- A technical role creating new dyes to colour fibres and fabrics
- You'll need to understand how chemicals work in the dyeing process
- You could move into research and development or quality control, or different areas like food and drink
You'll create dyes for natural and synthetic textiles using chemicals and/or natural materials.
- Creating a chemical 'recipe' for the right colour
- Testing a sample dye
- Producing a final formula to use in manufacturing
- Mixing batches of dye
- Working out the right dyeing method and temperature
- Recommending special finishes
- Keeping records
You may work shifts if you work in a factory environment, or you may work in a dye house or the laboratory of a specialist dyeing company. Conditions may be hot and humid, although modern dye houses have ventilation. You'll wear protective clothing.
You'll need to develop the ability to understand how chemicals work in the dyeing process, accuracy to produce the right colour dye, IT skills.
To get started you could do a foundation degree, HND or degree, in a subject like chemistry, textile technology, or chemical engineering.
Or you could do a college course, which may help you to get a job as a trainee dyeing technician. Courses include a Level 3 Diploma In Textile Design and Manufacture, A level Chemistry, or a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science.
Apprenticeships are another good route in. You could start by doing a fashion and textiles advanced apprenticeship before specialising in dyeing and colour technology. Or, you could apply for a technical dyer and colourist higher apprenticeship.
Alternatively, you could train with the Society of Dyers and Colourists, who offer courses from introductory level to advanced. You'll usually need to be working in textiles production or research to do the more advanced courses.
You will usually be expected to have good eyesight and colour-normal vision.
With experience, you could move into research and development, quality control or management. In technical sales you'd act as a link between dye suppliers and textile manufacturers. You could also transfer to different areas of manufacturing that also use dye technology, like food and drink.