How to Become a Textile Designer
Textile Designer Careers & Degrees

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Textile Designers use their creativity to produce prints for a variety of fabrics.

Their work allows consumers to add pizzazz and their personal style to their homes and other parts of their lives.

These professionals design prints in order to create an assortment of products such as comforters, towels, clothing and upholstery for furniture.

Because fabrics can be used to create many types of products, Textile Designers can work for many fields such as fashion, theater costuming and upholstery.

Creativity, a great sense of the color palette and the ability to create patterns and designs are some innate capabilities students should have in order to become a Textile Designer .

However, students are more likely to enter this field if they strengthen their skills by attending a higher education program.

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Education Requirements to Become a Textile Designer

Candidates who want to become a Textile Designer need a combination of talent, completion of an education program and a capability to express and sell their ideas to potential or established clients.

In order for someone to become a Textile Designer, a minimum of an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree is required in a focus such as Textile Design.

The Textile Society of America recognizes approximately 30 university degree programs for students who want to become a Textile Designer.

Students in a textile program will learn a variety of skills in design, drafting and planning techniques.

In addition, students should learn some basic skills in mathematics and acquire experience using computer and electronics equipment.

Knowledge of basic computer and electronics is important for designs that are created on computer applications.

Students will also take the opportunity to practice their craft by and professionally create plans and drafts.

While completing a textile design program, student will learn how to sketch their ideas, provide finish touches on designs, create blueprints and learn how to use drafting tools and equipment.

Some typical coursework provided under Textile Design programs include classes such as printing and dyeing, textile science, fashion illustration and fabric structures.

While attending these classes, students will strengthen their artistic ability which is an important skill that employers look for when hiring.

A student will also need to learn techniques that aid in design and production.

Some skills and abilities that employers look for when hiring a Textile include having an artistic mind, having a knack and strong sense of color, the ability to draw and create print and computer generated sketches and the ability to keep track of trends.

Textile Designer Job Description

Textile Designers use their creativity and skills in order to produce designs for a variety of fabrics.

These fabrics are used for a variety of everyday products available to consumers from towels to clothing.

Textile Designers mainly work for clients in the fashion industry as it is the sector that uses their work the most.

Other sectors that require designs include interior design, upholstery and linens.

Because of the different industries that seek a Textile Designer’s expertise, these professionals may end up specializing in one sector as each one requires working with different fabrics and knits.

Textile Designers begin the process by taking their ideas and sketching designs, blueprints or illustrations using a variety of tools and equipment including computer applications and drafting equipment.

Textile Designers can use their knowledge of the market and trends to create eye catching fabric designs.

They may also have to create designs according to their client or employer’s needs and expectations.

Textile Designers will then present their ideas, sketches and designs to their clients or employers for final approval.

A Textile Designer may have to go back to the drawing board to make modifications that meet their client’s needs.

A Textile Designer needs strong communication skills in order to meet client expectations.

Textile Designer Salary and Career Path

This industry and career is expected to remain the same through the year 2018.

However, jobs in upholstery are expected to have a small growth of about 7% through the year 2018.

Salary and wages will depend on the field and location a Textile Designer goes into.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that professionals in the fashion industry that specialize in design services made approximately $59,560 per year in 2008.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Maryland- NA -
New Hampshire$81,280
New Jersey$71,780
New Mexico$73,200
New York$92,860
North Carolina$71,900
Ohio- NA -
Rhode Island$65,880
South Carolina- NA -
Vermont- NA -

The top earning state in the field is California, where the average salary is $93,870.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

California - $93,870
New York - $92,860
New Hampshire - $81,280
Oregon - $80,220
Massachusetts - $80,080
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Fashion Designers, OCC Code 27-1022, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat is a textile designer?

Textile designers are responsible for the aesthetic characteristics of cloths and fabrics.

These people play a huge role in our everyday life and most of us don’t even realize that.

Your curtains, the fabric on your sofa, every towel in your kitchen, even your socks…

A textile designer is usually responsible for picking the materials from which the fabrics, cloths or pieces of clothing will be made.

That includes not only the fiber type but also the yarn size and the kind of dyes (if any of those will be used).

Only after picking the right materials, the textile designer can create the actual design.

At this point, the professional has to make sure that the final product is not only aesthetically pleasing but also meets the practical needs.

QuestionHow much do textile designers make?

Of course, the salary of a textile designer will differ, depending on his or her experience in the field.

If you are just getting started, you can earn nearly $40.000 per year.

In case you have one to four years of experience, you can expect to make around $48.600 annually.

The textile designers that have been in the profession for 5-9 years earn around $62.000.

The professionals that have been in business for over a decade can make up to $76.000 (and more).

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a textile designer?

In case you want to become a textile designer, formal education is not necessary, but it will help you increase your opportunities in getting a well-paid job.

A degree in fashion, art and design, knitwear, textiles or surface design can cost you anywhere between $4.000 and more annually.

Instead of a degree, you can go for a course in textile design that offers more specific knowledge.

The cost of the courses typically starts from a couple of hundreds of dollars.

You can enter the job field without an education; however, be prepared to start as a pattern cutter or a machinist, for example.

QuestionWhat is the demand for textile designers?

According to the BLS, there won’t be a significant growth of job places in the field in the near future.

Between 2014 and 2024, there will be a slight increase by 3%.

The textile design area is extremely competitive.

There might be only a few places per nation in high-end luxury design, while workers who go for mass-market might have more chances in getting employed.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a textile designer?

If you decide to get a degree, then it will take you anywhere between 2 and 4 years.

Make sure to choose the school that will offer you to spend at least a year working in the industry while you are still acquiring your degree.

There are plenty of short, part-time courses that can be completed only in a few semesters.

Those offer specific knowledge and in case you know exactly that it’s all the knowledge that you are going to need, then go for the short-term option.

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