Individuals interested in designing and creating the fabrics and materials used in fashion, interior design and even automotive design might consider a degree program in textile design. The most common degree available in this subject is the Bachelor of Arts in Textile Design. Master's degree programs are available for those interested in textile design management. These programs combine classroom lectures with hands-on studio labs.
In order to gain acceptance to a bachelor's program, applicants must provide high school transcripts, standardized test scores, personal essays and sometimes a portfolio of artwork. Many graduate programs require the completion of a bachelor's degree in a field such as textiles, design, art, fashion, supply chain management or business. Some graduate programs related to textile design require that students select a particular concentration on which to focus, such as textiles technology, textile management or textiles marketing.
A bachelor's degree program can be completed with about four years of full time study. Some graduate programs may require thesis projects that students complete by designing, packaging and selling their own textile creations
Bachelor of Arts in Textile Design
A bachelor's degree program in textile design is meant to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the creation and functional utilization of various textiles. The most common industry that uses textiles is the fashion industry, and many courses in a textiles degree program will focus on the creation and design of different types of fabrics. However, other textile courses offer instruction on designing and developing textile sculptures, surface textiles or constructed textiles. Students enrolled in a textile design degree program learn about the history of textiles as well as the theoretical concepts of aesthetics and touch that underlay the field. The study of textiles is often very hands-on and involves several hours spent in studio courses. Students complete hands-on work with the various materials and components that make up textiles such as knits, weaves, silks, leathers and color dyes. Courses included in the program may include the following:
- Textile design processes
- Color usage
- Textile terminology
- Repeat patterning
- Computer aided textile design
- Knitted and woven design
Master's Degrees in Textile Design
Students interested in graduate programs in textile designs have a few different degree options to choose from, including a Master of Arts in Textile and Apparel Management, a Master of Arts in Textiles and Supply Chain Management and a Master of Arts in Textiles and Marketing. These degree programs are designed to help students further explore the processes and technologies that go into designing and producing textiles. For this reason, students enrolling in a graduate program in textile design should have a basic understanding of computer software, design, mathematics and patterning. Students enrolled in a master's degree program in textile design learn about product development, body scanning and textiles and computer aided design (CAD) techniques. Many courses included in a master's degree program in textiles design are hands-on and take place in a studio or laboratory environment. Many also require a great deal of individual research on the part of the student. Common courses include:
- Materials and polymers
- Nonwovens characteristics, methods, and processing
- Bonding principles in nonwovens
- Advanced woven structures design
- Textile quality and process control
Popular Career Options
Graduates of a degree program in textile design can go on to create textiles in a variety of industries and at a variety of career levels. Some of these include:
- Fashion textile designer
- Product developer for interior design
- Home furnishings textile designer
- Quality assurance inspector for textiles
- Freelance textiles artist
Many textile design career options for graduates of a master's degree program are similar to those options available to graduates of a bachelor's degree program in the field. Oftentimes, master's degrees help individuals move more quickly out of entry-level positions and into management level positions in the industry.
- Textile supply chain manager
- Textile marketing manager
- Quality assurance manager of textiles
- Research and development analyst
- Textiles production manager
Students interested in careers in textiles may pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Textile Design to prepare for a job in fashion, interior design and automotive interior design. After earning a bachelor's degree they may go on to a Master's Degree in Textile Design program to prepare for a career in textile management and research.