Made for Kangaroos

Gonzalo Martinez is the Fabrication Manager at Classic Sportswear. Classic sportswear creates jerseys for Australian NRL teams - and Gonzalo takes us through the workshop from the yarn to the final product. We see the machines which are used to weave the jerseys from scratch, and learn about the printing machines used on site.

About The Printing

As the production manager, Gonzalo runs the knitting and printing machine. The printing machine is computer based and he set everything up from scratch 5 years ago. They print onto paper and then this is rolled through onto the fabric at 205 degrees (similar process to an iron on transfer). With the printing side you do need computer skills and graphic design knowledge.

Working in the clothing, textiles and footwear industry

Clothing Production includes Australian businesses manufacturing all forms of clothing (except leather, fur and headwear). There are an estimated 2400 businesses employing 19,400 people, generating annual turnover of $2.5 billion (2000-01). Local manufacturing needs to remain competitive and efficient in the face of cheap import goods and offshore manufacturing trends.

As a result, many Clothing Production companies have adopted innovative strategies focussing on product design, development and innovation, high value added products, a sophisticated marketing strategy focussing on brands, and expansion of export markets.

Jobs in this industry are no longer process activities but now focus on design, supply, maintenance, and reaching consumers and retailers.

There are significant skills shortages in this field and anyone with an interest in fashion, clothing production, design and marketing can enter this field via fashion and design or through an apprenticeship in Textile, Clothing & Footwear Mechanical (Engineering - Mechanical Trade) Certificate III.

VJ Bradley Conomy