What Does a Sewing Machine Operator Do?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 22 February 2020
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A sewing machine operator is responsible for utilizing the tools, equipment, and machinery associated with sewing machines to create textile products. The main equipment used by a sewing machine operator is the sewing machine itself, but the types of machines vary from simple one-needle machines to large industrial designs. In addition, there are tools such as needles, cutting blades, fasteners, and measuring devices that are used to perform tasks related to the creation of textiles. It is generally necessary for the machine operator to obtain training in the field before undertaking this type of work, but this can happen on-the-job.

Sewing machine operators are responsible for working on a sewing machine to help create various types of textile products, including clothing, furniture coverings, and industrial textile products. Depending on the experience and expertise of the sewing machine operator, he or she might work at a small machine creating one small piece of an item, or work at a large machine creating large, industrial products all at one time. In general, the operator works in a place where other operators are also working on similar products, such as a factory.


Depending on the precise nature of the textile product that the sewing machine operator is creating, it is possible that he or she will use a variety of tools and small pieces of equipment during daily work. For example, it might be the job of an operator to measure the cloth before sewing it to proper specifications, which requires the use of measuring tools. Different fasteners might need to be applied to a piece of fabric, which involves having the knowledge of fastening different types of materials. There are many tools that a sewing machine operator could end up learning how to use, depending on the nature of his or her job.

Another aspect of this position can include finishing garments. This is usually left to an experienced operator who is able to look at a product, make sure that any mistakes are corrected, and pass it along to the next person on the chain of command to be approved. Operators also have to ensure that their machine is maintained and operated correctly according to the manufacturer's instructions. Everyday, it is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that the machine is set up correctly and taken apart correctly after its use.


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