Harriet – Technical Processing

Would you like a unique and challenging role working in the British manufacturing environment? Could you develop young people as well as textile technology? If so, read on, perhaps you too could be a Technical Process Manager just like Harriet.

What attracted you to this job?

I wanted to work in a manufacturing environment and as Camira is a very forward thinking company, with opportunities for progression and learning, this was a great role for me.

What does your typical day involve?

In just one day I can be involved in all sorts of different areas, working with a range of different people. Typical jobs involve:

  • Managing the laboratory
  • Managing all testing and fabric performance queries
  • Investigating quality issues, processes and suppliers
  • Managing a team of 6 technicians and supporting their daily function and development
  • Investigating equipment issues, compliance with standards and corroboration of results
  • Implementing and supporting continuous improvement activity relating to systems and procedures.
  • Selling our function and importance to the wider business and the visiting customers.

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

Seeing the development of my team, as a team and on an individual level and witnessing the positive impact of this to the business.

What do your friends and family think about your job?

They think it’s unique and challenging. They see how passionate I am about British manufacturing and developing young people within textile technology.

Tell us more about your environment in terms of work-life balance

I don’t have the greatest work-life balance because my job is very demanding but I make sure to keep busy in my home life too. I play violin for The Sinfonia of Leeds, horse ride, dance salsa and am looking forward to joining a stone carving club. I also have a partner in Edinburgh and friends in London so I’m often away at weekends.

How did you get to where you are today? (i.e. qualifications and career route)

I always knew that I wanted to work within the textile industry and have been lucky enough to achieve this through my career pathway as shown below.

– MA French and English – Edinburgh University.

– Southwestern Publishing Company (USA) during Uni – Sales dealer then manager.

– Internship at Holland and Sherry Cloth Merchants (Paris) as my time spent in France, counting towards my degree (opportunity through Southwestern).

– Hainsworth (Leeds)– Woollen cloth manufacturer – Technical/Innovation dept.

– MSc Advanced Textile Technology – Leeds University.

– Alice Temperley (London) – High Fashion – Fabric Production Coordinator.

– Headhunted to Camira Fabrics, as Technical Process Manager.

What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in getting into your field?

Internship everywhere you can, even for free so you can focus on what area of an industry you want to pursue. Make sure that you ask questions to everyone in the industry to find out the qualifications required, get their advice and find out on the career routes that will get you to where you want to be. Sometimes it helps to work backwards from the end goal position and make a plan of how to get there – an above all stay focused and be strong, confident and persistent.

Don’t take no for an answer. If you work hard, you’re determined and you’ve got self-belief, you’re already 99% there.

How well is your job compensated? What is the starting salary for someone in your field, and how much can this be expected to rise?

The starting salary for someone in the field of Textile Technology with the relevant qualifications is £16-18k. You can expect this to rise to £20/30k and beyond either through raising technical expertise and experience and/or management.

What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax?

As above, violin, horse riding, salsa, creative activities, travel and spending time with boyfriend, family and friends.

Have there been any embarrassing moments?

I don’t embarrass easily but as confident as I am, even I got slightly embarrassed when I dressed up in white, ‘chemical brothers’ overalls (with hood) to help deep clean the flam room and had to walk round the production facility. It provided hours of amusement to my colleagues.


Developed in association with Camira Fabrics.