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Clothing and textile technologists

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Clothing and textile technologists design, develop and manufacture natural and synthetic yarns, fabrics and textiles.
Textile technologists work with a variety of materials including man-made and natural textiles, leather, fur, plastics and metals. They may be responsible for developing fabrics for furnishings, clothing, household items, medical supplies, or textiles for use within the automotive industry. Responsibilities include:
Clothing and textile technologists design, develop and manufacture natural and synthetic yarns, fabrics and textiles.
Textile technologists work with a variety of materials including man-made and natural textiles, leather, fur, plastics and metals. They may be responsible for developing fabrics for furnishings, clothing, household items, medical supplies, or textiles for use within the automotive industry. Responsibilities include:
 
• liaising with and providing technical advice to design, marketing, purchasing and production staff
• creating products in response to given briefs
• amending designs where necessary
• producing samples
• dyeing and printing textiles
• evaluating, identifying and selecting fabrics/products from suppliers
• ensuring that products meet set requirements and specifications (eg colour fastness, durability etc)
• checking products for suitability and testing for performance under various conditions
• controlling production and quality standards
• problem solving
• dealing with customer queries and complaints
• keeping up to date with trends and innovations
 
Qualifications and training required
There are routes into this career for both university graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need a relevant degree such as clothing and textiles technology or materials and polymer sciences. A postgraduate textiles/clothing qualification can be helpful for graduates from other relevant disciplines, as can industrial experience gained via vacation work, placements and final year projects or by working at a junior level.
Key skills for clothing and textile technologists
 
• Creativity
• A good knowledge of fabric and materials
• Commercial awareness
• Interpersonal skills
• The ability to work well in teams
 
Typical employers
 
Employers of clothing and textile technologists include manufacturers of industrial textiles, small textile companies, retailers, research and development organisations and clothing manufacturers.
 
• liaising with and providing technical advice to design, marketing, purchasing and production staff
• creating products in response to given briefs
• amending designs where necessary
• producing samples
• dyeing and printing textiles
• evaluating, identifying and selecting fabrics/products from suppliers
• ensuring that products meet set requirements and specifications (eg colour fastness, durability etc)
• checking products for suitability and testing for performance under various conditions
• controlling production and quality standards
• problem solving
• dealing with customer queries and complaints
• keeping up to date with trends and innovations 
 
Qualifications and training required
 
There are routes into this career for both university graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need a relevant degree such as clothing and textiles technology or materials and polymer sciences. A postgraduate textiles/clothing qualification can be helpful for graduates from other relevant disciplines, as can industrial experience gained via vacation work, placements and final year projects or by working at a junior level.
Key skills for clothing and textile technologists
 
• Creativity
• A good knowledge of fabric and materials
• Commercial awareness
• Interpersonal skills
• The ability to work well in teams
 
Typical employers
 
Employers of clothing and textile technologists include manufacturers of industrial textiles, small textile companies, retailers, research and development organisations and clothing manufacturers.


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