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Where Can I Find Colleges that Offer Textile Courses?

If you are interested in studying textiles to learn more about their aesthetic qualities, you can take courses through a college's fine arts or apparel design program. If you would rather help develop new fibers and fabrics, look for a college with a textile technology or textile engineering program. Read on to learn more about several colleges that offer textile courses.

Textile Courses

A textile is a cloth or a piece of woven material. Oftentimes, courses in textiles are offered through certificate and diploma programs in fashion design and apparel, as aspiring designers need to know how to work with this material. However, if you are interested in studying textile in order to make woven art, such as rugs or wall pieces, you may want to consider taking a textile course within an art program. If you view textiles with a more scientific eye and are interested in creating or engineering the materials, you should consider a textile class offered through a science program. Several schools offer these various types of textile classes.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Prerequisites A portfolio of previous work may be required for admission into a specific program
Concentrations Commonly available; may include product engineering or chemical processing
Online Availability Although rare, some textiles courses and certificates are offered online
Possible Careers Costume design and fabrication, commercial designer, production manager
Average Salary (2018) $72,720 (fashion designers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 3% growth (fashion designers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Textiles as Fashion

At the University of Wisconsin - Madison, students can enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Textile and Apparel Design program through the School of Human Ecology. The courses that you could take at Wisconsin include:

  • Fashion illustration
  • Dyeing and printing
  • Patternmaking
  • Apparel design

Textiles as Art

A number of colleges, including the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Temple University, offer textile courses through their art schools or fine arts departments. As part of their education, students in art-focused textile programs may take the following courses:

  • Weaving
  • Off loom structure
  • Mixed media printing
  • Textile design
  • Alternative materials
  • Screenprinting

Textiles as Science

North Carolina State University's College of Textiles offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Students can choose a B.S. degree program in textile engineering or a Bachelor of Science in Textile Technology. Among the classes taken by students who study textile engineering are:

  • Polymer science and engineering
  • Textile structures
  • Materials and systems
  • Tech of dyeing and finish

Students who take courses through the textile technology program learn about textile manufacturing processes, from the lab to the loom. Then they choose a concentration, such as medical textiles, technical textiles, or textile supply chain operations. Courses you might take as a student in this textile program include:

  • Polymer chemistry
  • Woven fabric technology
  • Biotextile product development
  • Business of textiles