Textile designer
Product Designers

Textile designers create designs for printed, woven and knitted fabrics, carpets and wall-coverings. As well as keeping up with current fashion trends, textile designers need to understand how textiles can be used to make things.

Work Activities

Textile designers create designs for woven, printed and knitted fabrics, carpets, wall-coverings and soft furnishings. Their duties vary according to where they work.

Textile designers who work for a small company may spend most of their time reworking traditional designs. For example, those working for a small worsted company, may be required to change the design of an existing woollen cloth, perhaps adding an extra stripe to a pinstriped design.

Large design companies usually employ a small team of textile 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.

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.

Designer-craftworkers usually make their own samples. The textile designer may also be responsible for preparing colourways 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.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of textile designers include in-house design units of textile manufacturers, and specialist studios that work for a number of manufacturers.

Traditionally, textile firms are based in the East Midlands, the North West, Scotland, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.

Opportunities occur for textile designers to work as self-employed, freelance designers in consultancy and fixed-term contract work. You can obtain this work through specialist recruitment agencies.


Entry requirements will vary for each apprenticeship or degree so it is important to check with individual employers or universities.

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