Textile dyeing technicians colour fibres, yarns and fabrics. Many different fibres, both natural and synthetic, are used in the textile industry and as a result, dyeing has become a highly technical process.
Textile dyeing technicians are given details of the final colour required and they have to work out which chemical dye recipes to use, the length of the process and the temperatures at which dyeing is to take place. They have to bear in mind the type of fabric to be dyed and any special finishes required. Technicians may have computer-controlled instruments to help them make these decisions.
Textile dyeing technicians run quality control checks to make sure the dye is colourfast and will not fade or run when washed. They supervise the dyeing process and deal with any problems that occur. Technicians are responsible for keeping clear, detailed records, so that if a problem arises after a fabric has left the factory, the details of the process can be checked.
As well as dyeing, technicians need to know a great deal about other processes such as bleaching and finishing, as these processes affect the final colour.
Working hours vary between 37 and 40 hours a week. Many textile factories operate a shift system and overtime is common.
Dyeing takes place in the dyehouse of a textile factory, or is carried out by specialist dyeing companies. Modern dyehouses are light and spacious and have extraction equipment to deal with fumes and steam. The environment can get hot and humid. In the dyeing area they wear appropriate protective clothing including overalls and safety footwear.
Dyeing technicians spend a lot of time on the factory floor checking the dyeing processes, but they also work in laboratories carrying out tests, and in an office, writing up reports.
To be a textile dyeing technician you should:
Opportunities for career progression include research and development and management, There are also opportunities in technical sales and service, where dyeing technicians act as a link between dye suppliers and textile manufacturers.
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