Technical textiles designers research, create and test textiles for use in healthcare, manufacturing and construction materials.
Salary range: £16,000 to £35,000
How to become a technical textiles designer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:
- textile design
- materials science
- textile technology
- product design
It’s important that you check courses cover the technical skills and knowledge employers want, rather than ones that concentrate only on fashion design.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could do a textile technical specialist higher apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You can start as a textiles or materials technician and do further training on the job to specialise in technical fabrics research and development.
You can find out more about careers and training in textile design from The Textile Institute.
You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- design skills and knowledge
- knowledge of engineering science and technology
- the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- analytical thinking skills
- complex problem-solving skills
- the ability to work on your own
- knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- developing ideas for products that meet certain performance standards
- identifying the suitability and availability of materials
- creating designs using computer software
- developing prototypes
- assessing the technical performance of textiles
- recording and interpreting test results
- writing technical reports and estimating costs
- researching new development methods and technologies
You could work in a laboratory or in a factory.
You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.
Career path and progression
You could work in a research department for a university or company that specialises in technical textiles, for example carbon fibre or graphene.