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Do you fancy a career in retail? This month we focus on the role of a garment technologist. We asked one of our candidates to give you some insight into a typical working day. 

The role

Supporting the design and buying team through all stages of garment product development, from design to manufacture. As a garment technologist you will be involved in choosing an appropriate fabric and design to remain within budget, while working with the pattern graders to oversee the sizing, fitting and testing of the pre-production garments. Other responsibilities will include analysing product returns and faults.

Key responsibilities

  • Liaising with designers, and adapting designs to suit production methods whilst undertaking quality evaluations of materials and checking quality of the final product
  • Sourcing fabrics and accessories
  • Responding to product queries, including complaints, from internal and external parties
  • Developing manmade fibres and the quality assessment of natural fibre along with spinning fibres into yarn, and knitting or weaving yarn into fabrics
  • Identifying the latest fabric trends, developments and innovations
  • Ensuring quality in areas such as strength, durability, colourfastness, and water and chemical resistance

What is the best part of the job?
I enjoy everything. The job is very varied. I like interacting with other people at the customer fittings and liaising with the suppliers.

What is most fulfilling part of your role?
This has to be seeing my work come to life in the stores or on someone on the streets.

What is the most challenging part of your role?
Getting the fit right, and making the supplier understand what you are trying to achieve.

What are the key skills required as a garment technologist?
Some key skills that are required from a garment technologist include pattern cutting skills, patience and determination along with excellent communication skills.

A word of advice from a garment technologist:
Be determined and passionate, and accept that doesn’t always turn out as you thought it would.

How do you get into the profession?

I went to Fashion Art College and enjoyed the pattern cutting side of technology.

Average Salary
: £35K

Next career step:
Moving on to be a technical or QA manager.

What do you feel are the key issues that will affect the profession in 2011?
Environmental issues,  in regard to the way the garments are produced and transported. The dyes and chemicals in the products have effects on the people that carry out the work.

Search our latest garment technologist jobs or for more information on the range of options available to you please contact your local Hays Retail office and one of our expert consultants will be in touch.