Fabric Designer

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By Nsim Team


If you want to become a fabric designer, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for your skills, interests and personality traits. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a fabric designer:
• You have an artistic flair, with particular interest in textiles
• You have an interest in fabrics and/or interiors
• You have, or are willing to gain, an understanding of the properties of different textiles
• You are willing to continuously improve your design skills
• You have, or are willing to a degree related to fabric/textile design
• You have perseverance, and are willing to look hard for work in a highly competitive industry


Who is Fabric Designer 

Fabric designers, also known as textile designers, create two-dimensional designs that can be used in the production of knit, woven and printed fabric or textile products. Fabric designers often specialize in of two major fields; interiors or clothing. The interiors specialization includes upholstery, soft furnishings and some types of floor and window coverings. Fabric designers who specialize in clothing concentrate mainly on fashion or specialized clothing, such as sportswear and fireproof clothing.
No matter their specialty, fabric/textile designers must incorporate colour trends, learn about the production and application of textiles and use state-of-the-art industry technology and traditional art tools in the design and development of different fabrics and textiles.


Education Needed to Become a Fabric Designer

In order to become a fabric/textile designer, you typically need either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fabric or textile design, or in a closely related field such as human ecology, fashion design, fine arts, or surface design.
Degree programs in areas closely related to fabric or textile design will likely offer areas of specialization; be sure to pursue coursework in an area of specialization in which you have career-related interests.
Many degrees in the area of human ecology, textiles and fashion design offer work placement and internship opportunities, these are a great way to get a feel for working in the industry (although each employer will likely offer a different experience from one to the next), develop industry contacts, and help build your portfolio.


Skills needed to become a Fabric Designer

In order to become effective in a career as a fabric designer, and perform your job duties with competence, you need to posses a certain set of skills. These skills are usually acquired through schoolwork, practice, career experience and natural ability.
• An artistic flair
• A good eye for colours and patterns
• A good understanding of the properties of different materials
• Able to draw well freehand
• Able to use computer aided design software (CAD)
• Strong attention to visual detail
• Able to sew and weave
• Fashion design skills
• Budgeting skills and the ability to work out costs
• Marketing, financial and administrative skills (needed for running a business)


Who Creates Jobs for Fabric Designers?

Fabric designers are employed on a part-time, full-time, contractual or freelance basis by the following types of organizations:
• Manufacturing companies that produce clothing, soft furnishings and other textiles-based products
• Medium and large-sized fashion and clothing retailers
• Fabric/textile design companies that produce bulk-manufactured items
• Fabric/textile design companies that produce small batch and specialized items
• Fabric/fashion design consultancies
• Small specialist design companies
• Interior design and decoration services

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