Technical textiles designer

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Technical textiles designers research, create and test textiles for use in healthcare, manufacturing and construction materials.

Salary range: £16,000 to £35,000

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How to become a technical textiles designer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
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University

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.

Entry requirements

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

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Apprenticeship

You could do a textile technical specialist higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

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

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Work

You can start as a textiles or materials technician and do further training on the job to specialise in technical fabrics research and development.

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Further information

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.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • 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
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory or in a factory.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

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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.