This apprenticeship has been retired

Overview of the role

Producing highly specialised dyes and colours.

Details of standard

Occupation summary

The Technical dyer and colourist occupation is found within the textile manufacturing sector. The broad purpose of the occupation is to produce highly specialised dyes and colours to provide dye and colour chemistry in the production of textiles, apparel, upholstery and fashion fabrics.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a wide variety of individuals from the most senior technologists, leaders and directors, to shop floor operatives. Technical Dyers and Colourists work in a factory environment, interchanging between manufacturing facilities and laboratories. Almost all their work is indoors and within a controlled environments where they deal with customers by telephone or email over technical data/job sheets.

An employee in this occupation is responsible for the exact scientific analysis, accurate measurements, trials, production and quality of dyed, pigmented and colour applications to clothing in a heavily industrialised/mechanised scenario. They work in a senior role and lead a team of dyehouse operatives. They report directly to senior management and directors and have overall scrutiny and responsibility for the accuracy of manufactured products within the dyeing and colouration environment. Technical Dyers and Colourists are employed across micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses, ranging from small dyehouse businesses to large chemical, clothing and retail brand businesses.

Typical job titles include:

Colour chemist Colour scientist Dye technologist Dye-house technician Laboratory manager Laboratory technician Manufacturing managers Senior dye-house supervisor

Occupation duties

Duty Criteria for measuring performance KSBs

Duty 1 Undertake production planning and scheduling of dyeing machines

Processing speeds and maintenance logs

Accuracy in production quality

Standard Operating Procedures

Compliance with Health & Safety at Work Act

Adhere to specialist regulations that affect textile manufacturing

K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 K8

S1 S2 S4

B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 2 Generate dyestuff recipes for shade colour and dyeing containing dyes and auxiliary chemicals

Comply with industry guidelines for chemical and dye usage

Comply with colour matching expectations

Comply with shade variations in compliance with industry tolerances

Manufacture products in line with the Health & Safety At Work Act and REACH regulations

Delivery service that meets customer expectation and communicate clearly with clients

Store chemicals and dyes in line with legal practice

K9 K10 K11

S1 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B3 B4

Duty 3 Programme and monitor computer controlled dye vessels equipment using control systems to ensure dye colouration cycles run to optimum conditions

Machinery efficiency and production capacity

Speed, accuracy, temperature, chemical/dye ratio compliant

Chemical integration with raw materials delivered in line with industry standard (bre, yarn and

K3 K4 K12 K13 K14

S1 S6 S7 S9

B2 B3 B5

Duty 4 Managing the dye-house production team

Instruct and communicate clearly with the production team;

Cost jobs and produce proposals with the senior team;

Comply with legal standards for production quality, treatments and properties (i.e. re proong/stain

Advise team on progression and professional development

K3 K6 K13

S1 S9 S10 S11

B2 B4 B6

Duty 5 Control stock and ordering of dyes and chemicals to maximise efficiency and production forecasting

Stock is accurately managed (chemicals and dyes)

Accurate procurement of dyes and chemicals;

Efficient production from data and job sheets;

Comply with import duty tax or tariffs placed upon overseas materials

K6 K14

S3 S4 S10

B2 B3

Duty 6 Produce dye and colour recipes (including recipe adjustments) for batch processing, ensuring that environmental controls for chemicals usage are managed and maintained

Comply with dye production

Delivery high quality production

Ensure production compliance for speed and accuracy

Maximise efficiencies in chemical/dye usage

K3 K4

S1 S5 S6 S13

B2 B4 B7

Duty 7 Undertake client liaison for production planning and delivery to meet client expectations

Adhere to client timescale expectations

Communicate clearly and succinctly with clients

Improve service by reporting client feedback.

K1 K3 K6

S3 S9 S10

B1 B2 B3 B5 B6

Duty 8 Carry out colour fastness tests and control the quality of finished products before issuing final authorisations for dyeing and colouring of materials

Adhere to, and comply with, standard industry testing regulations (tolerance, shrinkage, durability, wash cycle processes)

Deliver customer excellence through test reporting and professional publication of results

Ensure accurate laboratory testing results in line with standard practice.

Control efficient production

K3 K5 K7 K8 K9 K11 K12

S1 S5 S6 S8 S12

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B7

Duty 9 Undertake colour matching in the laboratory including chemical and physical testing of fibres, yarns and fabrics

Comply with accepted industry practice for laboratory testing;

Provide speedy service to clients for undertaking tests and submitting results;

Communicate material needs with customers (bres, yarns, fabrics)

K3 K5 K7 K8 K10 K12

S1 S5 S6 S7 S8

B1 B2 B6 B7

Duty 10 Use bespoke computer software to ensure product specification and consistent testing, analysis and results reporting

Bespoke software efficiently used within company parameter

ICT equipment performs in line with accepted practice

Deliver in line with customer expectations

K3 K10 K12 K15

S2 S4 S14 S15

B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7

Duty 11 Control the quality of sample and bulk production in line with industry specifications

Comply with quality checks for consistent production

Adhere to improvement planning and maintenance scheduling

Comply with British Standards (ISO)

Communicate changes clearly, within the team

K3 K7 K12 K14

S2 S5 S12

B1 B5 B6 B7



K1: Dyeing and colouration of textiles/fabrics in the overall textile supply chain including the history of dyeing in the UK, the dyeing techniques have evolved and the common practices of dyehouse operations Back to Duty

K2: Strategies for manufacturing including global resourcing, strategic planning, management culture and expectation and plant operations that effect the manufacturing process Back to Duty

K3: Product requirements used in dyeing and colouration of yarns and fabrics including production application, variety of use, innovation, cost control and pricing fluctuation Back to Duty

K4: Risk assessment & management, hazard identification & rectification, safe working systems and an understanding of the legal frameworks that affect textile production, such as Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, (CoSHH), Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH) and any other statutory regulations Back to Duty

K5: Fibre processes, fibre types and specific dyes for coloration manufacturing and how fibres react under chemical processes Back to Duty

K6: Background and nature of the global textile industry, including how the textile colouration markets are served worldwide, the goods that are procured, the services to business, customer expectations and who the supply chain works Back to Duty

K7: Hazard protocols including safe storage of dyestuffs and chemicals Back to Duty

K8: Dye and colour production equipment used for dyeing and colouring fibres, yarns and fabrics for processing Back to Duty

K9: Colour chemistry in the manufacturing process and how it affects the finished product. This includes the technical knowledge of protein fibres, cellulosic fibres, synthetic fibres, and man-made fibres and the structures of dye molecules Back to Duty

K10: Chemical and physical theories that underpin textiles from raw material through to finished coloured fabric/garment including colour physics, colour measurement and the implementation in a laboratory and production setting. Back to Duty

K11: Process of applying chemistry to textile colouration including reactions, pH control, methodology and rationale including which fibre with which dye you would select for usage. Back to Duty

K12: Quality and environmental standards appropriate for colour fastness both legislated and advisory in relation to effluent, safe chemical usage, organic textiles and other materials Back to Duty

K13: Machinery and engineering design, the flow and process of production, dye pressure, suitability, and product preparation used within dye/colour machinery and the effect of processing on product quality Back to Duty

K14: Environmental controls and implications of failure Back to Duty

K15: A range of industry ICT systems to determine the correct dye colour Back to Duty


S1: Create and monitor dye profiles for batch production and batch reporting, ensuring that appropriate decision making to tackle fault or quality issues is effectively undertaken Back to Duty

S2: Develop operational plans that affect dye manufacturing, including the completion of specialist, technical reports and data to articulate results Back to Duty

S3: Perform effectively within a team environment and build strong positive working relationships with internal and external customers, colleagues, stakeholders and suppliers to ensure the mission and the ethos of the company is maintained. Back to Duty

S4: Identify and formulate problem solving technical problems associated with errors or critical failures within the coloration industry Back to Duty

S5: Carry out technical dye profiling for batch production, batch reporting analytics and problem solving/decision making to tackle fault or quality issues Back to Duty

S6: Use pressure (jet) and atmospheric dyeing techniques and machinery to produce dyed fibres, yarns and fabrics including jig/winch, loose stock, vat, hank, yarn and top dyeing variations Back to Duty

S7: Identify types of dye process needed to ascertain variations and differences of natural and man-made fibres, such as polyesters, wools, cottons and nylons Back to Duty

S8: Carry out technical steps in the manufacturing selection process to ensure non-routine dye treatments and application techniques are consistent Back to Duty

S9: Effective team performance, building positive relationships with stakeholders to ensure the mission and the ethos of the company is maintained throughout the customer journey Back to Duty

S10: Effectively communicate at all levels, detailing dye and colouration information with clarity, logic and accuracy demonstrating a high degree of technical detail to stakeholders Back to Duty

S11: Maintain atmospheric and pressure dyeing systems, ensuring that presses, hoists and dispensary equipment including effluent control are managed and maintained, machinery utilisation is maximised and downtime minimised through effective maintenance Back to Duty

S12: Contribute to operational plans including specialist, technical reports and data to reinforce results and decision making such as Identifying priorities that affect the running of production Back to Duty

S13: Scrutinise the impact of environment science on dyeing and colouration processes and manage treatments that impact on the environment (such as spillage, effluent leakage, process controlling, implication and remedial activity) Back to Duty

S14: Analyse information, formulate judgements and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation Back to Duty

S15: Use relevant ICT systems and machinery such as flow control, valve pressure, valve opening machines and spectrometers to determine the correct dye colour Back to Duty


B1: Acts with honesty and integrity as key indicators of competence whilst promoting a collective ownership of performance through a 'zero error/right first time' approach Back to Duty

B2: Flexibility and adaptability in the workplace, showing positivity in dealing with changing patterns to meet business priorities Back to Duty

B3: Responsible approach to manage, mitigate and avoid risk through self-awareness, openness and sensitivity to diversity in terms of function, people, culture, business and management activity Back to Duty

B4: Show energy and enthusiasm in the role including dealing with setbacks, coping under pressure Back to Duty

B5: Self-manage work constraints in terms of resource, planning, behaviour, motivation and enterprise Back to Duty

B6: Ensure that client confidentiality is honoured and maintained consistently Back to Duty

B7: Logical thinker, using cognitive skills to analyse information and identify solutions Back to Duty


English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Textile Colouration Certificate

Level: 4

Professional recognition

This standard aligns with the following professional recognition:


Additional details

Occupational Level:


Duration (months):



this apprenticeship will be reviewed in accordance with our change request policy.

Status: Retired
Level: 4
Reference: ST0678
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 12/09/2023
Route: Engineering and manufacturing
Typical duration to gateway: 36 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £9000
LARS Code: 459
Employers involved in creating the standard: Bulmer & Lumb Group, Bower Roebuck & Co Ltd, A W Hainsworth & Sons Ltd, Abraham Moon & Sons Ltd, DP Dyers, Pincroft Dyeing & Printing, Atkinson Dyeing Company, Century Dyeing, Holmfirth Dyers, Heathcoat Fabrics Ltd, Park Valley Dyers, British Millerain, Lappet Manufacturing, Standfast & Barracks, Society of Dyers & Colourists, English Fine Cottons, H & C Whitehead, Mallalieus of Delph, Samuel Weller & Sons, SIL Holdings, Marton Mills Co Ltd, Shirley Dyeing & Finishing, Pincroft Dyeing & Printing, Burberry, Camira Fabrics, Heathcoat Fabrics, WooltexUK, J Bradbury Fabrics

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 16/05/2019 11/09/2023 Not set

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