Providing support to the clothing and textile industry
to improve innovation and competitiveness

The Technology Station in Clothing and Textiles (TSCT) is located in the Faculty of Engineering at Cape Peninsula University of Technology on the Bellville campus.  The main sponsor of the project is the Department of Science and Technology (DST) through the Tshumisano Trust as the PMU.

Established by the Department of Science and Technology at the CPUT’s Bellville campus in October 2001, the TSCT aims to support the clothing and textiles industry to stimulate innovation and technology transfer and improve competitiveness by providing:

Research and innovation support to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to boost competitiveness;
Mentorship to emerging entrepreneurs in fashion, clothing and textiles;
Hosting of technical experts from research organisations and international Higher Education institutions.
The Technology Station in Clothing and Textiles offers a range of services, namely:

Productivity improvements including process layout, optimizing sewing methods, work-study.
Advice on acquisition of new or improved technology.
Advice on maintenance and setting of equipment.
Work aid development and template making service.
An audit is conducted by the TSC&T to analyse the needs of clients followed by a project proposal outlining the required interventions.

Materials and product testing service to the clothing, textiles and related industries.
Advice on material usage and care of textile products.
Analysis, development and implementation of quality systems for companies

The textile and garment testing laboratory is located within the Department of Clothing and Textile Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology on the Bellville campus. This laboratory provides an affordable testing and analysis service to the clothing, textiles and related industries. The laboratory has been accredited by Woolworths to conduct a limited range of textile tests for small businesses. Details about the range of tests that can be performed are available on request. See contact details elsewhere on this site.

The Clothing & Textiles Training Unit offers an extensive range of NQF aligned short courses to improve productivity and competitiveness of clothing and textiles companies. Workshops and seminars on issues of strategic importance to the industry in terms of the technological development are being offered regularly. Demonstration of the correct use of sewing equipment and related technology as well as a maintenance service is available to stimulate technology transfer. The CTTU has been recognised by the Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather (CTFL) SETA as an Institute of Sectoral or Occupational Excellence(ISOE).


Courses are mainly offered on a one-day per week release basis to employees of the clothing and textiles companies, but a number of our short courses are also offered after hours to accommodate smaller manufacturing enterprises. Short courses on the following aspects are available:

  • Clothing technology

  • Product development (clothing)

  • Sewing mechanics

  • Textiles

  • Management development

  • Supervision

  • Middle management

  • Operational efficiency

  • Quality

If companies prefer in-house training programmes, programmes offered by the CTTU are adapted to suit the specific needs of the company.

Consultation on product development issues viz. developing of specifications, pattern making and prototype (sample) making are available.
A computer aided pattern making, grading and marker making service is available to clothing manufacturing companies.


Technical drawings are created using computer aided design software, Koppermann (developed in Germany) and then converted into a JPEG image which can then be inserted into either MS Word or MS Excel documentation.

Patterns can be constructed manually or by computer using on Gerber Accumark (version 8).

Fit samples can be made in either calico or the fabric(s) provided by the client.

A production/operation construction breakdown can be developed from the fit sample to set up production lines or to estimate cost.

Patterns can be graded and plotted on paper using a computer aided design system, if a size specification is provided by the client.

Patterns can be transferred from soft brown paper to pattern (hard) kraft paper, if required by client.

Samples requiring embroidery can be completed by technical staff of the TSC&T using our in-house electronic embroidery machine and digitiser (Embroidery programme EOS).

Product development projects in textiles can be undertaken.
All company information will be regarded as confidential.
A confidentiality agreement can be signed on request of client.
Detailed quotations are provided by TSCT.
Lead times will be provided to client on submission of a request. These are dependent on current workload of TSCT staff.

The Technology Station in Clothing and Textiles has a number of specialised machines available as an EMERGING ENTREPRENEUR TECHNOLOGY PLATFORM for the use of small businesses on an appointment basis. The following advanced sewing machines are available:

  • Electronic button-hole machine

  • Electronic bar-tacking machine

  • Electronic eyelet button-hole machine

  • Cover seam machine

  • Cover seam machine elasticating

  • Merrow edge machine

  • Hemming machine

  • Electronic embroidery machine and digitiser (for samples)

  • Walking foot machine

The Technology Station C&T has a technical advice service available to assist clients when using the in-house emerging entrepreneur technology platform. Charges are levied based on use of specialised sewing machines at a subsidised rate.

Clustering of small businesses i.e. grouping small business into joint training and project interventions.
Bench marking i.e. measuring performance comparing to best practices to improve competitiveness.
Network facilitation.

Application of technical textiles in clothing
Problems related to the impact of body shapes and sizing on the fit of clothing

Get ready for an amazing career in the clothing and textile industry

Department Clothing & Textile Technology

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Today’s textile and clothing industry offers exciting and rewarding career opportunities with ever-increasing demands for skilled professionals. Although the South African fashion and textile industry has been facing a number of challenges due to globalisation (suchas cheaper imports from the East), there is still a bright future for properly qualified graduates who wish to have a career in the clothing and textile industry.

Textiles are an important part of our lives and play a key role in many different sectors, including medicine, transportation,construction, and most obviously in the fashion and clothing sector. In addition to traditional products such as home furnishings, technological advances in textile manufacture have seen huge strides made in creating life-saving inventions such as flame-retardant suits, bomb suits, artificial arteries and synthetic skin.

The clothing and fashion industry itself continues to be an extremely dynamic and important sector of the economy, providing enormous scope for well-qualified graduates to make their mark. The Department Clothing & Textile Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is one of only three Higher Education institutions in South Africa that prepare students for careers in the clothing and textile sector.

Although design often comes to mind when considering careers linked to fashion and textiles, very few people in the industry are employed as designers and job opportunities are scarce compared to the numerous career paths for clothing and textiles graduates as listed above. Competition for posts in this sector means that a degree or diploma is often just an essential minimum requirement for success. As a successful candidate for a job, graduates will also have to demonstrate considerable talent, dedication, commitment and motivation. As a CPUT graduate, you will also have had the hands-on experience at factories and other places of work. These work-integrated modules of the clothing and textiles programmes give students important practical experience which is highly valued by employers and ensures students have the competitive edge in the job market after finishing their studies.

Clothing and textile-related programmes at CPUT prepare students for many exciting careers, some of which are described here. Some offer the chance of international travel, in others students will be based in an office or factory. All of the jobs listed will provide students with a rewarding career and the chance to work in South Africa or elsewhere in the world.

CPUT’s Department of Clothing and Textile Technology provides an excellent academic starting point for careers that use creative, technical and entrepreneurial skills in this sector of the economy.

These careers include:

  • production managers

  • work study officers

  • quality managers

  • dyehouse managers

  • weaving or knitting managers

  • structural textile designers

  • pattern makers

  • CAD operators

  • fabric technologists

  • garment technologists

  • fashion and textiles sales people

  • fashion buyers

  • fashion merchandisers

  • retail managers

  • visual merchandisers

  • fashion stylists

  • clothing and textile lecturers and research assistants

  • entrepreneurs/freelancers

The Department of Clothing and Textile Technology at CPUT offers internationally recognised three-year diploma and four-year degree programmes in Clothing and Textiles: Management & Technology.

The Department Clothing and Textile Technology at CPUT is one of only three Universities of Technology in South Africa that specialises in the offering of clothing and textiles: management and technology programmes. At CPUT students are also fully equipped to work effectively in either the manufacturing and/or the retail sectors of the clothing and textiles industries. Students attend an industry endorsed learning programme developed specifically to cater for the needs of the retail sector as part of their studies.

  • National Certificate Clothing Management (one year full-time programme or flexible mode of delivery)
    Flexible delivery mode will only be available is a sufficient number of students from industry are registered. Classes are offered over two years of study from Thursdays at 14h00 until Saturdays at 13h00.

  • National Diploma Clothing Management (three-year full-time programme) including six months work-integrated learning at a clothing manufacturing or retail company during the third year.

  • B. Tech Clothing Management (one-year full-time or two-year part-time programme) with specialisation in: clothing product development and evaluation, consumer studies and behaviour, fit, sizing and body scanning technology, operations management, environmentally friendly textiles as well as applications of technical textiles in clothing.

  • National Diploma Textile Technology (three-year full-time programme) including six months work-integrated learning at a textile manufacturing or a retail company during the second year and third year of study.

  • B. Tech Textile Technology (two-year part-time programme) with specialisation in either wet processing of textiles (dyeing, printing or finishing) or dry processing of textiles (fibre, yarn and fabric construction).

The qualifications offered by the Department have been benchmarked against the unit standards of the Clothing Qualifications Framework (NQF level 5/6) and the Textile Qualifications Framework (NQF level 5/6) of and are registered with the South Africa Qualifications Authority as tertiary level qualifications.

The Department Clothing & Textile Technology subscribes to the principle of competence- and outcomes based education and to a system of continuous assessment of academic performance. The programmes offered encourage students to achieve specified outcomes in fundamental, core and elective areas and places emphasis on the development of creative, technical and entrepreneurial skills relevant to the field/s of study.


CTFL SETA Technologist bursaries are available annually for students who are full-time employees of clothing or textile manufacturing companies or who are sponsored by clothing or textile manufacturing companies. Companies are required to contact the Projects Manager of the CTFL SETA in its Head Office in Durban at tel. (031) 702 4482 or the Regional Office in Cape Town at tel. (021) 447 3373 to obtain more information as well as application forms. The CTFL SETA recognises CPUT as a centre of excellence in clothing and textiles education.


The Department Clothing & Textile Technology forms part of the Faculty of Engineering at CPUT. It has excellent facilities available to students studying on the Bellville campus of the institution:

  • Air conditioned sewing laboratories, equipped with modern, advanced industrial sewing machines, cutting tables, fusing and pressing equipment;

  • Air conditioned product development laboratories equipped with pattern making tables and figure models, including a computer laboratory with specialised design, pattern design, grading and marker making software (Accumark), textile structural design software (PC Weave and Koppemann) as well as a digitiser and plotter for pattern making, grading and marker making.

  • Textile processing laboratories are equipped with dyeing and printing equipment meeting international requirements in these fields of study. It also includes flat knitting, fully fashioned knitting, circular knitting and warp knitting equipment used commercially in industry. In addition weaving and spinning equipment, as well as equipment used in the analysis of fabrics and their construction are available.

  • Textile testing laboratories are equipped with a variety of testing equipment complying with international specifications and standards. The equipment includes Martindale abrasion tester, Titan tensile strength tester, Orbiter snagging and pilling tester, Impulse pilling tester, Titan bursting strength tester, Viscometer, Apollo light and weather fastness tester, Microscope with camera attachment for soft imaging (analysis) system, crock meter, Pyrotec MB2 infrared heating dyeing machine, padder, Wastec-P, Wascator and tumble drier. The laboratories are equipped with a standardized atmospheric air-conditioners to ensure reliable testing conditions.

  • Lecture rooms are equipped with audiovisual equipment and display areas.

National and international linkages

The Department Clothing & Textile Technology has links and exchange agreements with several prominent service and research organisations e.g. CLOTEX, Cape Town Fashion Council, Council for Scientic and Industrial Research (CSIR), Materials Science and Manufacturing: Fibres & Textiles division located in Port Elizabeth as well as higher education institutions nationally and internationally, including

  • University of Albstadt-Sigmaringen in Germany (clothing technology)

  • University of Liberec in Czech Republic (clothing and textile technology)

  • School of Textiles at the University of Böras in Sweden (fashion and textile: design, management & technology)


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