Bulmer & Lumb is proud to support the development & training of the next generation of textile experts & currently has a number of trainees at different stages of their careers. Here two of them talk about their decision to become dyers and what their day to day work involves:

Ed Naylor – Trainee Dyeing Technician

My first job was working in a dye house on Saturdays whilst still at school, I left education at GCSE level & initially began training as an electrical engineer. Following this I moved on to work at a textile merchant/processor in Huddersfield where I gained a knowledge of a wide variety of fibres. After 2 years I applied for the job position of trainee technician at Bulmer and Lumb.

During my first year as a trainee technician I was positioned in a selection of departments to gain a good idea of how the company functions, from receiving the raw material all the through to packing the end product. I am now working in the dyers office where my daily duties include allocating, dyeing and colour matching a wide variety of fibres on a commercial level. Other duties include ordering of chemicals and colorants and keeping track of stocks on a daily basis.

I am currently doing the second year of the textile Coloration Certificate through the SDC which I have found very informative, relevant to my job and will hopefully aid me on to the ASDC qualification. I have found working alongside experienced members of staff a big help when it comes to aiding with course material.

My future goals are to progress in my career as a dye technician at Bulmer and Lumb and expand my knowledge of the textile industry through hands on experience, colleges within the workplace and education like the Textile Coloration Certificate.

Being involved with the Society of Dyers & Colourists has given me the opportunity to meet people in similar careers and discuss different methods and types of dying/printing. I recently attended theirDay of Celebration with my Bulmer & Lumb colleagues where I received an award for my first year of training. 

Alana Williamson – Trainee Dyeing Technician

Having enjoyed studying science to AS Level at school and college, I decided that I would like to build a career in this subject by pursuing an apprenticeship in a scientific field. I began my career as a Lab Technician with another textile company in the West Yorkshire area & joined Bulmer & Lumb in February 2015. A few months in the role of a Dyer has confirmed to me that this is what I’d like to do for the long term.

My training is structured so that I alternate working between the top dyeing & yarn dyeing areas of the business to gain a thorough knowledge of both. Gradually increasing my workload every few weeks also means that I can become more self reliant & work across a number of different departments.  A typical day would involve looking after the dye vessels, prepping & adjusting dye recipes, pass shades for customer samples & prepping samples for the colour matching team.

I enjoy working alongside our highly qualified and experienced dyeing & colour matching team, particularly the problem solving aspects of the role. Working with a wide variety of fibres, dyes and auxiliaries is very challenging & being able to produce a quality finished product for customers is very rewarding.  I’m currently in the second year of the Textile Colouration Course, as there are a few of the team at a similar stage in training, we are able to support each other and work together on course projects.

Within the next five years, I would like to be fully qualified, having completed my ASDC qualification through the Society of Dyers & Colourists and training for a management role. Longer term I aspire to be managing a Dye house in a Director level position & have a wider role in the textile industry community.