Garment Technologist Roles Explained: Part 3 – A Manufactures' Technologist

A Manufactures' Garment Technologist

A manufactures’ garment technologist works in the production of garment within the factory environment, usually in the company’s on site sample room or production office.

You will be involved in choosing an appropriate fabric and design and construction methods so the garment can be produced to customer standards and within budget. You will work closely with design teams and textile suppliers in translating these designs into viable production

You will work alongside pattern graders to oversee the sizing, fit and testing of the pre-production garments and samples.

To work for a manufacturer you need to understand manufacturing processes, work flow and have a thorough knowledge of textile properties and garment components. You need to be a team player and be able to work under pressure and to tight deadlines especially in fast fashion where the turnaround on product is critical.

You will manage faults and returns and will need to understand legislation and testing.

There is often an opportunity to work offshore in the suppliers or manufacturer’s office.

A sample job advert for a Manufacturers’ Garment Technician:

Streetlife Footwear is seeking a technical footwear manager to ensure that all product is sourced and manufactured to the highest standards.  The successful candidate will work with factories to improve the manufacturing and durability of all footwear product and ensure it meets clients’ expectations and standards.China, £55 + package and relocation.

Key areas of responsibility include:

  • Providing technical expertise and quality control relating to the development and manufacture of products & packaging to achieve standards of relevant legislation.
  • Liaising with suppliers to ensure that all new products are developed within agreed technical standards.
  • Ensure that all procedures, practices and disciplines, set by the Client are adhered to.
  • Evaluating new or raw material and components plus provide expertise on manufacturing new products and improving current product.
  • Monitoring the rate of RTMs ( Return to manufacturer) and AQL performance and ensure the manufacturing rejects are kept to a minimum.

The candidate will have:

  • Relevant and adequate experience in footwear manufacturing.
  • Experience in Far East manufacturing
  • Excellent Computer skills with the ability to use Excel, Word and PowerPoint
  • The ability to learn new business IT systems.
  • The ability to make decisions and provide expertise.
  • Good communication skills.
  • The ability to be a team player and build productive working relationships.

Your life and career prospects as a garment technologist:

You can expect to start your career on a salary of around £18-20K as a junior or assistant tech, but will earn £50-55K as an experienced technologist so it’s definitely a career with good earning potential. Technical Managers can earn up to £75K  + benefits.

 Your job is likely to be office based or could be in a design studio. You will visit factories and textile merchants. Overseas travel is commonplace and foreign language skills are always desirable.

 Once you have a few years’ experience under your belt, you can choose to work in a permanent role or go freelance and work in temporary roles so there is some flexibility should your career goals change.

Sally Blaxall and Kate Berry, who were both originally garment technologists working for large retail brands:

 “Working as a garment technologist in whichever capacity you choose is a fantastic career choice. A Garment technologists’ role involves constant change and plenty of challenges. It is fast-paced as fashion moves on every season, so there are always lots of industry developments and new projects evolving all the time. It involves a unique combination of artistry and technical skill. The world is truly your oyster with opportunities to travel and work abroad and experience global and emerging markets. It’s a high profile career choice at the moment with ethical and environmental campaigns within the industry and social pressures to create more sustainable fashion.”

You can also read this article on FashionUnited