Textile Process Operator Kaimahi Kaka-aku

Textile process operators carry out a variety of tasks in the production of materials such as fabric, canvas, yarn and carpet.

Textile process operators may do some or all of the following:

  • weave or knit fabrics, clothes and carpets
  • operate the machinery used to make textiles
  • wash and blend wool, yarn or cloth
  • check the quality of products
  • spin wool or other fibres to make yarn
  • dye or bleach materials
  • glue or weld fabric together
  • press, stretch or waterproof materials.

Physical Requirements

Textile process operators need to be reasonably fit and strong and have good hand-eye co-ordination.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for textile process operators includes:

  • factory work
  • mechanical engineering work
  • sewing experience.

Personal Qualities

Textile process operators need to be:

  • able to follow instructions  
  • accurate and careful
  • patient
  • quick and alert 
  • able to work well in a team
  • responsible 
  • practical.


Textile process operators need to have knowledge of:

  • textiles and the products being made
  • welding, weaving, sewing and knitting methods
  • safety regulations 
  • quality control methods 
  • how to maintain and operate machinery.


Textile process operators:

  • usually work regular hours, but may sometimes work overtime
  • work in factories in conditions that may be hazardous or noisy.

Textile Process Operators can earn around $23-$24 per hour.

Pay for textile process operators varies depending on experience.

New textile process operators usually start on minimum wage or a little more.

Experienced textile process operators can earn up to $24 an hour. 

Source: careers.govt.nz research, 2018.

Textile process operators may progress to work in design or product development, or move into management roles.

Textile process operators may specialise in:

  • carding
  • carpet making
  • dyeing and finishing
  • knitting
  • machine setting
  • tufting
  • welding.

Years Of Training

<1 year of training usually required.

There are no specific requirements to become a textile process operator, as you gain skills on the job.

Textile process operators may complete Level 4 or Level 5 New Zealand Certificates in Dyeing and Finishing, Textile Machine Setting, Textile Manufacturing and Industrial Textile Fabrication while working.

Textile Process Operator