There are two types of weavers: hand weavers and operators of mechanised weaving machines. Hand weavers weave cloth on table or floor looms. They need to have sufficient knowledge of the weaving process to enable them to control the quality of the final product.

They work either to specific instructions in a factory-type setting or independently as an artistic weaver creating their own designs.

Weavers who operate automated weaving machines in textile factories need to acquire expertise in operating the automated machinery.  Their tasks include: 

  • bserving the machine-weaving process for defects
  • removing defects in the cloth by cutting and pulling out filling
  • examining automated looms to determine the causes of stoppages
  • marking or cutting cloth to specified lengths
  • replacing bobbins on non-automatic looms

Personal Requirements

  • be patient and meticulous
  • enjoy working with your hands
  • have a creative imagination
  • have a flair for and knowledge of the principles of textile design
  • have manual dexterity and physical stamina
  • be able to concentrate on a monotonous process for long periods
  • have a ‘quick eye’ to detect weaving defects

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Compulsory Subjects: Art or a related subjects is highly recommended
Recommended subjects: Art, Design Studies, Engineering and Graphic Design


  • An art portfolio is required to demonstrate your creativity, abilities and commitment.
  • If you intend studying towards a degree in Fine Art at university, you will need to a Bachelor's pass in matric. If you intend studying a diploma in an art-related field, then you will need a Diploma pass in matric.
  • Meet the admission requirements (APS) set by the university or requirements set by the college.

What to Study

Diploma: Textile Design and Technology is offered at CPUT, DUT, TUT. The duration of the course is 3 years.

TVET colleges: Several TVET colleges offer courses in weaving and can be contacted for further information. The different Weavers Guilds also offer courses from time to time.

In-service training is offered by some employers.


  • textile manufacturers
  • clothing factories
  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own weaving operation

Further Information

South African Institute for Entrepreneurship
P O Box 13805
Mowbray, 7705
Tel: (021) 447-2023

Getting Started

  • develop an interest in the composition and weave pattern of all fabrics
  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a textile weaving factory
  • arrange to speak to weavers about this career and ask permission to observe them at work

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