Textile Fibre and Yarn, Hide, and Pelt Processing Machine Operators and Workers

Occupation:Machine Operators in Textile, Fabric, Fur, and Leather Manufacturing
Category:Manufacturing and Utilities

About the job

Nature of work:

This group includes those who operate machines used in making clothing, fur, and leather products. They are employed by textile companies, leather tanning and fur dressing establishments and garment, fur and leather products manufacturers.

Job duties:
Machine operators and related workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Operate spinning, twisting, winding or reeling machines; and operate a variety of machines to bleach, dye, coat or finish fabric, thread, yarn or other textile products.
  • Operate machines or use hand and powered cutting knives to remove unnecessary particles from hides, skins or pelts; shave or polish hides; and shear fur or wool hides to produce pelts with hair of specified or uniform lengths.
  • Mix dyes or chemicals according to established formulas.
  • Oversee work area, examine products for defects and ensure adherence to quality standards.
  • Investigate machine stoppages and notify supervisor or mechanic in the event of equipment malfunction.
  • May set up machines and assist with maintenance and minor repairs to machinery.
Fabric, fur, and leather cutters perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Place patterns on top of layers of fabric and cut fabric following patterns, using electric or manual knives, cutters or computer numerically controlled (CNC) cutting devices.
  • Adjust cutting technique to type of fabric and style of garment.
  • Cut fur skins in diagonal strips to specified length and shape of pelt using furrier's knives and cutters.
  • Number pelts to indicate their location on pattern.
  • Select leather and cutting dies for leather goods and shoe parts according to specifications.
  • Position leather on cutting bed of machine, maximizing usage according to skin grain, skin flaws and skin stretch.
  • Operate clicker or punch press to stretch leather.
  • Operate machine to cut leather or cut single leather skins by hand to make leather products.
  • May cut materials samples.
Inspectors and graders in this group perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Examine natural, synthetic and hybrid textile, fabric, fur and leather garments or products for conformity to quality standards.
  • Inspect and grade animal hides and pelts according to size, condition and weight.
  • Verify fit or size of finished garments and products by measuring or comparing products with samples and patterns.
  • Mark defects, repair minor imperfections, cut excess materiel using scissors, and remove lint and spots using brushes, lint removers and cleaning solutions.
  • Grade and sort finished products and tag according to size, style and quality.
  • Record information on products inspected.
  • May package products.
Sample job titles:
  • cloth mender
  • clothing cutter - clothing manufacturing
  • fur grader
  • garment marker
  • hide and pelt processing worker
  • loom weaver
  • quality control tester - textiles
  • rug weaver
  • sewing machine operator
  • textile-dyeing and finishing machine operator

To work in these jobs, you should be responsible, alert, and in good physical health. Coordination, agility, and a mechanical aptitude are important. You must also be able to take direction and carry out instructions given by a supervisor.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • On-the-job training is usually provided.
  • Supervisory positions in textile processing usually requires completion of a college program in textiles, chemistry or a related subject.
Other considerations:

Shift work may be typical for many of these jobs. Previous experience as a labourer in the same company may be required for some operators in this group. While there is some level of mobility among jobs in this grouping, this can be limited due to differences in machines and products. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience and sometimes additional training or education in some jobs.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Machine Operators in Textile, Fabric, Fur, and Leather Manufacturing most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 56% of Machine Operators in Textile, Fabric, Fur, and Leather Manufacturing who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $30,214. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Textile Fibre and Yarn, Hide, and Pelt Processing Machine Operators and Workers645xxx
Minimum: $11.00
Median: $14.60
Maximum: $20.00
Minimum: $5,285
Median: $23,821
Maximum: $41,361
Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities15,275Weak growth1,275Moderate
Minimum: $12.00
Median: $18.75
Maximum: $30.00
Minimum: $6,056
Median: $30,111
Maximum: $70,518
Textile Fibre and Yarn, Hide, and Pelt Processing Machine Operators and WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities
Percent employed full-time89%87%
Percent self-employed0%3%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentTextile Fibre and Yarn, Hide, and Pelt Processing Machine Operators and WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton7%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley12%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeTextile Fibre and Yarn, Hide, and Pelt Processing Machine Operators and WorkersCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4745
GenderTextile Fibre and Yarn, Hide, and Pelt Processing Machine Operators and WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Manufacturing and Utilities
% Employed% Employed
EducationTextile Fibre and Yarn, Hide, and Pelt Processing Machine Operators and WorkersCompared to: All Manufacturing and Utilities
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school19.6%x22.9%$21,011
High school46.2%x38.1%$28,358
Trades certificate7.6%x12.4%$37,356
College certificate or diploma18.4%x20.3%$36,968
University certificate or diploma2.5%x1.1%$35,915
Bachelor's degree4.4%x4.4%$36,852
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.3%$55,581
Master's degreeN/Ax0.5%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.1%N/A
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Canadian Textile Industry Association
151 Slater St, suite 708
Ottawa, ON K1P 5M9

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.