Garment Maker

A Garment Maker is sewing professional, who makes clothing to order or to meet an specifications, customer’s needs or client preferences. They need to be creative, have an eye for detail and be able to work to accurately to a high quality standard.

What would you do?

Garment Makers use a variety of cutting and sewing techniques to make clothing. They are able to create a garment from concept to the finished product, this may include pattern making, cutting, stitching and finishing. They are extremely proficient sewers and can operate different types of sewing machines effectively and often apply stitching techniques by hand.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Interpreting garment designs
  • Cutting garments from cloth
  • Sewing cut pieces to create a garment
  • Finishing garment i.e. button attach, pressing, embellishments

Where would you work?

Garment Makers are often self-employed designer makers or employed by small or micro size textile business. They may work in a design studio or workroom making bespoke tailored garments, creative designer wear, or costumes for opera and theatre.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

  • A garment makers starting salary on average is £16,000-£25,000 per year
  • Experienced garment makers salary on average is £30,000-£40,000 per year

Pay rates vary depending on age, experience, location and the size of the company. Additional benefits may include company discounts, pension and health care. Many companies offer overtime and bonuses in order to meet deadlines.
Garment Makers Apprenticeships: Employers, by law, must pay the government’s apprenticeship minimum wage rate. Research show that many fashion and textile employers supplement this rate of pay.

Will you need qualifications or training?

Some form of relevant training/ qualification is required, such as a Level 3 Award, Certificate, Diploma, HNC or foundation degree in pattern cutting fashion or garment technology. A Level 3 Garment Maker Apprenticeship is also available for those wishing to train on the job.

Qualifications and short courses relating to this job role are offered by the a number of awarding organisations including ABC Awards, City & Guilds, Pearson, SQA and UAL, for more detail please follow the links below. Degrees and HNDs in fashion and textile and related subjects are also available and should be considering, particularly in preparation for a career in fashion. Click here to see all universities offering fashion degrees relevant to this job role.

What are the career prospects?

Experience could lead to success as a self-employed Garment Maker or a career such as a sample machinist, product technologist, or fashion designer. With additional training a garment maker could move into tailoring or buying.

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.

For further information go to:

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

Garment Maker 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. (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!