Many creative individuals seeking careers in the world of fashion and interior design find satisfying and lucrative careers in textile design.
What Do Textile Designers Do?
Textile designers create the designs and patterns that are reproduced on fabrics and other commercial products. Most commonly, the work of textile designers is used to create textile products that go into the production of clothing, upholstery, linens, rugs, carpeting, and other fabric-based products.
Professional textile designers also work in the paper products industry, creating the artwork seen on wrapping paper, greeting cards, wallpaper, and various types of packaging.
Jobs in Textile Design
There are many different types of jobs in the textile industry. Employment opportunities for individuals new to the field may include:
- Apparel Stylist
- Assistant Stylist
- CAD Designer or Operator
- Design Technician
- Fabric Development Specialist
- Lace Designer
- Print Designer
- Production Equipment Operator
- Textile Artist
- Textile Designer
Depending on an individual's career stage and industry, regular work activities may include:
- Collaborating with clients, technical specialists, marketing professionals, and retail buyers
- Coming up with ideas for new designs and figuring out how to execute them
- Creating mock ups of sample designs
- Keeping up with design and production technology
- Planning and developing designs utilizing freehand and computer aided design technology
- Project management
- Revising and perfecting designs for production
- Sourcing fabrics and other materials needed for production
- Staying abreast of design trends
- Completing additional duties and responsibilities as assigned and needed
It's important to keep in mind that your first job in the field isn't likely to involve designing on your own. It's much more likely that you will start out executing designs others have created before being able to advance to a design team.
Where to Find Openings for Textile Design Jobs
If you complete a formal program of study related to textile design, one of the best resources for finding jobs in your field is the career services office at your school. The career counselors are likely to have contacts with employers who are actively seeking new graduates for entry level positions in the industry. Of course, you will also want to look for employment opportunities on your own as well.
Textile Industry Jobs on Major Employment Sites
Jobs in textile design are often advertised through major employment websites and search engines. Here are a few of the best places to find current open position listings. The links below go to open geography searches for "textile design jobs." Adjust your results by geographic region or by changing your search to specific job titles within the industry.
- Career Builder: Employers place job openings in textile design on Career Builder in the hope of finding qualified applicants. Upload your resume to the site and set up alerts so that you will find out about new positions that interest you as they become available.
- Indeed.com: This job search site is a great resource for finding open positions in textile design, as it doesn't rely solely on paid employment ads. Instead, the site pulls in job openings from a variety of resources, aggregating them for you in a single place. You can upload your resume to the site and create alerts so that you are notified of relevant new postings.
- Simply Hired: This site functions similar to Indeed.com, but results may vary slightly. It's definitely worth reviewing both sites when you are seeking a new job. You can't post your resume to this site, but you can set up notification alerts for certain types of positions.
Industry-Specific Job Search Sites
There are also a number of websites that specialize in helping match professionals in the textile design field with job openings. A few of the most well known job boards are:
- ApparelSearch.com: You can find a variety of job postings for open positions and internship opportunities in the apparel and fashion industries on this website.
- Fibre 2 Fashion: This website posts jobs specific to employment in the textile and fashion industries. You can research jobs by company, country, industry, and position. There is also a special section listing consultant jobs, which are best suited for established and experienced textile design professionals.
- Red Goldfish: If you're interested in working in the textile industry in the United Kingdom, this website is a terrific starting point. It lists job openings in this field across the UK, as well as provides various articles and other information about careers in textile design.
Training for a Career in Textile Design
There are a wide variety of education and training programs available that can help you prepare for a career in textile design. Depending on your career goals and current experience, it may be in your best interest to complete a degree in the field. Alternatively, if you have a significant amount of work experience and skill, a short-term certificate program designed to help you perfect your craft and create a winning portfolio might be in your best interest.
Examples of Educational Programs
Educational programs for textile design professionals include:
- Philadelphia University offers a Baccalaureate degree in textile design. Students may concentrate in the design aspects of the field or focus their studies on textile sciences and engineering.
- The Savannah College of Art and Design: This well-known design school offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in fibers. The program encompasses skills utilized throughout the apparel, furniture, and interior design fields.
- Sessions School of Design: This online design school offers a variety of courses and certificate programs that provide beginning and advanced design students the skills they need to begin careers in various fields related to design.
A great deal of training for textile design jobs takes place on the job. A great deal of the equipment and technology used by professionals in this field is industry-specific. It's difficult to learn the ins and outs of the job without actually having relevant professional experience. For this reason, it's very beneficial for individuals seeking careers in this field to seek entry-level employment in the apparel or interior design industries early in their careers.
Internships are a very beneficial way to lay the groundwork for long term career success in this field. It can also be very beneficial for students to take part-time positions in production, merchandising, graphic design, and other areas related to the field. Any related experience you can get will help you accomplish your long term goal of becoming a textile designer.
Is a Career in Textile Design Right for You?
There are many opportunities for talented designers in the textile design field. You are the only person who can decide if pursuing employment in this industry might be right for you. If you have artistic ability, a good eye for design, and you love working with patterns and fabric, textile design may be a great career opportunity for you.