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Technical textiles designer

Technical textiles designers use computer aided design software to research, create and test textiles for specific uses.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

Most employers will expect you to have a degree that focuses on technical skills and knowledge, rather than surface design or the fashion industry.

You could do a textiles technology course like textile science and technology, or materials science and engineering.

You may also be able to get into this job as a technician, or through an apprenticeship.

The Textile Institute has more information on how to become a technical textiles designer.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • creative ideas and design skills
  • good concentration levels
  • strong written and spoken communication skills
  • IT skills
  • project management skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll work with fibres and fabrics for a wide range of uses, like:

  • medical textiles - allergy-free bedding and artificial ligaments in prosthetics
  • clothing textiles - waterproof, flame-retardant, heat-resistant or bullet-proof fabrics
  • woven fabric structures used in the manufacture of motor vehicles and aircraft
  • construction textiles - carbon fibre 'skins' used to protect buildings 

You’ll work with research and development and production teams and your day-to-day duties might include:

  • coming up with ideas for products that meet performance specifications
  • identifying the suitability and availability of materials
  • developing product prototypes
  • assessing technical performance specifications and carrying out rigorous testing
  • recording and interpreting test results
  • writing technical reports and cost estimates
  • researching new techniques and technologies

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000

Experienced: £25,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll work around 37 hours a week. You may need to do more hours during busy times to meet deadlines.

You’ll spend a lot of time in a laboratory environment and on the factory floor. 

You may need to travel to attend conferences and exhibitions.

6. Career path and progression

You could carry out research for universities that have a textiles specialism.

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Last updated: 14 December 2016