A textile operative works in a technical or clothing textile factory, operating the machinery used to make yarn, fabric and other textiles.
You could be:
using machinery (often computerised) to prepare raw fibre (natural or synthetic)
overseeing more than one machine at a time
loading the fibre to be turned into yarn into machinery to clean, comb and twist it
using a machine to spin the raw material into yarn
using a machine to weave the yarn into fabric
using machinery to finish the fabric by colouring it, printing on to it or giving it special treatments to make it heat, crease or stain resistant, for example
producing technical textiles for use in other industries, such as construction or automotive
keeping production areas clean and tidy.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting pay is often based on the National Minimum Wage (NMW) or the National Living Wage (NLW).
As of 1 April 2023 the National Minimum Wage is £5.28 an hour for workers under 18, £7.49 an hour for workers aged 18 to 20 and £10.18 an hour for workers aged 21 to 22. The National Living Wage for those aged 23 and over is £10.42 an hour. With experience hourly rates can be more.
You may be able to increase your take home pay through piecework (when you are paid for what you produce) and bonus schemes.
You would usually be based in a factory warehouse environment.
The work involves a lot of bending and stretching.
It may be warm, humid and dusty, though most modern factories have good ventilation and dust extraction systems.
Machinery can be noisy.
You wear protective clothing such as overalls, masks and ear protectors.
You may work shifts, including nights, and sometimes overtime.