What is Textile Design ?

Textile design is not the same as textile production, although textile designers would benefit from working with various fabrics and materials. Textile designers create designs on textiles and they use fabrics, cloth, and upholstery to fashion a wide range of products. Textiles are the basis of linens, bathing products, fashion, interior design, and furniture. And, textiles have grown up to branch out into installation art.

So many different types of cloth and fibers are available today that many textile designers often specialize in a specific area. One textile designer might work with knit designs, while other designers might create the patterns that you see on cotton or hemp fabrics. Still other textile designers might work with textiles that other designers have created to form new designs and patterns. Some of these jobs entail programming software to create designs or programming machines to create new fabric patterns. In many cases, textile designers work with dyes to crate new designs and patterns.

Some textile designers may branch out into pattern design. This field pertains to more then fashion design, as patterns are used to create upholstery for furniture as well. Designers in this field work with knits, natural and manmade fibers, leather and manmade fabrics, and even with metals. The combination of fabrics, fibers, and other materials is what can make this field exciting for many who choose to work as creatively as possible.

A person who enters the field of textile design can enter from within the field or as a graduate from a design school that focuses on textile design. The person who enters this field as an employee has the knowledge of a specific fabric under his or her belt. This allows that person the advantage of understanding how that specific fabric will respond to various treatments and uses.

The person who comes into this field at entry level must have classes in color theory, pattern design (different than pattern making), and a basic knowledge of most fabrics and materials. This knowledge can be obtained through courses that focus specifically on textiles. Often, you might find fashion designers or interior designers who gravitate to textile design to enhance their design ideas. On the other hand, many textile designers may enter the fields of fashion or interior design for the same reason to expand upon their design ideas.


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  •  Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in 2014 by the U.S. News & World Report.
  • Students are admitted throughout the year with quarterly start dates in January, April, July, and September.
  • All degree programs provide faculty-monitored internships or job-related assignments.
  • Offers associate and bachelor degree programs in business, design, health, plus certificate programs in practical nurse, medical assistant, and more.
  • Preparing students for professional and personal success since 1931.
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  • Providing accredited online courses and degree programs since 1987.
  • A military-friendly school, it ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
  • Students can customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
  • Program and course tuition is all-inclusive: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
  • Alumni can enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
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  • Offers a 10% scholarship to eligible active duty, active and drilling members of the Reserve and National Guard.
  • Its accelerated online courses allow students to learn new course material every 5 ½ weeks.
  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Has been training students for creative careers since 1921. 
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  • Now part of the Sanford-Brown network of schools.
  • Degree programs are developed to address current and expected needs of the design, fashion, and media arts and technology industries.
  • Many programs let students combine classes on campus with online courses.
  • Has a Career Services department that offers career development strategy, résumé and cover letter assistance, and more.
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