Textile designers are responsible for the creation and development of designs or patterns which are either woven, knitted or printed on to or into cloth. They need artistic skills and sound knowledge of fabric characteristics and factory reproduction techniques to design exquisite and marketable textiles.
Textile designers work within a field where media, materials, production methods, finance and public taste all have a bearing on their work. Designers need to understand and exploit these limitations so that the fabric is readily identified with a specific need and its acceptance is facilitated.
Creative artists use their skills and experience to produce designs and colourations, not only by traditional sketches and painting techniques, but also using high-tech computers. This offers aspiring designers a totally new dimension in the exciting world of textile design.
Textile design moves with current fashion and reflects many moods and cultures. International travel, to capture design ideas and trends, becomes part of skilled designers’ work when part of product management teams. With backgrounds of expertise and specialised knowledge, designers can fulfil important roles on the marketing or colouring side too.
Textile designers are mostly employed by the fashion fabrics and home textiles industries. They are sometimes expected to travel from one country to another to study fashion trends.
Many large home textile and fashion fabric manufacturers offer in-service training.
Diploma: The three-year N.Dip. Textile Technology and/or the N.Dip. Textile Design and Technology can be obtained at CPUT, DUT and TUT. A fourth year of study will culminate in the BTech Textile Design and Technology degree. After completion of the fifth year of study, students can obtain the MTech Textile Design and Technology.
Certificate: TVET College
Most universities of technology require a portfolio, the specifications of which differ from one institution to another.
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