- Highly creative work producing fabric designs and patterns for woven, knitted and printed materials
- You'll need to be creative and have an understanding of colour, texture and pattern
- You could work for a company or become self employed and work for yourself
As a textile designer you'll create designs for fabrics and other textiles, using hand drawing and/or computer based drawing skills to create patterns to be printed on to our woven into fabrics.
- Produce initial sketches by hand, or on a computer using design software
- Rework designs until they meet the customer's needs
- Make up samples or having them made by technicians
- Research design trends to decide what will sell
- Work with clients, technical staff, marketing and buying staff
- Keep up-to-date with developments in manufacturing technology
Some textile designers work for companies like fashion or furnishing producers and some are self employed. If you're self-employed, you'll also need to manage your own business activities like marketing, finances and your website.
If you work for yourself, your hours will depend on your clients and you'll usually split your time between designing and marketing your work. A lot of your time will be spent drawing or at a computer, designing fabrics and working on patterns.
You may sometimes need to travel to visit trade fairs, clients and manufacturers.
There are no set requirements, but many textile designers have a relevant degree in fashion, art and design, textiles, or surface pattern design.
You could start work as a textile operative or design assistant, get relevant work experience and qualifications, and then move into textile design.
You may also be able to get into this career by studying for a college qualification like the Level 3 Diploma in Textile Design and Manufacture.
You might also be able to complete an advanced apprenticeship in fashion and textiles, or specialise in technical textiles through a higher apprenticeship.
You'll also need creative flair and an understanding of colour, texture and pattern, design, software skills, budgeting skills and the ability to work out costs.
With experience, you could progress to a senior design position, or work as a product or project manager. You could also move into part-time teaching, or set up your own business.