How to Grade Sewing Operators?

Generally workers are categorized as skilled, Semi-skilled and unskilled for deciding wages for them. Others grade operators as A, B or C according their experience and expertise on the job. If grading of the operators is done scientifically it will help in selection of operators during line setting of a new style. It also works as employee motivator. When operators upgraded to the higher grade they get motivated and give extra efforts to the next jump. In most of the factories operator’s salary is decided according to their grade level (only when operator is paid on salary basis).
In this article, I will explain how factories do grading of their operators and good result in managing worker.

Grading of the operators is done in three steps.

1. Grading of the operations: 

First operations those are performed in making garment are graded on the basis of

  1. Critical and non critical operation, 
  2. Skill level required to perform an operation, 
  3. Machine used, such as Single Needle Lock Stitch, Over edge, semi-automatic machine or Flat Lock machine and 
  4. Area of operation in the garment. 

For an example, list of operations has been shown here for shirt manufacturing factory. Operations are graded into three categories, such as A, B and C graded operations. Refer to the following table

Grade A operations
Grade B operations
Grade C operations
Attach neck band & collar with pattern
Attach yoke & edge stitch yoke
Run stitch neck band
Set slv placket & stitch arrow
Attach main label to yoke
Run stitch collar (profile)
Match & set collar
Hem front placket
Hem cuff or pocket
Close collar
Attach fashion pkt
Close flap at bottom
T/S arm hole
R/S clr, cuff, flaps
Locking operations
Match &set cuff
T/S clr & shldr
Stay stitch or gathering
Close cuff
Join shoulder
Sew pleats
Close cuff (folder)
Sleeve attach
O/L small parts
Attach front placket
T/S arm hole (SNLS)
Prepare main label & W/C label
Hem bottom
R/S side seam

T/S side (FOA)
Hem bottom

T/S side (DNLS)
Hem side slit

Attach pocket
Hem sleeve


Attach side seam


O/L side seam & arm hole


Sew dart (manual)

2. Operator grading criteria:
Factory uses parameters such as how many operations an operator can perform from the above table and what is their efficiency level at work. In the following table required criteria have been mentioned against
each grade.

3. Study of the operator’s skill on operations: 

To grade an operator, ask the operator to perform operations listed on the above table. See how many operation he/she can do with required level. Also check their performance level (Efficiency %) on the operations. Once you have detailed study of an operator, match it with table “operator’s grading system” and mark operator. This grades are then added in the skill matrix.

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