Bachelor's Degree Programs in Textile Arts

Read about bachelor's degree programs in the textile arts, including common program titles and course topics. Find out what career options are open to graduates, and learn about potential industries and employers.

What Kinds of Textile Arts Bachelor's Degrees Are Available?

A bachelor's degree program in textile arts generally leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). A BFA is a professionally focused degree that typically includes a large number of hands-on studio classes. In the textile arts field, you'll find BFA degrees under various titles, though the coursework is often very similar. These titles include textile arts, apparel and textile design, fibers and material studies. Sometimes, textile arts programs are offered as a specialization within a broader crafts or arts major.

Degree Fields Apparel and textile design, textile arts, fibers and material studies
Common Courses Felt-making, dyeing, weaving, garment production, screen-printing
Other Requirements May include a senior project exhibition or internship
Career Options Textile curation, upholstery design, embroidery, apparel design, knitting
Median Salary (2018)$48,960 (Craft and Fine Artists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)6% growth (Craft and Fine Artists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Courses Will I Take?

While studying textile arts, you'll take a combination of studio and lecture-based courses. Your studio time will include foundational coursework in drawing and design; these courses will help you understand form and shape development, 2-D and 3-D design, color theory and texture. You'll move on to studying weaving, screen-printing, dyeing, felt-making and garment production. This is a very hands-on field of study, and you'll learn textile arts techniques by creating actual works of art.

Your studio courses will be complemented by lecture-based courses, in which you'll study the history of textiles and art history in general. You may learn about specific eras in the history of textile arts, including the study of innovations and artistic movements that influence modern trends.

Many programs culminate with a senior project, which requires you to conduct research and create original artwork. You may exhibit your work at the end of the project. In some cases, you'll be required to complete an internship, thereby earning real-world experience in the textile industry. Bachelor's degrees in textile arts are typically offered as campus-based programs, rather than online programs, due to the studio requirements.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Once you've earned your bachelor's degree in textile arts, you may work in apparel design, finding employment with a clothing manufacturer or fashion designer. You might also perform design work for manufacturers of rugs, upholsteries, wallpapers or stationery. In addition to design, your career could involve hands-on production, such as knitting or embroidery.

You might also work as an artist, creating textiles for exhibition in museums and galleries, as well as for sale. If you'd like to work closely with artistic textiles, you can seek employment with a museum as a textile curator. If you'd like to further develop your skills, you can pursue a master's degree in textile arts, fashion, fibers or a related field.