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Job Sheet: Canvas Fabrication Technician

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Job title/s
Canvas Fabrication Technician
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 work 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:
You must be 16 years or older and be employed in the industry to start an Industrial Textile Fabrication apprenticeship with MITO.

It is recommended that you achieve good grades in maths, computing, textiles, sewing and English at secondary school.

Training costs:
MITO's annual training fee covers all training and assessment materials, regular visits from your MITO Industry Training Advisor, 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).

Upon completion of your apprenticeship, you will be awarded with a National Certificate in Industrial Textile Fabrication (Level 3 and 4) with strand in Canvas Fabrication.

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.

MITO Canvas Fabrication Technician Qualifications Roadmap

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 have 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 canvas 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 management roles both in New Zealand and overseas.

Some of the options include:
- Sailmaker
- Vehicle Upholsterer
- Self-employed or business owner
- Workshop manager
- Sales representative
- Tutor, developing courses and teaching
- Designer of canvas products.

How to increase the chances of successfully entering this industry:
You may be able to find work in a textile workshop in the school holidays. You will then be able to impress future employers with your experience.

Check out MITO's website for more detailed information regarding apprenticeships in this industry.

Places to source information about this job:

Visit and
You can also talk to your (School) Careers Advisor.

Any other relevant points:

Skilled canvas fabrication technicians 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.