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Textile Designer
Textile designers are responsible for the creation and development of designs or patterns which are either woven, knitted or printed on to or into cloth. They need artistic skills and sound knowledge of fabric characteristics and factory reproduction techniques to design exquisite and marketable textiles.

Textile designers work within a field where media, materials, production methods, finance and public taste all have a bearing on their work. Designers need to understand and exploit these limitations so that the fabric is readily identified with a specific need and its acceptance is facilitated.

Creative artists use their skills and experience to produce designs and colourations, not only by traditional sketches and painting techniques, but also using high-tech computers. This offers aspiring designers a totally new dimension in the exciting world of textile design.

Textile design moves with current fashion and reflects many moods and cultures. International travel, to capture design ideas and trends, becomes part of skilled designers' work when part of product management teams. With backgrounds of expertise and specialized knowledge, designers can fulfil important roles on the marketing or colouring side too.

Textile designers are mostly employed by the fashion fabrics and home textiles industries. They are sometimes expected to travel from one country to another to study fashion trends.

Satisfying Aspects
- normal working hours
- keeping up with fashion trends
- using your creative abilities
- being able to see the end product

Demanding aspects
- having to continually research and keep abreast of public tastes to keep products selling
- working to deadlines
- eye-strain from doing detailed work
- trying to compete productivity and price-wise with the Orient

A textile designer should:
- be artistic, creative and practical
- have basic drawing skills
- have creative imagination
- have excellent feel for colour
- be aware of fashion trends
- have understanding of all marketing avenues
- be hard working
- be able to work under pressure
- be friendly and tactful when dealing with clients
- be able to subdue personal taste to meet those of particular markets

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Visual Arts, Mathematics and History

Many large home textile and fashion fabric manufacturers offer in-service training.

Diploma: The three-year N.Dip. Textile Technology and/or the N.Dip. Textile Design and Technology can be obtained at CPUT, DUT and TUT. A fourth year of study will culminate in the BTech Textile Design and Technology degree. After completion of the fifth year of study, students can obtain the MTech Textile Design and Technology.

Certificate: FET College

Most universities of technology require a portfolio, the specifications of which differ from one institution to another.

- Studios
- Textile company (merchandiser or stylist)
- Chain groups
- Boutiques
- Garment manufacturers
- Self-employed, as consultant or doing freelance work

Textile Federation
P O Box 16278
Doornfontein, 2028
Tel: (011) 454-2342 Fax: (011) 454-2342