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Textile Design

Textile designers create two-dimensional designs that can be used inthe production of printed, knitted and woven fabricsor textile products.

Graduates work in both design studios in the industrial and non-industrial textile sectors and may also work in associated industries, for example, designing wrapping paper, wallpaper, greetings cards, interior and fashion accessories, carpeting and ceramics. Many textile designers are self-employed, while others work as part of a design team. Other career opportunities include: buyers or designers for chain stores, textile development [fibres and yarns], education, cultural and historical conservation projects and botanical illustrators.

What does it take to be a good Textile Designer?

  • Be innovative and creative to develop new design concepts.
  • Enjoy experimenting with colour, fabric and texture.
  • Be able to produce hand rendered drawings and sketches, worked-up designs and samples for presentation to customers.
  • Use specialist software and computer-aided design (CAD) programs to develop design ranges.
  • Have strong communication skills to accurately interpret and represent a client’s idea and to plan and develop designs with technical staff.
  • Have the ability to plan to ensure that projects are completed on time. This would include sampling of design ideas, assessing and approving completed items and meeting production standards.
  • Research and maintain up-to-date knowledge of new design and production techniques and textile technology.
  • Keep up to date and spot fashion trends in fabric design by reading forecasts in trade magazines and using internet resources.
  • Be interested in traveling. Be curious and attentive about the world around you. Attending trade shows, as a delegate or as an exhibitor, to source fabrics and other materials is a textile designer’s platform of inspiration and business.
  • If you envisage yourself to be self-employed, managing, marketing and public relations, finances, maintaining websites and day-to-day business activities are all part of the job.

At the NMMU you will gain the fundamentals of all the skills you require to be able to work in the textile industry. It is physically impossible to teach all students all of the skills required and it is up to you as a student to specialize in the direction of your choice in the Undergraduate: Degree (BTech) and Postgraduate Master's Degree programmes.