Material Cutter

Material Cutters are responsible for cutting components from textile materials to produce sewn products. They work to given instructions and quality standards, using specialist-cutting equipment.

What would you do?

Material Cutters can work with a wide range of materials to product a variety of products from clothing and fashion items to leather goods, soft furnishing, knitwear, and marine textiles. They can work alone or as part of team. They supply the production floor with the components they need to make the product and perform a highly valued and fundamental part of manufacturing process.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Picking, spreading and cutting of materials
  • Lay planning to ensure efficient use of materials
  • Working with a variety of materials and specialist cutting equipment
  • Bundling and labelling cut components

Where would you work?

Material Cutters can be employed by large, medium, small or micro size textiles business. They can be based in a design studio, workshop or in a factory cutting room, depending on the size of the business.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

  • A materials cutters starting salary is on average is £12,000-£14,000 per year.
  • An experienced material cutters salary is on average is £18,000-£24,700 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 or piece rate in order to meet deadlines.

    Apprenticeships: Employers, by law, must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many fashion and textiles employers supplement this rate of pay.

    Will you need qualifications or training?

    Experience is preferred, however employers are keen to train new sewing machinist 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 Material Cutters Apprenticeship which will be available from March 2020.
    Qualifications relating to the Sewing machinist are available via ABC Awards, City & Guilds, Pearson, SQA and UAL

    What are the career prospects?

    Experience could lead to a Cutting Room Manager, team leader, supervisory role, or a career in staff training, product technology.

    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 £9.1BN, add the wide fashion sector this increases to £28.1BN sector – 4.7% of the total UK economy.

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    Where can you find job vacancies?

    Vacancies are advertised across the UK with concentration in London, the Northwest, West Yorkshire and the Midlands. Check out the latest vacancies on the site below:

    Total Jobs
    Drapers Jobs

    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 (England). For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site. (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales)

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