In Summary - Textile Designer
Textile Designers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
Videos & Interviews
Liz Christy, Textile Design/Handweaver
Liz Christy is a Textile Designer and Handweaver working near Castleblaney, Co Monaghan. After her Leaving Cert she completed a certificate in Visual Education and went on to get a National Diploma in Textile Design. She is now self employed, and operates her own studio, Swallow Studios, where she displays and sells her creations.
The Work - Textile Designer
Textile designers create designs, either by hand, or digitally, for woven, printed and knitted fabrics, carpets, wall coverings and soft furnishings.
A designer's duties vary according to where they work. Designers who work for a small company may spend most of their time reworking traditional designs. Large design companies usually employ a small team of designers who create original designs. However, these designs usually have to fit a particular house style or image. In some cases, companies buy designs from freelance designers and pass them to their own in-house designers to adapt them.
Designers will probably spend most of their time at a drawing board in a design studio. Increasingly designers use computer-aided design (CAD) systems instead of traditional design materials such as pens, pencils and paints.
When they have finished the design, they send it to a print laboratory where a sample can be made up and passed on to the design director to examine and comment on. Self-employed designer-craftworkers usually make their own samples. The designer may also be responsible for preparing colour ways or swatches. These are small pieces or sections of the finished article that they can show to a buying team and retailers. These give everyone involved in the design process a better idea of the appearance and texture of the final product.
Most 3rd Level courses or apprenticeships are 3-4 years.
Textile designers can work as in a range of manufacturing industries designing:
- Interior fabrics
- Boats and
Textile artist and designers can be self-employed or work as design consultants, lecturers and educators.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Remove defects in cloth by cutting and pulling out filling.
- Inspect products to ensure that specifications are met and to determine if machines need adjustment.
- Observe woven cloth to detect weaving defects.
- Thread yarn, thread, and fabric through guides, needles, and rollers of machines for weaving, knitting, or other processing.
- Examine looms to determine causes of loom stoppage, such as warp filling, harness breaks, or mechanical defects.
- Notify supervisors or repair staff of mechanical malfunctions.
- Set up, or set up and operate textile machines that perform textile processing and manufacturing operations such as winding, twisting, knitting, weaving, bonding, or stretching.
- Start machines, monitor operations, and make adjustments as needed.
- Inspect machinery to determine whether repairs are needed.
- Record information about work completed and machine settings.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
Interests - Textile Designer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
Although some designers are not directly involved in textile production, it is very important that you have technical knowledge of yarns and dyes, as well as manufacturing processes and limitations, as this will affect your designs. For example, some machines may not be able to reproduce a lot of colours, so you will be restricted to using just two or three colours.
Designer-craft workers need practical craft skills to make up their designs.
Designers will also need to be able to use
computer-aided design (CAD) software packages in their work.
Entry Requirements - Textile Designer
Pay & Salary - Textile Designer
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 42k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.