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Canvas fabrication info sheet

Job title/s:
Canvas Fabricator
Textile Technician
Textile Process Operator

Job description:
A job in the industrial textile fabrication industry combines hands-on skills, plenty of challenge and excellent long-term opportunities. You'll find industrial textile fabrics just about everywhere - marquees, shade sails, outdoor furniture, car upholstery, flags and banners. They all use canvas and other outdoor fabrics.

MITO's industrial textile fabrication qualification is designed for people who specialise in the outdoor fabrics industry. It is also for those who have been working in the industry for a while and would like to have their skills recognised. In this sector you need to work in a safe and professional manner, identify, measure, mark out and cut and sew fabric materials to specification.

Qualifications required/age restrictions:
There is no age restriction for an industrial textile fabrication apprenticeship.

It is important that you get good grades in maths, English and science at secondary school.

Training costs:
MITO's annual training fee covers all training and assessment materials, regular visits from your MITO Customer Services Manager, an entitlement of 80 hours of off job training each year as well as on-going reports on your progress and maintenance of your academic record.

The annual training fee is $858.75 (inclusive of GST).

You should be able to complete your National Certificate in Industrial Textile Fabrication in about three years.

Location of job:
There are industrial textile fabrication workshops located around New Zealand. Expert skills are in high demand.

Career path:
A career in the industrial textile fabrication industry gives you plenty of options.

After completing your apprenticeship you can consider a business management qualification through MITO if you would like to move into management or would like to own your own business.

Salary range:
As an apprentice, you will generally start your training on an hourly rate. Many employers use pay rises as an incentive to develop your skills and gain practical experience. Once you are qualified, you can anticipate increasing your income further. Those qualified in industrial textile fabrication are always in demand and can expect to be paid well.

Other careers this profession could lead to:
The industry offers many exciting career pathways, including advanced technical and management role, both in New Zealand and overseas. Some of the options include:

  • Owning your own business 
  • Workshop manager 
  • Sales representative 
  • Tutor, developing courses and teaching.

Places/websites to source information about this job:
Visit and You can also talk to your (School) Careers Advisor.

Other relevant points:
Skilled canvas fabricators are in high demand in New Zealand and are recognised internationally for their skill, work ethic and dedication.


The NZ Motor Industry Training Organisation (Inc) (MITO) is all about developing and facilitating training in New Zealand's motor and industrial textile fabrication industries. We set training standards and promote careers in these industries.

We work with apprentices, their employers and training providers to make sure people in our industries get the best possible opportunities to learn- and accelerate their careers.