The patterns or designs on woven, knitted, printed, or surface embellished materials are known as textile design. The most important considerations are fibre, yarns, and final product finishing. A cloth can be printed in numerous ways. Hand block printing, screen printing, digital printing, and any other dyeing process can be used to print them. Prints or motifs on cloth are extra features or pieces on the fabric that give the garment a distinct edge above the basic colour. Such themes or prints make the cloth stand out and seem desirable; although there are several procedures for applying these designs on cloth.

Career Guide: Textile Design - Sheet1
Glasgow School of Art_©Joycen Tyson

History and Traditions

Cotton and silk from India and China date back thousands of years, to 5000 BC. Textiles became valuable commodities once trading networks were established between European, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries. We’re not sure who created these early fabrics. However, we know that the weave, colours, and patterns were chosen by someone. Dyeing process’ technical developments opened up new markets for European textiles in the fourteenth century. Methods developed in one region of the world and gained popularity in other parts of the world. Damask, for example, is a form of weaving that generates monochromatic, or one-colour, motifs and reflections in China. However, by the fourteenth century, high-quality damask manufacture had become a specialization in Italy.

Traditional designs or traditional patterns are designs or patterns that are an intrinsic component of Indian textiles, arts, interior design, crafts, paintings, and architecture. Birds, flowers, stems, leaves, branches, items, movement, insects, shells, webs, animals, and human figures are all inspirations for traditional patterns. There is no proof of when they were formed, however, they have allusions dating back to the Indus Valley Civilization, the Vedic period, Buddhist sculptures, Gupta period artefacts, and the Mughal period. The following are examples of traditional Indian textile designs. All of the themes had local names and a tale to tell about the craftsmen who created them. Craftsmen are lords of their own kingdom, creating gorgeous, astounding, and fantastic masterpieces.

Career Guide: Textile Design - Sheet2
Glasgow School of Art_©Lucy McDonald

The Industry

Textile industries are of three types – textile mills, textile product mills, and apparel manufacturing. Textile mills are the foundation industry for the other two sectors to achieve effective outputs. Textile mills supply the raw materials for the production of clothing and textile items. They convert natural and synthetic materials like cotton and polyester into fibre, yarn, and thread. Textile product mills turn raw textiles into finished goods that are not clothing. Carpets and rugs, towels, curtains and sheets, thread and twine, furniture and vehicle upholstery, and industrial belts and fire hoses are some of the things manufactured in this industry. Textile producers’ textiles are transformed into garments and accessories by the apparel manufacturing sector. Traditionally, the garment business has been made up largely of factory employees who cut and sew on an assembly line. Despite developments in technology and employment norms, this industry is still labour-intensive.

You may build and start your own textile enterprise with a textile design job path. There, you may experiment with your fabric and design ideas. Where else can you work as a textile designer for an industry where you must work within the company’s constraints and needs? If you are a creative individual with good business sense, the strategy for your own industry is more advantageous since it will be your own and distinctive standards of style, designing, and creating. Choose the industry that best matches your talents. As a textile designer, you will work as a wholesaler since you manufacture in large quantities with a lot of personnel and expenditures, and you will be compensated with profits from your outputs. 

Career Guide: Textile Design - Sheet3
Glasgow School of Art_©Meghan Clarke

Skills and Qualities

The most crucial qualities for a textile designer are a creative mind, optimism, and self-assurance. To demonstrate your design talents, you must be highly daring and open-minded. Accepting criticism requires you to be upbeat. You should be a diverse thinker, exploring every element of raw thoughts that come into your head, as well as those of others.

Although a career in textile design is all about creativity and design, it will take a long time to brainstorm your ideas with current trends as well as the application for manufacturing. It is a particularly labour-intensive sector since production and manufacturing involve a great deal of hard effort. Originality is essential in textile design, yet it can be challenging to combine that creativity and enthusiasm with new trends at times. Allow your mind some breathing room and attempt to relax for a few minutes, but don’t give up. Continue to strive. Your inventions will not always be well-received, and you will encounter detractors. Take them positively since they will point out your flaws so you may improve your work and silence them.

Career Guide: Textile Design - Sheet4
Glasgow School of Art_©Ting Wang

A Career in the Field

You can begin your profession immediately after graduating from college, or even while still enrolled. So practice your fundamentals. Your talents will improve as you gain experience, so begin accumulating as much as possible, and the length of that experience will determine your success. Being a textile designer simply guides you through the steps of being a designer, entrepreneur, manufacturer, blogger, and more. Textile designers are employed by companies such as Raymond, Fabindia, Vardhman Textiles, and many more. You may create your own brand and show the world your creativity, which was previously restricted to your notebooks. You may take your company global by partnering with large industries and corporations. All you need to concentrate on is your originality, creativity, and drive for achievement. 

This profession offers several options for you to hone your entrepreneurial talents and establish your own business. What you need to do is get experience in order to govern your empire effectively. Once your firm takes off, your earnings will be substantially more than those from a job. If you establish your own business, you will be able to earn a lot of money over time and with your improved talents. Still, as a textile designer, you may make up to 60,000 to 70,000 per month, but only after gaining adequate expertise.

©World Skills UK

Education

Consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in design or textile design to further your knowledge and abilities. Begin to expand your professional knowledge. Always strive to maintain a level of innovation, individuality, enthusiasm, and hard work that will position you as a leader. You can also seek a higher degree, but your success in this sector is determined more by your particular approach and skill than by your academic credentials. So, instead of working for colleges, work on yourself to improve.

It is possible to apply for a postgraduate degree in design, although it is not required. A license is required if you wish to establish your own textile enterprise. Of course, gaining hands-on experience with your knowledge is a great way to test your abilities. You are more perfect because you recognize your flaws and talents. Internships are encouraged to help you explore new prospects and alternatives while also putting what you’ve learned into practice.

India’s Best Universities

The following are the top institutes that provide a degree in Textile Designing:
NID (National Institute of Design)
NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology)

Top Universities in World

North Carolina State University (USA)
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA)
The University of Bolton (UK)

Famous Personalities

Lucienne Day
William Morris

References:

Mehta, R. (2020). EVOLUTION OF INDIAN TEXTILE DESIGN: A STUDY OVER TIMESPAN. IARS’ International Research Journal, [online] 10(2). Available at: https://researth.iars.info/index.php/curie/article/view/146/123

Wikipedia Contributors (2019). Textile design. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Textile_design

Career Nuts. (2020). Textile Design Career Path: Is Textile Designing a Good Career? [online] Available at: https://careernuts.com/textile-design-career-path/

Author

A recently graduated architect, Mohit has a quest to understand the Art and Architecture of our cities. He believes in designing things by understanding the larger context and blending them into the larger environment.

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