Textile designing is an art of creating artistic patterns and beautiful prints on various types of fabrics such as clothes and garments including daily wear and fashion wear, bed sheets and pillow covers, towels and handkerchiefs, and carpets and rugs. Creating of artistic patterns or printing process requires a number of textile designing techniques such as drawing, sketching, choosing right color combination, and embroidering designs.
Textile designing involves three types of arts- weaving, coloring and designing. Textile designing can be done using all kinds of textiles such as knitted textiles, woven textiles and printed textiles. All kinds of drawing and sketching techniques including old traditional designs as well as contemporary designs are used for textile designing. Concepts for textile designing ideas are drawn from both national and international cultures and traditions.
The process of textile designing involves two processes: surface design of textiles and textile structural design. Surface designs include coloring of the textile surface, embroidery work, and printing various designs on the textile surface. Structural design includes the designing of the structure of the textile to be manufactured, for example woven textiles, printed textiles or knitted textiles. In woven textiles, the fabric is woven either manually as in hand-woven textiles or by machine as in machine-woven textiles. In knitted textiles, textiles are knitted using a knitting machine.
Career Paths in Textile Designing
Major career path available in the field of textile designing is as a textile designer. Experienced textile designers can work as textile designing consultants with large garment manufacturing or export houses. Entry level positions available for diploma or certificate holders in textile design are as textile design assistants, and as textile design technicians.
Textile Designer – Fashion Houses
A textile designer working at the fashion houses is responsible for designing fashion wear. They normally work in collaboration with a team of professional tailors. High creativity and designing skills are required for the textile designers working in fashion houses as trends in fashion are constantly changing and sometimes there may have an instant requirement for a newly designed fashion wear while fashion shows are being conducted.
Textile Designer – Large Export Houses and Garment Manufacturing Units
Textile designers working in a large setting must have a clear understanding of the requirements of the target customers while doing textile designing which is normally done for a bulk quantity of textiles. Precision in textile designing is a must in this field.
Textile Design Assistants
Textile design assistants act as coordinators between the professional textile designers and the team of tailors. They communicate the textile designing requirements to the team of tailors based on which they make final products.
Skills Required for a Textile Designing Career
An aspiring textile designer must have excellent drawing and sketching skills, good graphic skills, incredible imagination, excellent creativity and a deep knowledge about the contemporary design trends in the textile designing and textile arts. He should also have an accurate knowledge about analogous and complimentary color schemes, color combinations, and color arrangements to create the most visually appealing textile patterns and prints. Knowledge various textile materials and fabrics is an added advantage. Other skills required are good communication skills, people skills, and computer skills particularly in design softwares.
Personal Qualities Required
Major personality attributes that are expected from a textile designer are an artistic bend of mind, sincerity and integrity, aesthetic sense, knowledge about colors and appropriate color combinations and finally an ability to work under pressures. A textile designer must also be hard-working with high integrity and must be personable.
Potential Employers of Textile Designers
Textile designers are employed by textile designing studios, textile companies, garment manufacturing firms, textile weaving firms, and textile printing companies, boutiques, fashion houses and garment export companies.
Career Paths Available in Textile Designing
Career paths that are available for graduates or post graduates in textile designing are as professional textile designers in retail textile houses and fashion houses and as textile surface designing experts in fabric printing companies; textile structural designing experts in textile weaving companies and knitted-wear houses. Diploma and certificate holders in textile designing may begin a career in various support positions in the textile industry. Experienced textile designer may start own fashion houses during the later phases of their career. There is a huge scope for self-employed or freelance textile designers also.
Courses Available in Textile Designing
Aspiring textile designers must at least have at least a Bachelor of Art in Textile Design to begin a professional career in the field of textile designing. Large garment houses sometimes prefer candidates with a Master of Art in Textile Design qualification. Qualifications such as Bachelor of Arts in Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design may also be considered by some employers. Candidates with Graduate Diploma in Textile Designing, advanced diploma of textile design and development or a Post Graduate Diploma in Textile Designing may start their career in support positions and alter upgrade their skills and qualifications to become professional textile designers.
Selected US Academic Institutions for Textile Designing Courses
Graduation, post graduation, diploma and certificate programs in textile designing are offered by various fashion colleges and institutes across the United States of America. Associate degree in Apparel Accessory Design is offered by the Art Institutes, USA. Degree programs in Textile and Weaving Arts are offered by the University of Washington; Temple University; University of Oregon; Cornell University; Western Washington University; Rochester Institute of Technology; Savannah College of Art and Design and the University of North Texas.
Where to Study Textile Designing in India?
National Institute of Fashion Technology and National Academy of Fashion Technology are two reputed Indian institutes where a career aspirant in textile designing can earn a degree or diploma in textile designing. Other reputed institutes where textile designing programs are available include Apeejay Institute of Design; National Institute of Design; International Institute of Fashion Design; Design & Innovation Academy; International Institute of Fashion Technology; and Pearl Academy of Fashion.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA average annual earning of a textile designer was approximately $62,610 per year during the year 2006.
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