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Textile Care Operative (Dry Cleaning)

A Textile Care Operative working in dry cleaning uses specialist cleaning techniques and processes involving chemicals and steam, to clean textile items that are too delicate to wash. They must be able to deal with customers and be self-motivated.

What would you do?

Dry-cleaning work often takes place in a small high-street shop, which has the equipment on site. This may be warm and space may be limited. Uniforms may be provided and protective clothing is required for some of the processes.

As the work involves the use of solvents and chemicals, it may not be suitable for those with lung and chest complaints. The work can be physically demanding and workers spend much of their time on their feet.

A textile operative working in dry-cleaning does not use standard washing methods. They are trusted to clean valued items such as wool suits, leather apparel, bridal wear, beaded or embroidered dresses.

They work with different solvents that require specialist safety precautions and often interact with customers making cleaning recommendations.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Trouble shoot stubborn stains and recommend the removal process
  • Track and labels incoming and out going items
  • Implement the ‘spotting’ process followed by dry cleaning the entire garment
  • Press and pack cleaned items ready for collection.

Where would you work?

A large dry cleaning chain or independent local businesses servicing the general public may employ a Dry Cleaning Textile Care Operative. Many dry cleaning businesses are open six or seven days a week. This may include nights, evenings and weekends. Part-time work and overtime are commonly available.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

  • Textile Care Operative starting salary on average is £10,500-£12,000 per year
  • An experienced Textile Care Operative salary on average is £18,700-£24,000 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 Care Operative Apprenticeships: Employers, by law, must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many textile employers supplement this rate of pay. www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

Will you need qualifications or training?

Training is provided on the job, under the supervision of more experienced colleagues. Many organisations will offer you the chance to work towards vocational qualifications, such as a PAA\VQ-SET Certificate in Laundry & Dry Cleaning Operations and Textile Aftercare or an SVQ in Laundry & Dry Cleaning Operations and Service Support.
The Guild of Cleaners and Launderers offer a variety of qualifications in practical laundry subjects.
SATRA and The Laundry Technology Centre also offer a number of short courses related to laundry.

What are the career prospects?

With experience and training, a Textile Care Operative could progress into a Dry Cleaning business management role or move into technical management, textile technology 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 textile 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.

For further information go to: ukft.org

Where can you find job vacancies?

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

Total Jobs
Drapers Jobs

Textile Care 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 (England). For further information, advise and tips on how to apply for an apprenticeship vacancy see the UCAS site.

www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship (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!


For more information see the following website:

Textile Services Association
The Guild of Cleaners and Launderers