textile designer creative job roles creative

Textile Designer

  • Creating fabric designs and patterns for woven, knitted and printed materials
  • Drawing ideas by hand or using computer programmes

To do this role, you will need to:

  • be creative
  • be able to draw
  • have an eye for colour, texture and pattern
  • pay good attention to detail
  • have an understanding of different processes and techniques
  • know about fashion and textiles
  • have an understanding of trends
  • use CAD packages
  • work with customers
  • know about textile techniques
  • have good communication and problem-solving skills


Textile Designers need to discuss, understand and interpret the needs, ideas and requirements of their customers accurately. They must consider how the textile will be used and what properties it needs. These properties include the weight, strength, performance and flammability of the material used.

The starting salary for a Textile Designer is between £15,000 and £20,000 a year. More experienced Designers could earn around £28,000 a year. A Senior Designer or Design Director may earn in excess of £40,000 a year. The salary of a Freelance Designer will depend on their workload and the market level they design for.

Companies might expect you to have a relevant degree from an institution with a strong tradition in the textiles field.

If you are considering taking a fashion design course in higher education, the following courses have been rigorously assessed by the fashion industry and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of education they provide and the degree to which they prepare you for a career in fashion:

If you are considering an apprenticeship, the following programmes have been assessed by experts and awarded the Creative Skillset Tick for the high standard of training they provide and their links to the industry:

You can also take vocational qualifications such as an ABC Award in Manufacturing Textile Products; Apparel, Footwear, Leather or Textiles Production; or Textile Technology; or an SVQ in Manufacturing Textile Products.

Freelance designers may find it useful to train in business-related skills such as marketing and finance and you may find the ABC Award in Business for Creative Practitioners of interest.

There are no formal entry routes to become a Textile Designer. However, most people enter the industry through one of two main routes. You could begin as a Textiles Operative and progress into the role of a Textile Designer or gain relevant qualifications.

If you start as a Junior Textile Designer, with experience, you may be promoted into the role of Designer and then Senior Designer. Opportunities may be limited in smaller organisations and so it may be necessary to change employer to gain promotion.


  • Drapers
  • Vogue
  • Knitting Trade Journal
  • Knitting International
  • Twist – The New Wool Record

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