A sewing machine operator is a textile worker who sews fabric with an electronic sewing machine. Although many couture houses employ hand sewers to do delicate beading and embroidery, most clothing manufacturers also keep a legion of sewing machine operators on their payroll because using the machine speeds things up dramatically. Some sewing machine operators do their work on machines identical or similar to those commonly used in domestic sewing projects; others use larger, more powerful machines that are faster and able to handle thicker fabrics easily. Most sewing machine operators work in the garment industry, although tough industrial sewing machines are also used to make boat sails, curtains, fabric napkins and upholstery. Sewing machine operators may also work for sewing machine manufacturers. Their experience "out in the trenches" is invaluable for companies that are developing new sewing machine models because the operators know what works, what doesn't and what they'd change if they could.