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Textile Designing - A Brief Overview

Textile Designing Textile as a material of daily use has been there for ages now and as an industry, it is one of the promising industries. Textile Industry will always be there as clothes are one of the basic human necessities. For making textile, there is always the need of textile designers who design the textiles. Textile design is basically the process of creating designs for knitted, woven or printed fabrics.

What is Textile Designing Textile Designs
Fabrics can be made by weaving and knitting and can be given basic decoration through printing. Textile designing is a technical process including different methods for production of textile. It includes both- surface design and structural design of a textile. Textile designer must have knowledge of yarn making, weaving, knitting, dyeing, finishing processes, and also knowledge about different types of looms, knitting machines, and printing processes. The following basic activities can be included in textile designing.
  • Conceptualizing new and innovative designs.
  • Making sets of design samples.
  • Carrying on experiments with color, fabric and texture.
  • Designing fabrics according to the emerging fashion trends.

Basic Process of Textile Designing
Textile Designing Process A sketch of the finished design envisioned by the textile designer is made for both woven and printed textiles. The designer's deep understanding of the technical aspects of production and the properties of fibers, yarns, and textile dyes help him in visualizing the end product. Traditionally, drawings of woven textile patterns were made onto special graph paper called point papers. These drawings were used by the weavers for setting up their looms for producing the fabric. However, today, most of the professional textile designers use some form of computer-aided design software for the purpose.

How CAD is used in Textile Designing
CAD in Textile Designing The CAD/CAM technology facilitates easy creation of virtually all types of fabric weave and design, helps simulate the created weave/design into the virtual fabric in different color combinations long before the actual fabric is manufactured. If the designer is satisfied with his virtual creation then the software again provides the required parameters in various formats as per his need to weave the created design into actual fabric form. The state-of-the-art technology of computer-aided design is being adopted by almost every powerloom industry. The handloom sector has also started the application of this modern designing technology, though on a very small scale as on date. The CAD solution for textile designing and manufacturing has many application areas ranging from dobby, jacquard and screen printing industries to blankets, carpets, and knitting industries among many others. It increases productivity and also adds value to the product for meeting the rapid changing demands of the consumers for fashionable designs.

Textile Designers
Textile DesignerThe main center of functioning in the whole process of textile designing is the textile designer. Textile designers are the trained professionals having sound technical knowledge of each and every aspect of fabric manufacturing. They have deep understanding of as basic a material as fiber to as modern a process as CAD/CAM technology. In fact, their learning is a continuous process as they have to keep themselves updated about any new techniques or developments in the field of textile designing. Not only this, they have to keep tract of the prevailing fashion trends as well as social, cultural and historical perspectives of the region for which they create textile designs.

Nature and Scope of the Work of Textile Designers
Textile Manufacturing There are two basic areas in textile designing: Any textile designer can work for creating textile to be used in one or both of the above categories. They have to make creative, stylish and contemporary designs as per the market demands. Although it seems to be quite simple, the work of textile designers is a little complex as they have to coordinate different facets of textile manufacturing with market demands as well as fashion trends of the day. As such, this profession calls for a set of skills that every designer should possess. These skills can be listed as follows:
  • Creativity
  • Technical knowledge
  • Commercial awareness of textile industry
  • Research and data handling capacity
  • Critical analysis and interpretation of materials
Most of the skills are acquired by the textile designers in the university or institute from where they learn textile designing. In these institutions, they produce samples, fabric lengths and one-off pieces, learning to critically and aesthetically evaluate their own work. This is aided by their study of social, environmental, ethical and economic issues and influences they have on textile design. In most of the institutes, they get the opportunity to work on live projects with established businesses. Under these projects, they have to design textile according to the client's specifications. It helps in increasing their understanding of the industry and its requirements.

Working Options of Textile Designers
Textile Designers MakerThe textile designers are mostly employed by the design studios. Alternatively, they provide one of the most basic textile services i.e. textile designing to the textile manufacturers through freelance work. They sometimes establish their own workshop as a designer-maker producing textile designs for sale through galleries or exhibitions. The working options of textile designers include:
  • Freelance designer
  • In-house designer
  • Stylist
  • Color Specialists
  • Curator
  • Printing Supervisors/ Managers