Sample Machinist

A Sample Machinist constructs sewn products following specifications and quality standards, providing a sample product that is then replicated and produced on a larger scale. They need to be creative, have an eye for detail and be able to work quickly and accurately within a team.

What would you do?

Sample Machinist not only makes the first sample-sewn product but also helps determine the best production method for each design. They are extremely proficient sewers; They work with different types of sewing machines, materials and trimmings and create samples to a high level of accuracy, often working under pressure to meet customer or season deadlines.

Day to day tasks include:

  • Interpreting sewn product designs
  • Sewing cut pieces to create sewn products
  • Reviewing finished samples and production techniques
  • Managing resources and timescales

Where would you work?

Sample Machinists typically work in small fashion and textiles production units, in a sample room, tailors or on the factory floor, interacting with production tailors, designers, product technologists, pattern cutters, fabric cutters, quality controllers and sewing machinists.
Self-employment and freelance work from home is also an option for sample machinists with significant experience.

What would you be paid?

For a typical working week of approx. 39 hours

A Sample Machinist starting salary on average is £18,000-£25,000 per year
Experienced garment makers salary on average is £35,000-£45,000 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.

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?

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 textiles and related subjects are also available and should be considered, 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 a position as head sample machinist or a career in product development, design, or merchandising.

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

Sample Machinist 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!