Textile designers basically have 6 job responsibilities and the first one is
1. Print and Pattern
Textile fashion designers are expected to be talented print and pattern designers. They should know how to create repeats in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Although not every textile product requires to repeat. It’s still something you should know how to do in just in case it comes up or there’s a new product that you need to design a repeat for textile designers draw new motifs, create multiple colorways of existing designs and arrange layouts in the CAD to come up with the best composition for that product. You should be comfortable presenting your designs and receiving feedback for improvements so the responsibility.
2. Creating Color Palettes
Pantone is the universal color language for all designers and they all have different color systems for different material applications. So, for example, textile designers typically use Pantone chips in paper cotton or polyester, but a graphic designer may just use the standard PMS color. Often times, the factory will dye custom fibers to the Pantone chips that you selected for your palette. So, it takes a lot of time and energy for the factory to custom dye yarn and fibers. So it’s better to work with a limited color palette of I would say about 20 to 30 colors at the most and this way the factory can bulk dye the yarn and it won’t go to waste because they know that you’re going to be sticking to this range of colors and from there they’ll send you yarn poms to work with as you’re designing your collection of textiles. So, sometimes the little paper chips in Pantone are hard to compare to the fabric so that’s why the yarn. The factory will send you yarn poms in the material that you’re actually requesting. Wool tends to dull down colors a bit. Whereas something like silk may make the colors more vibrant or viscose.
3. Product Development
On top of color and design, Textile Designers are sometimes expected to bring their construction and fiber knowledge into play. So when you’re designing the product that you’re working on, can you apply a different type of weave to your product? or can you add fringe or tassels and give it a little jazz? Is it possible to create a high-low effect or add some texture? So sometimes companies will keep separate departments for design and product development. But in my experience as a textile designer, it’s always been more of a combined role.
4. Custom Vs Line Project
Textile Designers will often be expected to juggle custom projects with line projects and custom projects. Basically just means that you’ll be working with either a private label client such as a retailer like Pottery Barn or the gap or a custom project could mean that you’re working with a license or a very well known designer brand. And you will be responsible for bringing their artwork and vision to life. In the textile products that you specifically work on so line projects are collections of textiles developed for the company’s brand. So any client can shop line products that basically mean that you’re creating a collection of products for the market. You’re bringing those products to market and then any buyer or customer can shop your mainline and then just kind of pick those and order it. Then it’s off the shelf it’s exclusive to them so this is where your creativity and ideas have a chance to be made into samples and potentially bought by a retailer or even an e-commerce site. Sometimes they’re exclusive sometimes they’re not. It really just depends on the company. So an e-commerce site such as Wayfair is not probably going to have exclusivity to a line product. But if it was a retailer like Pottery Barn they probably would.
5. Market Research
Textile designers are usually heavily involved in both setup and the actual market which means you could be spending a week or more away from home set up involves styling display areas and arranging products around the showroom for a beautiful presentation. So during the actual market, textile designers may be expected to interact with customers and assist sales reps with product info and explaining design and technical details. So sales reps are really great at understanding the pricing and the sales side of the product. But when a buyer comes to market they want to know the full picture. So it’s great for a designer to kind of be the wingman for the sales rep and explain all of the design and product information. They will learn it but especially if it’s a brand new product and they don’t have the history of three months of working on it like you have they might be a little bit rusty whereas you’re gonna really be able to go into detail explaining that product
6. Trend Research
Trend research is a big part of any textile designer’s job. Competitive research can be can start at a market when you’re there by walking the show and seeing what competitors are showing in their trend displays. So further trend research is done online by pouring over sites like Pinterest, design blogs and trend websites like WGSN. Trend shopping involves compiling a list of high trend boutiques and stores to visit. From which you can get a good idea of what’s new in the marketplace, so there you can go around to different boutiques in town. Some places that are really high trend and snap some photos with your cell phone. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re snapping photos with your cell phone to copy anything. It’s more to get a general idea of what color palettes and design styles are really hot and selling in the marketplace. So your employer may also even tend to send you to trend shows to be ahead of the curve for trend analysis.
So that is the primary six responsibilities of a textile designer.