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Engineering design

Technical textiles designer

Technical textiles designers research, create and test textiles for use in healthcare, manufacturing and construction materials.

Annual Salary

£22,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm; flexibly

Future employment

There will be 0.5% more Technical textiles designer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

In this role you may:

  • develop ideas for products to meet particular performance standards
  • identify the suitability and availability of materials
  • create designs using computer software
  • develop prototypes
  • assess the technical performance of textiles
  • record and interpret test results
  • write technical reports and estimate costs
  • research new development methods and technologies

Working environment

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work in a laboratory or in a factory.

You can get into this job through:

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

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • textile design
  • materials science
  • textile technology
  • product design

It's important that you check courses cover the technical skills and knowledge employers want, rather than ones that concentrate only on fashion design.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You may be able to gain some of the skills and knowledge relevant to this role through a textile technical specialist higher apprenticeship or a fashion and textiles product technologist higher apprenticeship.

With experience you may be able to move into trainee technical design roles.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You can start as a textiles or materials technician and do further training on the job to specialise in technical fabrics research and development.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers and training in textile design from The Textile Institute.

You can find out more about creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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You could work in a research department for a university or company that specialises in technical textiles, for example carbon fibre or graphene.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to work on your own
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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