Career Opportunities in Textile Design
Textile design is an umbrella term given for a creative practice that is concerned with the construction, design and creative application of fabrics. Finding itself applicable in a broad range of activities, textiles are versatile mediums that support adaptability, innovation and ergonomics which is what makes them highly desirable for daily activities. The career opportunities within this field are immense and evolving because of its broad scope, and a graduate in it make a career out of the following opportunities:
Being a textile designer can facilitate its graduates to become a weaver in a textile mill or studio. Concerning itself with the creation of textile by means of interweaving yarn, a weaver can choose to work with hand-loom or machine power-loom such as jacquard depending on their expertise and area of interest. Being a weaver involves them to have an advanced understanding of the technical methodologies of weaving textiles and the operation of its equipment, along with an aptitude for creative thinking within this technical framework.
A knitwear designer works on creating knits which is a textile construction method of interlocking yarns. Finding its application mostly within casual and inner-wear, a knitwear designer requires one to have the technical expertise in various knit construction formats and the aptitude and interest to explore new possibilities of knitted textile construction enabling them to reconsider its scope within the fashion and home industry.
A print designer deals with the conceptualisation, creation and realisation of prints, motifs and patterns for various applications on textiles, books, paper or publications. Supported by both hand and digital means of working, print designers are required by various fashion, home, lifestyle and corporate industries for creating visual as well as tactile engagement. Print designers can choose to work with digital, roller, rotary, block, transfer, reactive and screen printing methods, among other growing techniques.
Craft Cluster/ NGO
Craft practices support traditional textile practices which hold historical and cultural significance. These crafts arose as a solution to a problem or as a way of preserving and transferring heritage. As crafts form the backbone of the Indian textile industry, its study enables one to sustain their practice and contribute to their social, economic and political welfare.
Embroidery forms a core subdivision within textile design and like print design it is a part of surface development techniques. Education in textile design can enable one to practice their career as an embroiderer working with various techniques and playing with their formats and variations to create interesting tactile surface designs. Being an embroidery designer involves conceptualising its design, deciding on material and appropriate techniques based on product application and requires one to have precision and patience.
Home furnishing/interior design
The home and interior industry relies heavily on the textile industry for the creation and making of fabrics for living such as upholstery, rugs, carpets, bedsheets, pillows and kitchenware. The Indian textile industry finds itself in huge demand for home furnishing which caters to its export as well. Textile design for home and interior demand an understanding of creating textiles and fabrics that are functional and ergonomic as these applications are based in utility.
Trend Forecasting and Consultancy
A background in textile design provides graduates with the opportunity to work in trend forecasting, involving themselves with the interpretation and prediction of trends for textiles with regard to material, colour, surface design and construction. They can work in trend forecasting agencies as consultants for home and fashion.
As textile design forms the foundation of fashion, a graduate in it enables a practice in fashion design. They will have an advanced knowledge of textile and material which form the medium of fashion practice. Knowledge of textiles and its properties will develop their sensitivity to fabric, helping them create garments that have innovative styles which are not just informed by silhouettes.
Textile design being a creative practice is very much involved with the practice of presentation. Being a textile designer can enable one to pursue a career in visual merchandising as it explores creative display of artistic practices. Understanding of textile design can help one gain an understanding of styling material and fabric that augment their scope and potential.
Leather and Accessory Designer
Accessory design employs the usage of various materials including textile to conceptualise and create wearable products. Understanding of textile design can enable the student to create leather and accessory design that is informed by material consciousness and which explore various textile techniques.
Textile Design is a growing field that finds its application within a wide range of areas. The career opportunities given above aim to provide an outline of its existing scope and they field continues to witness evolution according to the growing needs and demands of the market. This provides a platform for the creative and innovative exploration of the field of textile design enabling opportunities for expanding its scope and nature of application. The M.Sc. in Fashion and Textile Design offered by JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru in collaboration with Singhania University is a two-year course that aims to support the engagement and enquiry of textile design with the fashion industry. Through this program the student gains an understanding of how the creative practices of fashion and textile design inform each other.