Textile designer

Textile designers create fabric designs and patterns for woven, knitted and printed materials for clothes or interior furnishings.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

40 to 42 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends attending events or appointments

How to become a Textile designer

You can get into this job through:

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


You could take a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in textile design. Other useful subjects include:

  • fashion and textiles
  • art and design
  • textiles and surface design

The Textile Society offers bursaries for study and the Graduate Award for Interior Textile Design.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation studies diploma in art and design 
  • 1 or 2 A levels for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You may be able to get into this career by studying for a college qualification like the Level 3 Diploma in Textile Design and Manufacture.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information


You could complete an advanced apprenticeship in fashion and textiles.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information


You could start work as a textile operative or design assistant, get relevant work experience and qualifications, and then move into textile design.

More information

Career tips

You'll need to present a design portfolio when you're looking for work. You can also use your portfolio to make job applications to companies whose products match your style.

Professional and industry bodies

It may be useful to join organisations like the The Textile Institute and The Textile Society for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

You'll need an accredited qualification for Licentiateship or Associateship membership of the Textile Institute.

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in textile design through Creative Choices.

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
  • persistence and determination
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • You will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • producing initial sketches by hand, or on a computer using design software
  • reworking designs until they meet the customer’s needs
  • making up samples or having them made by technicians
  • researching design trends to decide what will sell
  • working with clients, technical staff, marketing and buying staff
  • keeping up-to-date with developments in manufacturing technology

Working environment

You could work at a manufacturing plant, in a creative studio, in an office or at a conference centre.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a senior design position, or work as a product or project manager. 

You could also move into part-time teaching , or set up your own business.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Sewing Machinist

  • Wage : £148.00 Weekly
  • Location: Blackburn BB1 5UA

Apprentice Lingerie & Swimwear Machinist

  • Wage : £168.87 Weekly
  • Location: Kettering NN14 2PG

Courses In England

Art & Design- Textile Design (GCE A)

  • Provider: Ortu Sixth Form Centre - Stanford & Corringham
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Stanford-le-Hope

Art & Design: Textile Design

  • Provider: Sir William Ramsay School
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: High Wycombe

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