Textile technologist
Laboratory & Medical Technical

Textile technologists work with a variety of materials including man-made and natural textiles, leather, fur, plastics and metals. They may be responsible for developing fabrics for furnishings, clothing, household items, medical supplies, or textiles for use within the automotive industry.

Work Activities

Responsibilities include:

  • liaising with and providing technical advice to design, marketing, purchasing and production staff
  • creating products in response to given briefs
  • amending designs where necessary
  • producing samples
  • dyeing and printing textiles
  • evaluating, identifying and selecting fabrics/products from suppliers
  • ensuring that products meet set requirements and specifications (eg colour fastness, durability etc)
  • checking products for suitability and testing for performance under various conditions
  • controlling production and quality standards
  • problem solving
  • dealing with customer queries and complaints
  • keeping up to date with trends and innovations

You can find out more about what life might be like by reading TARGETjobs' overview of product technology and food technology.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for clothing and textile technologists

  • Creativity
  • A good knowledge of fabric and materials
  • Commercial awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • The ability to work well in teams

For more information on the skills you'll need, read the TARGETjobs article on the five skills retail employers look for – and how you can prove that you possess them.

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers

Employers of clothing and textile technologists include manufacturers of industrial textiles, small textile companies, retailers, research and development organisations and clothing manufacturers.

Jobs are advertised by careers services and recruitment agencies, in national newspapers, and in trade publications including Drapers, Knitting Trade Journal, International Dyer and Apparel.

Networking, job shadowing and speculative applications may be helpful. Directories such as Textile Source and The Fashion Index can provide useful contact information.


Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this career for both university graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need a relevant degree such as clothing and textiles technology or materials and polymer sciences. A postgraduate textiles/clothing qualification can be helpful for graduates from other relevant disciplines, as can industrial experience gained via vacation work, placements and final year projects or by working at a junior level. Take a look at the TARGETjobs guide to retail work experience to help you explore your options.

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