all other cloth products are made from textiles.
There are many occupations that are involved in textile process. Those that work the heavy machines, and those workers that work with the fibers and cloth are all a part of the process. During the textile process, some workers must clean the fibers and fabrics. Other workers must press the fabrics to make sure that the material is ready for processing. Each step is critical to the success of the next. Many companies cross train employees to make the team more effective and productive. This also helps with motivation and morale of the employees.
Textile, Apparel and Furnishings Job Responsibilities
Moreover, those that work in apparel jobs primarily are found in manufacturing. They perform highly specialized jobs that contribute to the production of large numbers of garments. Pattern makers are a part of the apparel occupation. They take a designers original creation and converts it into a pattern. They create individual pieces that can be laid out on fabric, and the worker then uses a computer to draw in designs and details. They then adjust the fabric for different sizes. They are careful to determine the best positioning of the pattern to minimize the waste of fabric. When the pattern is completed, the garment can then be produced in large quantities.
Before the garment can be produced, the fibers must be prepared for processing. The process of producing textiles involves taking liquid materials and feeding them through a machine. The machine presses out the finished product. Next, the textile must be dyed or bleached before proceeding to the next step. When the material has been turned into yarn, the next step is producing fabric. Textile knitting and weaving machines take the fiber and produce the fabric from this material. There are many different types of machines that perform these tasks. Workers must repair breaks in the fiber or yarn, or sometimes the workers will have to feed more material into the machine. Sewing machine operators sew the fabric together and add zippers, buttons, and other items to the garment. Specialty work may have to be hand sewn on the garment.
The work environment for a textile and apparel factory involves lots of machinery and noise. Workers should be prepared to stand for long periods of time. The work week for them is anywhere from 35 to 40 hours per week. They normally work five days a week. Sewing areas are noisy. Pattern making areas are quieter than other areas. Upholstery involves making materials for furnishings. The fiber is prepared and then the fabric is made. Workers then go on to produce furnishings with the materials.
Textile, Apparel and Furnishings Training and Education Requirements
The majority of workers in the textile industry may have less than a high school diploma. Those that do have some vocational or technical training can advance more quickly in this industry. Many advance into supervisory roles in the textile industry. New workers are trained by more experienced workers. The tasks start out simple and then become more difficult as the worker gains more experience.
Tailors, dressmakers, and sewers often have experience in the industry. Community colleges offer vocational programs that teach these skills. It is important for those who work in this industry to have good hand to eye coordination. The tasks are repetitive and involve standing or sitting for long periods of time. Cross training is a popular trend in textile and apparel professions. Workers take longer to learn, but the end result is a more thoroughly trained worker.
Textile, Apparel and Furnishings Salary and Wages
The salaries for workers in the textile, apparel, and furnishings industries vary according to the specific occupation. The fabric and pattern makers average around $18.00 per hour. The machine setters average around $14.00 per hour. The hourly salary ranges from as low as $9.00 per hour to $18.00 or more per hour. There are so many different jobs within the industry.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Textile, Apparel and Furnishing Certifications
Certification is not usually needed for a career in textiles, apparel, and furnishings. Workers just learn the skills on the job. Experienced workers train the new hires. They do not require any certification to become promoted. Advanced education can contribute to being promoted more quickly.
Textile, Apparel and Furnishing Professional Associations
The International Textile and Apparel Association is an organization that brings together textile and apparel workers from around the world. Members have the ability to join with others to network and continue learning. Also, this organization sets standards for the industry. There are many professional associations throughout the world. This organization is made up of workers, scholars, and students. This group can come together to share ideas about the textile and apparel industry. Advancements and new developments are shared in seminars and training classes. There is constantly new things being introduced into the profession, and it is important for professionals to keep up with the new technologies.