Textile Design Schools and Programs

Learn about textile design schools and programs. Find out what you can learn in an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program, as well as what kind of job duties you'll have as a textile designer.

What You Need to Know

A textile designer creates crafts from a variety of materials. Education in this field is available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Programs cover both the crafting of textiles and the marketing of wares, to provide a rounded education. Online programs are also available.

Responsibilities Designing and constructing textiles
Degrees Associate's, Bachelor's and Master's Degrees
Training Internships may be required

What Does a Textile Designer Do?

In addition to fabrics, textile designers create designs for glass, wood, metal, porcelain and plastic, using techniques such as weaving, stenciling, etching and painting. Some work will be by hand, while other projects will use computer-assisted design.

What Will I Learn in an Associate's Degree Program?

You can find associate's degree programs at art and design schools as well as fashion institutes. In these programs, you will learn to incorporate designs found in nature into textiles and use color theory, computer-aided design and studio techniques to create designs. You will study the physical characteristics of these materials and learn techniques to make them pliable and marketable. An Associate of Applied Science in Textile/Surface Design is one specific degree option available.

What Will I Learn in a Bachelor's Degree Program?

You can find bachelor's degree programs in textile design at public and private universities, as well as fashion and design schools. The curriculum is designed to combine art with form and function. In a bachelor's degree program, you will learn characteristics of art such as light, color and form. You may get to study specific textiles such as lace and carpeting. Your bachelor's program will likely include design techniques such as printmaking, computer-aided design, knitting and weaving. You will apply those techniques to various materials based on their physical properties. You may also have the opportunity to take courses in design history and research. A portfolio evaluation, an internship or both may be a part of your required coursework. Students may have options like a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fibers or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a Textiles concentration. Coursework may cover the following:

  • Textile structures
  • Surface design
  • Digital textile design
  • Fibers, fabrics and forms
  • Etching and lithography

What Can I Expect From a Master's Program?

In a textile design master's degree program, you will focus on your individual study, using research techniques and studio courses to help you develop your point of view. You can find Master of Fine Arts in Textile Design programs, as well as a Master of Science in Textile Design. You may also have the opportunity to focus on a particular area, including surface design, weaving or knits. You may have to write a thesis, submit a final project or do both as part of the requirements for completion.

What Schools offer Textile Design Programs?

The following schools offer textile design programs at various degree levels:

  • Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, NY)
  • NC State University (Raleigh)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (GA)
  • Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Georgia State University (Atlanta)