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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Weavers, Knitters and Other Fabric-Making Occupations(9442)

Operators in this unit group operate machines to process yarn or thread into woven, non-woven and knitted products such as cloth, lace, carpets, rope, industrial fabric, hosiery and knitted garments or to quilt and embroider fabric. This unit group also includes workers who perform activities such as reproducing patterns, drawing-in and tying warps and setting up looms. They are employed by textile companies and by garment and mattress manufacturing companies.

Reading Help - Reading
  • May read work orders to process requests. (1)
  • May read memos and minutes from weaving committees or process improvement teams about how to improve quality. (2)
  • May read patterns and specifications for garments, including information about needles required, weave structures and style. (2)
  • May refer to machine instruction booklets to learn how to set up and operate machines and to find information on the range of possible designs. (2)
  • May read operating and maintenance manuals to make minor repairs of equipment. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • May read lists to find information such as phone numbers of key contacts, meanings of stitch abbreviations and metric-imperial equivalents for needle sizes. (1)
  • May read signs. (1)
  • May read labels on fabrics and yarns to identify the blend of fibres, care instructions and tension requirements. (1)
  • May complete quality control checklists. (1)
  • May read Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels for safety information. (2)
  • May read material inventory forms and shipping forms from suppliers, detailing the quantity, type and cost of materials being shipped. (2)
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  • May read fabric weaving schedules in order to sequence work tasks. (2)
  • May read repair schedules (2)
  • May refer to charts to find the density and thickness of different materials. (2)
  • May complete bills of sale to document garment descriptions, material, labour costs and total costs for each order. (2)
  • May use pictures to assist customers in clarifying their needs and preferences. (2)
  • May read schematic drawings in equipment manuals in order to maintain and repair equipment. (3)
  • May interpret measurements taken from scale drawings to determine the size of garments. (3)
  • May plot data, such as the number of loom stoppages on bar graphs to analyze the cause of equipment failures. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • May write notes to themselves to remember details such as measurements, weaving requirements or calculations. (1)
  • May write product tags to record dates, styles, machine numbers and cylinder sizes. (1)
  • May write in log books to document significant details of equipment usage. (1)
  • May complete shipping forms to send products to customers. (1)
  • May update weaving records for each job to track project details. (2)
  • May write letters to clients to advise them that their projects are complete. (2)
  • May write letters to suppliers to confirm or change orders or make comments on materials sent. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • May collect payment for invoices and give change. (1)
  • May prepare invoices including calculation of labour charges, using hourly rates, applicable discounts and taxes. (3)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • May complete work order forms to record the time and materials used to make a product. (1)
  • May prepare and administer project plans and schedules by identifying material requirements, selecting suppliers, purchasing supplies according to best value and accounting for related income and expenditures. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • May measure the length and width of cloth pieces to verify that machine settings are adjusted correctly. (1)
  • May calculate the areas of shapes in a design, such as for a rug or tapestry, to determine material requirements. (2)
  • May measure the tension of yarn taking precise measurements with callipers. (3)
Data Analysis Math
  • May interpret data, such as the number of loom stoppages in a week, to analyze the cause of equipment failures. (1)
Numerical Estimation
  • May estimate the time and quantity of materials required to complete an order. (2)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • May listen to co-workers explain how they do their jobs. (1)
  • May interact with co-workers to co-ordinate work activities, discuss equipment performance, share information from meetings, solve problems and acquire new skills and knowledge. (2)
  • May interact with supervisors to receive work assignments, provide information on quality and troubleshoot problems. (2)
  • May communicate with customers to discuss prices and product specifications, such as colours and sizes. (2)
  • May deliver presentations to clients about the weaving process. (2)
  • May interact with suppliers to make purchases, discuss process and material problems and obtain ongoing information and advice as needed. (2)
  • May participate on process improvement teams. (2)
  • May interact with inspectors regarding quality control. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May make errors, such as dropping or misplacing a stitch. They identify the type of error and the most efficient way to correct it, such as undoing the work and starting over. (1)
  • Face potential delays when materials do not arrive on time from the manufacturer. They re-prioritize tasks and, if necessary, locate alternative suppliers. (2)
  • Deal with equipment irregularities and breakdowns. They try to troubleshoot the problems on their own, often referencing operating manuals, and if necessary call on their team for technical assistance. They may contact a mechanic or electrician as a last resort. (2)
  • May have difficulty in obtaining supplies which are not made in the surrounding area. They research suppliers, import materials and deal with international shipping details related to customs and exchange rates. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide whether to repair equipment themselves or to consult their supervisors. (1)
  • Decide whether to stop the machines to resolve problems, considering the impact on productivity. (2)
  • May determine the best garment choices for customers, considering their age, style preferences, complexion and size. (2)
  • May decide which suppliers to use. (2)
  • May make design decisions, considering limiting factors such as costs. (2)
  • Make quality-control decisions, such as whether to scrap faulty jobs or finish them for sale in outlet stores. (2)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

With the exception of self-employed weavers, the work priorities of weavers, knitters and workers in other fabric-making occupations are established by their supervisors. Within this framework, they may plan and organize their own job tasks. This is particularly important at the outset of new projects. There is an ongoing need to co-ordinate tasks with co-workers to monitor quality, enhance productivity and meet deadlines. Their schedules are frequently disrupted due to problems, such as equipment failure. (2)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Memorize the specifications of a customer's order to complete it efficiently.
  • May remember the faces and names of customers.
  • Remember the status of a job, such as its stage in the production process and what remains to be done.
Finding Information
  • Read lists to find contact information for suppliers or clients. (1)
  • Refer to equipment manuals to maintain and repair machines. (2)
  • Consult co-workers to troubleshoot production problems. (2)
  • May access archived project design records to glean information which may be applied to current projects. (2)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology
  • They may write memos. (2)
  • They may look up fabrics on a database. (2)
Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Weavers, knitters and workers in other fabric-making occupations primarily work independently within the context of a production team. They may work briefly with a co-worker to minimize equipment downtime associated with tasks such as changing the yarn on multiple knitting machines.

Continuous Learning

Weavers, knitters and workers in other fabric-making occupations have an ongoing need to learn. This learning relates particularly to new material and equipment technology. There is a reliance on informal on-the-job training.

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