Before understanding whether textiles is ‘the field’ for you to look forward as a career do have a quick look whether u fit well in this profile.
- Do you have an eye for visual imagination?
- Are you an innovator and possess a drive for experimenting?
- Do you believe in being original?
- Are you willing and comfortable to work as a team?
- Do you show greater flexibility and adaptability?
If your answer is ‘yes’ then you are welcome to the innovative and creative world of textiles and fashion – the career option that can offer money, success, glamour but demands lot of hard work and patience.
After completion of basic schooling (10+2) one can directly opt for graduation (B.Tech, B.Sc) and later post graduation (M.Tech, M.Sc) courses for textiles being offered by various Universities. Else one can also choose in for diploma offering and certificate courses after graduating in other allied subjects. A big list of Universities and Institutes offering graduation, post graduation and diploma courses all over India has already been posted earlier (https://textontextiles.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/list-of-options-to-choose-the-best-textile-institute-for-you/). Time is for you to have a closer look and choose the best.
Get the Awareness
Having career in textiles is no more confined to designing or stitching rather now the industry has a lot to offer and demand for. The textile industry has many sectors and sub-sectors to look for a promising career but broadly talking it is about fashion designing and textile technology. Many of the institutes may only focus on fashion designing but having qualitative and quantitative knowledge of both the aspects will be in favour of more job prospects.
Although fashion and textile technology are not literally separated, still the end application industry and the demand for skills laid down by the recruiters do have a strong influence over splitting between the career paths. Creative and technical knowledge can be the distinguishing line between the two.
A general trend seen so far – a candidate with B.Tech or M.Tech in textile technology/engineering would mostly be interested in being picked up by some textile production mill/research and development centre/textile testing/technical innovation centre etc. where as a candidate with fashion designing degree will feel comfortable going for developing and adapting new style and fashion to suit local conditions, trends and buyers with an export oriented garment house/fashion store/professional designer .
However this may not be the case always, it is up to the intuitive and interests of the candidates. Both career paths have an equivalent importance towards adding worth to the textile industry as a whole. They may be ‘different’ but not ‘apart’. For instance interaction between technology and fashion has resulted in designing of electronic apparels and use of other discovered technical yarns/fabrics for constructing chic but technology driven garments.
Till a few past years the industry has been recruiting candidates for fashion designing and production manager roles where a clear list of job titles has been made but with recruiting broadening, textile industry is now also offering exciting opportunities in technology driven sector. New end-use and international markets are increasing demand for skilled professionals such as engineers, researchers, technologists, chemists and computer specialists, as well as highly skilled workers to operate high-tech machinery.
- Fashion Designer: originates and creates design ideas for clothing combining fashion forecasting and trends.
- Fashion Forecasting: studies and feeds a constant stream of fabric, colour, texture, pattern, and product style trends to designers, merchandisers, promoters, and advertisers across the textile and apparel industry.
- Merchandiser, Marketing and Retailing Manager: develops promotion strategy and content of season’s lines for marketing.
- Visual Merchandiser: works on creating impressive commercial window and floor displays.
- Market Analyst: conducts market research through consumer tastes and developing trends.
- Fashion Consultant: offers ideas regularly on how to further develop a product to be readily absorbed in a market based on their awareness of the trends and transitions in the fashion market.
- Fashion Co-ordinator: arranges and supervise the marketing of fashion clothing for manufacturing houses, textile firms and retail stores. Advices on latest fashion trends, organizes fashion shows, assists in advertising i.e. promoting sales and liaison with fabric dealers.
- Illustrator: provides fashion illustrations or sketches to aid designers, advertisers, apparel or textile manufacturers, etc.
- Product Developer: develops products keyed to specific end-uses utilizing fabrics and processes in engineering products with special performance and design features as required.
- Production Manager: uses textiles and clothing, business, and engineering skills in managing production of textile or apparel products. Interacts with designer and quality control to ensure product quality standards are met.
- Pattern Maker: creates the ‘blueprint’ or pattern pieces for a particular apparel design for mass production by ‘grading’ or adjusting the pieces for different sized garments.
- Brand Manager: monitors market trends and oversees advertising and marketing activities to create a strong and lasting impression of product on the audience.
- Buying Officer: makes buying selections for the store, all branches of a chain store, mail-order catalog, or specialty store consortium. Handles reorders.
- Fabric Sourcing: keep an account of fabrics to be sourced and ordered from different stores as per the requirement of the designer.
- Quality Assurance: interacts with design and merchandising directors to determine product specifications. Monitors how well production meets quality specifications.
- Tailor/Garment Construction: stitches garments as per the design specifications utilizing optimum resources.
- Accessory Designer: designs and creates the relevant accessories enhancing the look and feel of the garment.
- Freelancer/Independent contractor: works for helping the fashion stores or garment houses on contract basis as per his/her area of specialisation.
- Stylist: adapts styles to target audience for the company’s product or coordinate the entire wardrobe for a fashion show or program to promote the sales of the products. Selects fabrics, coordinate lines, dress, accessories, make up, hairstyle, etc and oversee process of interpreting styles.
Listing few job titles associated with textile manufacturing/designing centres:
- Textile Designer: originates textile structure or surface designs in response to ongoing fashion cycles or product development requirements. Combine illustration, textile production, art, and computer-aided design skills in carrying out designs. Product end use includes either apparel or interiors. Textile designers work within and alongside industries such as fashion, interior design, and textiles. They may also work under professional designers or as freelance designers working with a client base.
- Fabric Developer: based on the technical and structural knowledge of fibres and filaments develop a particular fabric design from paper to reality.
- Printing Designer: creates blueprint of the print to be done on the fabric, decides the techniques and monitors the whole process.
- Embroidery Designer
- Fabric Constructor: a weaver or a knitter who have the machine operating and technical skills to produce the fabric as per the design.
- Fabric/Garment Finisher: decides and monitors the finishing processes as per the fabric /garments requirements before going into market/production.
- Fiber/Yarn Finishing
- Textile Lab Manager: tests the product samples for certain specifications and standards.
- Quality Assurance: monitors how well production meets quality specifications.
- Dyer/Colourist: decides dye type and processes to colour the yarn/fabric/garment and monitors the whole process.
- Machine Operators: there are huge and technical machines involved in the production of textiles for which sound technicians are required in large numbers like textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machines, extruding machines, textile cutting, bleaching, dyeing machines, etc.
There also lie some fruitful options with the associated fashion and textile careers. By associated I mean which have there focus on fashion and textiles but are originating from other industries namely lecturing/teaching, journalism/media, entertainment industry, fashion photography, modeling, interior designing, etc. These options do revolve around fashion and textiles but are indirectly associated with the textile industry.
It’s all about understanding the field thoroughly. So here an attempt has been made for making you feel and get an idea about the outlook of the textile industry from a much coarser perspective.