Job type

Textile operative

£16k - £24k

Typical salary

25 – 43

Hours per week

Textile operatives spin natural and synthetic material into yarns and fabrics for use in clothing, furnishings and industrial products.

More info

  • A practical role using machinery to spin natural and synthetic material into yarns/fabrics
  • You'll need a methodical approach & the ability to concentrate for long periods
  • You could move into machine maintenance, quality control, or a supervisory role

As a textile operative you'll normally work on computerised machinery to produce the fibres which go into products like carpets, clothing and furnishings. You might also produce technical textiles like roofing, medical dressings or vehicle upholstery.


  • Dyeing, finishing and printing
  • Fabric production, which involves knitting, weaving or looping threads together preparing fibres - making sure they are combed, cleaned and twisted into yarns
  • Spinning fibres and winding them onto bobbins or cones
  • Treating fabrics to make them stain or crease resistant


Textile factories are light and well ventilated but can get very noisy, and you'll spend most of your time standing, operating the machines in the production area. In some jobs you'll need to wear protective clothing.

You'll need

There are no set entry requirements, but you'll need colour-normal vision and you'll need a methodical approach, practical skills, the ability to concentrate for long periods on repetitive tasks.

The best way to get into this career is to apply directly to factories where you'll be trained on the job.

You could take a textile course at college, but this isn't essential. Relevant courses include Level 1 Certificate in Textiles, and Level 2 Certificate in Fashion and Textiles.

You may also be able to start by doing a textile manufacturing operative intermediate apprenticeship.


With experience and training, you could move into a machine maintenance, quality control or technician role, or a supervisory role like shift manager or trainer.