Introduction: A textile designer can be employed in the garment, fashion, home furnishing, and the interiors segment among other industries. A textile designer must know about yarn making, weaving, knitting, dyeing, finishing processes, and also knowledge about different types of looms, knitting machines, and printing processes.
This refers to the creation of patterns and structures for woven, knitted, or non-woven fabrics. It involves the process of producing designs for clothes, which are used in household textiles, clothing, and decorative textiles like carpets. Starting from the actual design making to the different other processes, which are related to this kind of production are included in this field of study. To be precise, it is a process that starts with raw materials and ends in the finished product.
The main elements of this process are yarn, fiber, and many more. Being a creative arena, it associates itself with making contemporary, creative, and stylish designs. This even bridges carpet manufacturing, fashion designing, and different fields, which are related to clothes. The usage of printing or dyeing is one of the major parts of textile design. This, as an academic course, is quite popular in different parts of the world.
Since Fashion is always a growing topic the companies demand new & new design every day. So, the Scope of any study (designing, knitwear, textile, etc…) in the Fashion Industry will always be upstream. With keen interest, hard and smart works with passion, the level of the growths are in the hands of the Designers. So, studying textile designing, it’s a good choice if they(the students) are determined for it because it needs a lot of practical flaws to overcome.
And job prospectus will fall in the textile industry which includes home furnishings, textile mills, Merchandisers, Fabric Coordinators, Managers in several fashion segments. At a certain point (preferably after few years of experience), you can even have your own textile business. It’s a versatile business as its success level depends upon the creativity and knowledge of the designers more than anything.
The market is always available for new and newer trends.
In Paris, there are 3 Fashion Shows daily which shows the best in the world. The people from India learn from them and implement them in India. In some cases, they are successful, in some cases, they are a flop.
 Current Scenario of Textile Design Course in India
With the fast-growing potential for the market of textile products in India, many new avenues have opened up regarding the career option in textile design. This necessitates a proper educational qualification in textile design though since they need to have a sound knowledge about the different methods of designing textiles and textile fibers. The designing of textiles, as a specialized subject, can be studied both at graduation and post-graduation levels.
However, the degrees related to this field can be either in the discipline of arts or science as nowadays, several professionals use computer-based designing software for the creation of a varied textile design. Over the past few years, the country has been successful in developing some of the famous institutions that offer various courses in this field. Apart from offering degree courses, numerous Indian institutions and colleges offer diploma courses on the same.
 Job Profile:
Textile designers are trained in fabric printing, dyeing, embroidery, and design development. They work as design developers, color specialists, hand painters, and printing supervisors. With the knowledge of the history of textile fibers, and expertise in various methods of how textile looms operate they know how yarns of different types can be blended.
- Carry out design research
- Keep abreast with current fashion trends
- Study fabric durability, weight, texture, etc.
- Designs are created to suit the market
- Prepare rough sketches to outline basic ideas
- Transfer sketches to detailed technical specifications. The construction of designs is presented on graph paper or through CAD (computer-aided design) systems to the production team
- Samples are made
- Work in liaison with technicians and technologists for making necessary adjustments to the designs
- The design manager and sales and marketing staff select samples from the range for the market
- Interest and skill in drawing and illustration
- Patience for long hours of work
- Fashion consciousness
- Technical knowledge
- Persuasive ability
- Interest in color concepts/ preferences
- Visual imagination
- Resilience (elasticity)
- Business acumen (perception)
- Good communication
[3.3] Employment Opportunities
- Design studios
- Textile mills
- Export houses
- Textile dyeing and printing units
- Textile Finishing
- Fashion garment houses
- Export units
- Freelancing for government and private firms
- Cottage industries, small scale industries
1.53 Lakh to 5.91 Lakhs per annum
(Salary data sourced from PayScale.com)
 5 Things to Know Before Working with A Textile Designer
1. What is a textile designer?
Textile design, or surface design, is a niche within the vast field of graphic design and covers all aspects of print and pattern from fabric for garments to home decor and more. A textile designer is essentially an artist that creates artwork to be sold or used on a variety of surfaces. Prints are often an important part of a fashion collection and many times can define a brand or collection, potentially making it a very important layer in the manufacturing process. In addition to artwork creation, textile designers are usually trained with a specific skill set of technical skills, to prepare files for reproduction onto fabric or other surfaces.
2. How to find a textile designer
There’s no shortage of talent out there today for textile & surface design. Textile designers work solo and in groups represented by studios. There are several major trades shows each year that is open to the fashion and home industries where artist represent themselves or large studio will have many artists & styles represented. Some of the most popular shows are Indigo Premiere Vision, Print Source, textile, and Surtex. Further, most major studios have an online library that can be accessed year-round with credentials. Many individual textile artists can be found via portfolio/ freelance sites such as Behance, Art thread, and LocalSolo, etc., and through web and social media searches. The individual artist is often known for specific types or styles, techniques, or genres of design (i.e children’s, swim, juniors). Many textiles designs also offer technical skills to place an existing artwork into a correct technical file for printing.
3. Costs of working with a designer
If you’re interested in incorporating prints or artwork into your line, it’s important to create a budget for this. In general, the textile industry works in two ways: Artwork purchased ‘outright’ for ‘exclusive’ use, copyright ownership, OR licensing a design. When a client is seeking to buy artwork for exclusive use and copyright ownership it usually means that the artwork has not been shown publicly (only to prospective clients), it is original, and once bought the ownership of that artwork fully transfers to a client and can be used in any manner by the client. This artwork comes at a higher price because the copyright and exclusivity are being sold with it. The pricing for the artwork only includes the artwork, usually digital files and/or fabric samples if bought at a trade show. The price does not include any printing or fabrication itself. Once sold, the printing and fabrication are the responsibility of the client/brand. Pricing for one design can start at around $350 and go upwards to $800 depending on complexity, number of colors, scale, and other factors that contribute to the artwork.
Another way clients or brands work with textiles designs is to license a design. When a design is licensed from an artist is being ‘rented’ for a specific period, project, or product. When a design is licensed, the copyright of that artwork remains with the artist, and permission is granted to use the pattern for a fee or royalty (usually based on a percentage of product retail price) with specific agreed-upon guidelines and a contract between both parties. Royalties or fees will depend on the popularity of the designer and the use of design. For some small companies without a large budget for custom designs, licensing can potentially be an economical way of starting to introduce artwork into the brand. Most times when licensing artwork the designer’s name goes with the project, therefore bringing their audience to your brand and making it a true collaboration and mutually beneficial.
4. Preparing for a project
It can be helpful to have some technical knowledge of what and how you intend to use your artwork. If the artwork is to be printed onto to fabric it might be best to contact your printer first to find out what type of printing they can do, what types of fabric they can print on, what file format is best to send, and any other technical info they have about color so that you can relay this to the artist you’re working with. Some printers only print using screens, which involves a setup fee, limitations on colors, and artwork to be prepped and color separated. Other printers use digital methods which can give significantly more freedom for color, scale, but may have limitations for types of fabric, etc. It can save time and makes a huge difference if an artist knows they can only use four colors verse hundreds of colors, variation, and texture.
Creating a mood board with inspiration, other prints, and colors can be very helpful to an artist so they can create what you are looking for specifically. Many of my clients will send a link to a Pinterest board so I can view what they are trying to covey and I keep many genres specify boards, so a client can scroll through for their inspiration.
5. Additional textile and surface design terms:
Technical or Seamless Repeat: When a design has a seamless repeat, it can be printed on endless yards of fabric without lines or interruptions in the flow of the design. Repeat size can vary and sometimes have restrictions depending on the type of printing or the width of the fabric.
Placement/Engineered Design: A design created for a surface that does not repeat. The design is usually strategically placed on a garment and requires special printing as it’s not usually done on seamless yardage. T-shirt graphics are placement graphics.
Colorway: A design can be created and then come in several different color versions. Most of the time if a design is sold you are purchasing one main colorway. Additional colorways can usually be purchased for a smaller fee. For a new brand, a budget can potently be stretched by buying one-two artwork and color-ways as opposed to several different artworks.
Colour Separation: When artwork is being printed via screens it needs to be separated digitally into each color that will be a screen. The more colors, the more screens, the costlier the printing and artwork.
Strike Off: A small sample of the artwork printed on the intended fabric to check the colors, scale, repeat, etc. This is an important step before having many yards of fabric created. If there is an error, it can be very costly to have to re-print. If adjustments are needed, your textile designer can fix the artwork.
You’ll need plenty of initiative and perseverance as well as talent to work in textile design. Spending time, making industry contacts can be as valuable as completing courses
Textile designers create two-dimensional designs that can be used, often as a repeat design, in the production of knit, weave, and printed fabrics or textile products.
Working in both industrial and non-industrial locations, they often specialize or work in a specialist context within the textile industry. The two major areas of textiles are:
- interiors (upholstery, soft furnishings, and carpets)
- fabrics for clothing (fashion or specialist, e.g. fire-proof).
Many textile designers are self-employed, while others work as part of a design team.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a textile designer include:
- producing sketches, designs, and samples for presentation to customers
- making up sets of sample designs
- liaising with clients and technical, marketing and buying staff to plan and develop designs
- accurately interpreting and representing clients’ ideas
- working out design formulae for a group of samples
- assessing and approving completed items and production standards
- working independently, if self-employed, or liaising closely with colleagues as part of a small team
- using specialist software and computer-aided design (CAD) programs to develop a range of designs
- experimenting with color, fabric, and texture
- maintaining up-to-date knowledge of new design and production techniques and textile technology
- developing new design concepts
- ensuring that projects are completed on time
- visiting sites and other sources of ideas for designs
- sourcing fabrics and other materials at trade fairs, markets, and antique shops
- attending trade shows, as a delegate or as an exhibitor – this may involve representing the company with a display or stand, or appraising the work of competitors
- keeping up to date and spotting fashion trends in fabric design by reading forecasts in trade magazines and using internet resources
- developing a network of business contacts
- if self-employed, managing marketing and public relations, finances and business administration, and maintaining websites.
[5.2] what to expect
- Work settings differ and may include factories, backrooms, or smart design studios. Freelance artists, craftspeople, and designers may work from home or in workshops.
- Long-term, self-employment is an option, although setting up your own business in addition to maintaining design work is demanding and can take time. A good resource for young designers wanting to set up their own business is The Design Trust.
- Jobs are available throughout the world. There is a concentration of design studios in London and job availability is greater in the traditional centers of the textile industry, such as Scotland, the North West, and the Midlands.
- It is possible for new graduates to obtain their first jobs, particularly in fashion design, in Italy, France or America, where valuable experience can be gained working with well-known designers before starting work in the UK. Organizations such as Global Experiences offer fashion design internships abroad.
- Working alone and to short deadlines can be stressful and there is constant pressure to produce new ideas and make new contacts by visiting trade fairs and other events. Using your creative abilities within a commercial environment requires the ability to cope with criticism if a particular piece of work is not well received by a client.
- Occasional travel within a working day and overnight absence from home may be required and overseas work or travel is possible.
[6.1] Nift Future
It is a Proudest feeling to Design the Clothes and study with the fashion technology
NIFT’s prime objective has been to spawn a critical mass of highly competent technical professionals in the area of Fashion Design, Technology, and Management capable of providing leadership to the Indian Fashion Industry, to enable it to compete better in the global economy.
NIFT Professionals are some of the most creative minds a country can offer with a burning desire to excel, who go through a very stimulating and challenging academic schedule that prepares them to face any challenge in the ever-changing world of Fashion.
NIFT Industry Linkage unit facilitates on-campus placements for graduating students of NIFT to enable them to start their careers in challenging positions. Leading National and International companies participate in placements to recruit NIFT professionals.
The profile of companies attending Placements has expanded substantially with diverse segments of Industry like large retailers, Brand marketers, manufacturers, consultancy organizations, e-retailers, textile mills, home furnishing companies, design BPO’s, technology solution providers, International Brands, and Start-up firms.
For the Placements 2016, the major recruitment was done by Retail companies followed by Brands. A total of 39% of the total graduates recruited were placed in Retail companies. This was followed by Fashion Brands (20%), Designers / Design houses (19%), export houses / buying houses, and agencies (16%).
The Average annual salary during campus placements 2016 for the students from the Master’s program was Rs. 5.70 lakhs per annum and for the Bachelor’s Programme, the average annual salary was Rs. 4.30 lakhs per annum.
Designer placement is completely dependent on the portfolio than the academic performance during the 4-year time in NIFT.
Every year 50 – 80 companies visit for recruitment. On average they offer the package in between 3 – 4.5 lakh which means you will get 20k-30k in hand.
Also, every year some 4-5 big players visit with the vacancy of 1 or 2 and the package of 8-12 lakh as well. At the same time, some companies offer the package of 2 – 2.25 lakh per annum as well and the management of NIFT does allow them to enter campus which is humiliating.
Total seats in India is 2980 in the year 2017 and for the year 2018, it is 3010 in UG and PG.
Besides campus placement rounds designer’s future is bright if you are good at your work.
As a fashion designer, there are many avenues and opportunities. You can opt for a career in:
-manufacturing and processing company that produces clothing, soft furnishings, and other textiles-based products
-several large fashion and clothing retailers
-design studios and consultancies
-handloom cooperatives and buying agencies
You may even work as a freelancer. And with good experience and contacts, you can eventually open your own business.
Salary depends on various parameters such as the size of the organization, profile, qualification, experience, etc. It has been described before.
[6.2] NIFD OR INIFD
Today, after NIFT, INIFD is regarded as the most reliable institute to impart education in fashion technology and designing. INIFD or International Institute of Fashion Designing was initially named as NIFD or National Institute of Fashion Designing. At that time, the scope of the course was only limited to dress designing. However, today the institute offers undergraduate courses in textile designing and interior designing too. INIFD has its branches in the main cities of India, and its two branches in Delhi are as good as the rest of its counterparts. Its Delhi branch is affiliated with the Delhi University, but the curriculum of the institute is decided by the governing body of INIFD centrally. The institute has international collaboration with one of the leading international fashion houses, named Istituto Di Moda Burgo (Milan, Italy). This fashion house is the leader in the world market and most of the fashion companies all over the globe follow in its footsteps.
Life @ INIFD
The students of this college take active participation in fashion shows. The best of the lot is also invited to display their creativity in Lakme India Fashion Week. Fashion show competitions also take place at the inter-college level, where INIFD students from all over the country participate in fashion designing competitions.
Apart from Lakme Fashion week, these creative students also indulge in frequent theme parties, where they can showcase their creativity and fashion ideas, the clothes and the props used in these parties are designed or arranged by the students.
Fresher parties and farewell parties are also conducted with fun and pomp. Even these parties are quite elaborate and creative, with proper themes and dress codes.
[6.3] Placement and Future Prospects
The students of this college are recruited by some of the best fashion houses in India. Some of the students are also absorbed by the leading fashion designers in the country. Every year, the fashion designing students of this institute witness more than 65% recruitment. (Now it is almost 100%)
However, campus recruitment is not that common. These students are encouraged to build contacts and connections with the leading fashion houses and ace designers through the Lakme India Fashion Week or other fashion shows. The best of the students is recommended by the institute authorities, to the fashion houses, and in most cases, they are absorbed and more preferred than students of other designing institutes (except NIFT).
Some of the recruiters of this institute are FabIndia, Ritu Kumar, Ritu Beri, Neeta Lulla, Weddel Rodericks, Seasons, Glamorous India, Elie Saab, etc.
International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), the world’s largest Design Institute was launched by famous designer ‘Ritu Beri’ in 1995 which is now backed by the world’s top design institute, IMB, Milan (Italy).
INIFD is proud to have produced over one lac student Designers and more than five thousand students have been recently recruited by top international brands like Tommy Hilfiger, United Colors of Benetton, Wills Lifestyle, Esprit, Pantaloons, Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, J.J. Valaya House, Raymonds, Godrej, Durian to name a few.
In 21 years, INIFD has also produced star designers who have designed for movies Jodha Akbar, Balaji Telefilms, Prince Charles, Amitabh Bachhan, Shahrukh Khan, Angelina Jolie, and all top stars including the Set Designs for Bollywood super hits ‘Vivah’ & ‘Apne’. INIFD has a Placement Tie-up with Arvind Murjani Tommy Hilfiger, a leading International Brand.
Top Designers like Manish Malhotra, Neeta Lulla, Ashley Rebello, Aki Narula, Raghvinder Rathore & stars like Lara Dutta, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Bipasha Basu, Malaika Arora & many more have been associated with INIFD student activities. This international standard institute has 180 centers in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Dubai & many more countries.
Today after twenty-one years of journey, INIFD has successfully established itself as one of the best fashion designing schools in Pune with an open collaborative approach sending its alumni to the various domain of fashion.
International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) – Kothrud was started in 2005. It is one of the most pioneering centers of INIFD. Since its inception, INIFD Kothrud has become one of the best fashion designing institutes in Pune. Inifd kothrud has created milestones in terms of providing skilled professionals to various fashion industries and interior designers.
With its commitments and quality education, INIFD Kothrud has become extremely popular and well known in Pune and around as it is committed to providing only the best for its students. Due to the location and being in Kothrud the student hub of Pune, INIFD Pune is being able to provide hostel accommodations to the emerging designers at an affordable rate. INIFD Pune, kothrud started with a strength of just 15 students & grown to more than 500 students.
We at INIFD Kothrud, Pune India can proudly boast of the best faculty and infrastructure and offer courses that are at par with well-known colleges in India. Our experienced teaching staff focuses on building a strong foundation and the necessary skills required in the industry. And is providing a platform to it to get a chance for travelling to Italy and upgrade them by studying directly at IMB MILAN ITALY.
In the Master`s degree course, the NIFD is given the Project of 6 months by the big organization that how one Design failed, the relationship between suppliers and buyers, how to overcome and finds the solution. They are absorbed by the multinationals and the future becomes bright.
It is also to be studied the local market theme, understand the cost and choice, and then proceed. Just try to avoid the design which is too costly or may not be accepted by a buyer.
The Bharat Vijay Mills, Kalol has installed 10lakh spindles to produce value-added fabrics and selling at grey or finished stage. They have 36000 fabric designs in their Library with 24 looms. They produce fabrics with a brush, stone wash, and value-added fabrics which are in demand. They take students from NIFT and NIFD and pays well.
The free-lancing designers in most cases fail because of poor knowledge of the market and its demand although most of them are talented. Innovative ideas, interaction with the Alumni and the dealers should be maintained to become successful.
- The Designing and Technology is not a new thing in the world. Only the fashion trend is changing but some are repeating. The dress worn by the queens of the Mughals started repeating.
- The Designers must have a good knowledge of raw material to finishing so that they should understand the Technology in detail and perfection.
- It is a fabric design with a mix-up of raw material to a style of knitting and weaving, Textile Finishing, and Garment design. Wherever the designers join, the Management expects new and newer technology. Hence the designers must have the innovations and hard work.
- For freelancers, a market study is a must.
Both NIFT and NIFD are at the top in the placement especially NIFD because of the more creative.
Dr. B. BASU
Textile Industry Consultant