A Carder is involved in the process of manufacturing textiles, producing yarn and ensuring it meets the quality and weight requirements. They need to be able to follow set procedures and have strong practical skills and technical ability

What would you do?

A Carder operates and maintains a carding machine to produce yarn. The process involves feeding the machines with raw fibres of different types of wool, known as a ‘blend’. The machine separates, untangles and cleans the fibres. At the end of the process the fibres are combined to form loose strands of soft yarns, which are wound onto bobbins, ready for spinning. The Carder is also responsible for checking the weight and quality of the yarn.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Setting up and monitoring the carding machinery
  • Selecting and inputting raw materials
  • Monitoring the process and recording defects
  • Weighing yarn and quality checks

Where would you work?

Medium or small textile manufacturing businesses typically employ Carders. The job is usually based in the production area of a factory or workshop. The textile-manufacturing environment is typically well light and well ventilated, but can get very noisy and ear protection is required.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

  • A Textile Carder starting salary on average is £12,000-£14,000 per year
  • An experienced Textile Carder salary on average is £16,700-£22,000 per year.

Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include, pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime, bonuses in order to meet deadlines.

Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeships (including Carder): Employers, by law must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many textile employers supplement this rate of pay.

Will you need qualifications or training?

Experienced is preferred, however employers are keen to train new textile manufacturing operatives and qualifications are not required. Training is delivered on-the-job, either on the production floor or in a training section. Employers may also register new trainees onto the Level 2 Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship

Qualifications relating to the Textile manufacturing operative are available via ABC Awards, City & Guilds, SQA and Pearson

What are the career prospects?

With experience and training, you could progress into other textile manufacturing roles, machine maintenance, quality control or a textile technician position. Or move into technical management, textile technology, supervisory or staff training.

How secure is the future of this career?

The UK’s world-class textile manufacture base is growing, thriving and continually investing. Sector employment continues to grow steadily from 97,000 in 2011 to 108,000 in 2016, with an added 19,500 self employed and research estimates the creation of 20,000 new jobs by 2020.
The number of UK textile & apparel manufacturing businesses has increased annually from 7190 in 2013 to 8075 in 2017 with forecast of further growth.
Textile goods exported across the globe continues to grow with export increases recorded at £250M in March 2016 to £273M in March 2017
UK Fashion & textile manufacture covers traditional craft to technical textiles and has a production value of £9.1 BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1 BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.

Where can you find job vacancies?

Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in the Northwest, Yorkshire, Scotland and the Midlands. This role may be found under a different job title such as Textile Operative or Textile Manufacturer. Check out the latest vacancies sites below:

Total Jobs
Drapers Jobs

Textile Manufacturing Operative Apprenticeship vacancies:

Some apprenticeship vacancies are ‘open to application’. With details on how to apply within the job vacancy details, these can be found on the job sites listed above. Apprenticeship vacancies can also be found via the Find an Apprenticeship’ Service. For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site apprenticeships –in-the-uk (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) (England)

The websites above are external and the number of job vacancies may vary. Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!


See websites associated to the Beamer job role below:

The Textile Institute
The Lancashire Textile Association
The Textile Society