Options with textile design
The application of creative skills and the ability to generate ideas and concepts in response to a brief are becoming increasingly sought after by employers in many sectors…
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. To find out what jobs would suit you, log in to My Prospects.
Work experience in a design-related area, through holiday work or course placements, is an essential part of the process of getting into the industry. Work experience gained in the retail sector, for example, will help demonstrate your enthusiasm and commitment to the sector, as well as developing your commercial awareness.
It is important to build up relationships with more established designers, fashion houses and design companies in order to get commissions and placements. Extracurricular activities, such as private commissions or making your own clothes, will also help build up your portfolio.
Course tutors may be valuable contacts as many, if not all, work in the industry in addition to their teaching work. Going in person to trade fairs and other events is another proactive and effective way to make contacts.
There may be opportunities for voluntary work in art therapy or community arts for textile design graduates. This will build up your contacts and experience and may lead to paid work.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
Graduate employers of textile design graduates include:
Although retailers employ many textile graduates, outside retailing there are few large companies in the UK fashion and textiles industry. The sector is instead made up of small niche and local retailers. Many designers work on a freelance basis.
Some textile design students choose to become self-employed creative entrepreneurs. This can involve designing and producing work for exhibitions, direct sale or through retail craft outlets. It can also involve working in an advisory or consultative capacity.
Many creative design graduates combine several types of work in a portfolio career that may involve elements of design practice together with, for example, teaching, community arts work or curating.
Find information on employers in retail and sales, creative arts and culture, and other job sectors.
Studying textile design enables you to develop your subject-specific knowledge and design skills in, for example, constructed textiles, mixed media, printed textiles, embroidery, surface design or textile retail management.
It also gives you a number of key skills that are sought after by many employers. These include:
Postgraduate study provides the opportunity to develop and experiment with ideas and techniques and to extend personal expertise into related areas. The job market is competitive so you may find that taking a one-year Masters or professional short course, for example in computer-aided design (CAD), helps give you the edge, particularly when combined with relevant work experience, and enables you to further develop your portfolio.
As many roles in the sector need an understanding of business and management, these are also popular options for further study.
Associated careers such as teacher, journalist, archivist and stylist that are popular with textile design graduates often require further training.
For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see postgraduate study in the UK and search courses and research.
Almost three-quarters of textile design graduates are in employment six months after finishing their degree. Almost a third of these employed graduates are working in the art, design and culture sector.
Another 29% find work as retail, catering, waiting and bar staff, possibly whilst trying to establish a design career. Marketing and advertising, and roles in commercial, industrial or public sector management are other popular areas of work.
Just under 5% of textile design graduates go on to further study, with a further 5% combining further study and work. Some graduates choose to study an area related to their first degree or one that allows them to specialise, for example in knitwear.
Find out what other graduates are doing six months after finishing their degrees in What Do Graduates Do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.