Textile Designer: Career Profile, Job Outlook, and Education Requirements
A textile designer drafts patterns for fabric items, including apparel and upholstered furniture, using a variety of artistic techniques, according to the function of the fabric and consumer preference. Find out about education requirements and career options, as well as the job outlook for textile designers. Schools offering Multimedia Design & Development degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Textile designers create patterns and prints in fabrics, for personal and household goods such as furniture, rugs, bed linens, towels and clothing. In this role, you'd generate design ideas from reference materials, current trends and specific client instructions. Job responsibilities range from programming computers for print machines to hand sketching designs, using your skills in identifying color arrangements, knowledge of certain fabrics and awareness of current design trends. Designers usually work as a part of design team, which includes technical designers, merchants and other vendors.
Competition for textile designer positions is expected to be high, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The BLS predicted that textile designers working in the fashion industry would see an increased demand of only one percent from 2008-2018. Despite projected growth, qualified candidates typically outnumber available jobs. Design firms that create clothing for mass-market consumption should have the best employment opportunities, while high-end luxury design jobs are much scarcer.
As an aspiring designer, you can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Art in Design or a Bachelor of Art in Textile Design. A general textile design degree program contains courses on product development, merchandising, textile evaluation, apparel design, surface design, woven design, marketing and accounting. Some colleges even offer internship opportunities with companies such as Vera Wang, Elie Tahari and J.C. Penney.
Along with earning a degree, textile designers must prove their artistic ability through sketches or samples of prints. These samples are often part of a portfolio of work, which acts as a visual resume for your employers. Textile designers are also expected to understand design software programs due to the increase of technology use in the textile industry. Illustration software like Adobe Photoshop is frequently used in addition to traditional pen-and-paper sketches.
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