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Textile designer

Textile designers create fabric designs and patterns for woven, knitted and printed materials for clothes or interior furnishings.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but many textile designers have a relevant degree in:

  • fashion
  • art and design 
  • textiles 
  • surface design

Creative Skillset has details of accredited textile and design courses you could take to gain relevant skills. 

You may be able to start in a textile operative role and then work your way up.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • creative flair and an understanding of colour, texture and pattern
  • design software skills
  • budgeting skills and the ability to work out costs

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • producing initial sketches by hand, or on a computer using design software
  • reworking designs until they meet the customer’s needs
  • making up samples or having them made by technicians
  • researching design trends to decide what will sell
  • working with clients, technical staff, marketing and buying staff
  • keeping up-to-date with developments in manufacturing technology

If you’re self-employed, you’ll also need to manage your own business activities like marketing, finances and your website.

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £20,000

Experienced: £28,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 (senior designer or design director)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 40 hours a week, although you may need to work longer to meet deadlines when it’s busy.

If freelance, your hours will depend on your clients and you’ll usually split your time between designing and marketing your work.

A lot of your time will be spent at a computer, designing fabrics and working on patterns. You may sometimes need to travel to visit trade fairs, clients and manufacturers.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a senior design position, or work as a product or project manager. 

You could also move into part-time teaching , or set up your own business.

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Last updated: 16 December 2016