Textile Designer: Salary and Job Facts

Explore the career requirements for textile designers. Get the facts about education requirements, job duties, and salary information to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Textile Designer?

Textile designers create patterns for knitted, printed or woven fabrics. They may design things like carpeting, clothing or even specific products like scuba suits and vinyl wall coverings. Textile designers may incorporate current fashion or decorating trends into their work. They also express their creativity through color choices and patterns. Textile designers may work closely with clients to develop a design that meets their preferences and needs. The following chart gives you an overview about entering this field.

Degree Required Dependent on position, bachelor's degree generally required
Education Field of Study Sewing, textiles, pattern making
Job Duties Design patterns, create unique fabrics, work with designers to fit their concepts, create textiles for stores
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 3% (for all fashion designers)*
Median Salary (2017) $50,464**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What the Duties of Textile Design?

Though you could work in many different companies or positions, the basic duty of a textile designer is designing patterns, keeping in mind both the intricacies of the design and implementation in the final product. This job can require you to be both artistic in your conception of the style and technical in your knowledge of fabric.

With a career in textile design, you'll use your knowledge of materials and patterns in fashion to create unique fabrics. You could work directly for a fashion designer, helping to develop fabrics that fit the designer's concept of his or her line. You may also find job opportunities with a large department store chain, creating your own textiles for its national stores. Or you could work for any number of manufacturing companies that use textiles, such as furniture and home goods companies.

What Are the Textile Design Education Requirements?

To work in textile design, you need to be creative, but you also need to have a basic knowledge of the technical underpinnings of textile manufacturing. Art classes can give you an understanding of art concepts and styles, as well as help you to develop your own artistic vision. Classes that teach you about the history of fashion can heighten your awareness of trends across the years, improve your sense of basic fashion concepts and teach you about the fabrics and patterns best suited for various styles.

Not all textile design positions have formal degree requirements, but possessing a bachelor's degree has become the standard credential for entry-level work, and there are many accredited programs in textile design in the U.S. that may give you the knowledge and practice to begin your career. As with many artistic professions, an apprenticeship might help you gain a foothold in the field. Fashion design programs may award either an associate's or bachelor's degree and offer coursework in a variety of subjects, including sewing, pattern making and computer classes, in addition to textile classes.

How Much Can a Textile Designer Earn?

The salary you make as a textile designer depends upon your experience and level of education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for fashion designers in 2015 was $63,670 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also noted that fashion designers working in the specialized design services industry made an average salary of $66,430 in 2015. PayScale.com reported that most textile designers in January 2017 made between $35,491 and $83,237, which did not include any potential commission earnings.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Another career option that incorporates design and manufacturing is an industrial designer. These professionals utilize art, math and business skills to create concepts for various products, such as appliances or cars. This career also requires a bachelor's degree, often in drawing or drafting (CADD). Or, you could pursue a career as a graphic designer if you are looking to create and generate designs but not specifically with textiles. Graphic designers apply a similar creative skillset to fascinate their clients with their designs that may be used for magazines, logos, and other print media. This position typically requires a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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