How to Become A Textile Designer

Textile Designers are trained craftsmen who draw and construct master fabric layouts and patterns for various goods such as furniture, bed linens and apparel etc. They may also mark and cut fabrics and apparel according to the design requirements and use their skills to identify color arrangements, fabric textures and current textile market demands. Textile designers are also well-versed in the use of computer-aided design (CAD) programs, which are mostly used in creating designs.

In addition to that, textile designers work with a variety of other professionals, including fashion designers and marketing personnel, to create prototypes.

If the above information about textile designers intrigued you enough to want to become one, you ought to continue reading. The following guide on how to become a textile designer will provide information on the education and training requirements, along with a discussion on the job outlook for this occupation.

Should I Become a Textile Designer?

If you have an artistic streak that you want to showcase to huge markets across the globe, becoming a textile designer might be one way to do that. Textile designers have a strong artistic ability, along with creativity and communication skills. They are also very detail-oriented and have great decision-making skills, along with having an eye for fashioning trends. 

If you think you have the above set of qualities, then you might want to consider the career of a textile designer. The following table provides a quick look into the occupation, complete with education requirements and salary information.

Education Required

Bachelor’s Degree

Major Requirement

Textile or Fashion Design




Not mandatory, though internships or apprenticeships are recommended

Key Skills

Artistic Ability, Creative Skills, Computer Skills, Decision Making Ability, Attention to Detail, Patience, Communication Skills

Annual Mean Salary (2019)

$52,740 (Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers)

Job Outlook (2018-28)

1% (Fashion Designers)

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Outlook for a Textile Designer

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fashion Designers, which is a similar occupation category to textile designers, will experience a growth of 1% in the years from 2018 to 2028. Most apparel is produced in international markets, which is why local markets will see a decline in apparel manufacturing and textile creation. However, demand for fashion and textile designers in the retail market will increase by a huge margin, thanks to retailers preferring to sell more fashion-forward clothing.

Job prospects are expected to be the best for those who have a formal education in textile design and marketing, are proficient in software such as CAD, have some industry experience and have extensive portfolios.

Steps to Become a Textile Designer

In order to become a textile designer, aspiring candidates will have to meet a series of requirements. The following steps to become a textile designer will shed some light on these.

Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s Degree is the minimum level of education required to become a textile designer. Students can choose to major in subjects like graphic design, textile design, fashion design or a related field. A typical bachelor’s degree in textile design would cover topics such as the history of textile, pattern making, surface and woven design, knitwear, computer design software, textile printing techniques, color wheel, textile markets etc. Most degrees in textile design are four years long and include components of theory and practical work. Students are usually required to submit a final year project or thesis on a topic that focuses on textiles. Other graduation requirements may include completing a portfolio and an internship.

Step 2: Get Some Experience

One of the best ways to land a good job in the textile industry is to gain some valuable experience beforehand. Students can do this by working as an assistant to a textile or a fashion designer or applying for entry-level positions. Other ways to get into this field can be through an internship or an apprenticeship with a professional textile designer.

It is recommended that students join a professional organization, such as the Textile Society of America, to gain access to networking opportunities and various publications.

Step 3: Consider a Master’s Degree

Since the job market for textile designers is relatively concentrated, students who go for higher education credentials, such as a master’s degree in textile design, would make more desirable candidates.

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