Textile Designer: Career Profile, Job Outlook, and Education Requirements
Research what it takes to become a textile designer. Learn about the job duties, education requirements, job outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Career Information At a Glance
A textile designer blends artistic and production techniques to create patterns for apparel and other fabric products to meet market and functionality demands. The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.
|Degree Required||Bachelor's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Technical production, graphic design, apparel merchandising|
|Key Responsibilities||Create patterns for fabrics, design with software, sketch ideas|
|Job Growth (2012-22)||-3% decline for all fashion designers*|
|Average Salary (2013)||$73,570 for all fashion designers*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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 fashion designers, who are similar to textile designes, would see a decrease in demand of 3 percent between 2012 and 2022, due to declining employment in apparel manufacturing. Consequently, 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 such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop is frequently used in addition to traditional pen-and-paper sketches.
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