Careers in Textiles

Textile Product Developers and Designers

  • Who designs the floral print on your dress or the teacup print on your bathrobe?
  • Who determines the colors for a pattern or print?
  • Who determines how designs can be applied to a fabric?

Some of the people responsible for these activities are Textile Designers, Textile Stylists and Textile Colorists.

Textile Designers

The creative force behind textile design is the Textile Designer.

  • Creates original designs for the fabrics used in all sorts of industries.
  • They can be surface designers, knitters, weavers or embroiderers.
  • Most utilize computer-aided design (CAD) software.

The Assistant Textile Designer works with the textile designer.

Textile Stylists and Colorists

A Textile Stylist is the creative person who modifies existing textile goods.

  • Alters patterns or prints that have been successful on the retail floor to turn them into fresh, new products.
  • May develop color alternatives.

A Textile Colorist chooses the color combinations that will be used in creating designs.

  • Colorists frequently travel to fashion markets.
  • Are members of color-forecasting organizations to stay on top of current and future color trends.

Textile Designer, Stylist, and Colorist responsibilities include

  • Interacting with customers to understand their needs and interpret their ideas.
  • Collaborating with marketing, buying and technical staff members.
  • Understanding how textiles will be used, and what properties textiles need to function optimally.
  • Conducting research for ideas and inspiration.
  • Experimenting with texture and pattern.
  • Producing ideas, sketches and samples.
  • Staying on top of new design and production processes.

Job Qualifications

Education

  • A bachelor’s degree in textiles, visual arts, computer-aided design, graphic design, fashion design or a related discipline.

Experience

  • Entry-level design positions are available to new college graduates.
  • Additional experience in technical design, color and CAD will enable upward movement.

Personal Characteristics

  • Computer skills
  • Strong visual sense for color, texture and pattern
  • Creative personality
  • Knowledge of how textiles are produced as well as an understanding of sewing, knitting, weaving and embroidery
  • An awareness of fashion trends
  • Knowledge of the target consumer