6 Key Responsibilities of a Textile Artist

Posted by Rushell Kayna on April 19th, 2021

Textile design or fiber art is the practice of making patterns for materials that would be printed, woven, or knitted. Many textile designers concentrate on print patterns to be displayed on the surface of a cloth rather than knitwear or woven designs, which require more technical expertise. The two main areas in which the textile designers work are interiors like carpets and furnishings and Fashion apparel like clothing, footwear, and other accessories.

fiber art

The following are the six major responsibilities of a textile artist.

1) Print and Pattern

Textile designers are expected to be professional print and pattern designers. They must be able to render repeats in Photoshop and Illustrator. While not every textile product necessitates a repeat, it's always something you should be familiar with in case it comes up or whether you're designing a repeat for a new product. Textile designers draw various color variations of existing designs and organize layouts in CAD to produce the right composition for the product. As a textile artist, you should feel at ease sharing your work and getting input on how to develop it.

2) Color Palettes

Every textile designer applies a different color system for different material applications. Pantone is the color language used by designers all over the world. Pantone chips in paper, cotton, or polyester are widely used by fiber artists. A graphic designer, on the other hand, may simply use the standard PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors. Sometimes, the factory will dye custom fabrics to match the Pantone chips you choose for your palette. Custom dyeing yarn and fabrics require a considerable amount of time and resources on the part of the factory. That is why it is preferable to work with a small color range of no more than 20 to 30 shades.

3) Product Development

Textile designers are often asked to use their fabrication and fiber skills in addition to color and style. Companies can have different teams for design and product development at times, but experienced textile designers say it's really been more of a collaborative role. As for any company, you must have a clear view of the consumer for whom the product is intended, also known as your target market. It would not be easy to get the product perfectly designed to reach sales if you do not know who the final customer will be for your design.

4) Custom vs. Line Projects

As a textile designer, you would often be challenged to juggle custom and line projects. Custom projects indicate that you will be collaborating for either a private label client or a public label client. A custom project may also indicate that you're collaborating with a licensor or a well-known design brand. Finally, you would be in charge of bringing their artwork and vision to life in the fabrics you specifically create. Line projects, on the other hand, are clothing collections created for the company's name. Any customer will shop line products, which means you're designing a range of products to sell in the industry.

5) Market Week

Textile designers are usually actively involved in both setup and the actual business, which means you, as a textile designer, could be away from home for a week or more just for this reason. Set up includes styling display areas and coordinating items in the showroom for a visually appealing appearance. During the market, textile designers will be asked to communicate with consumers, provide product information to sales representatives, and clarify the concept and other technical descriptions. A sales rep will care about the product specifics anyway, but if it's a brand new product and they don't have an experience of working on it, you'll be the one who goes into great depth explaining important specifics about the product.

6) Trend Research

Trend research is an important feature of every textile designer's work. Starting with the industry and seeing what competitors are displaying in their pattern shows is one approach to competitive analysis. You can also do detailed trend research with the internet's assistance. Trend research means assembling a list of high-fashion boutiques and shops to visit in order to get a grasp of what's new in the industry. You can even go around to various fashionable boutiques in your town and take some pictures. You don't have to be tensed while clicking the pictures because taking pictures on your phone does not always imply that you are attempting to replicate something. It basically means you're attempting to get a general understanding of what color palettes and design patterns are currently common and selling in the industry.

By now, you must have understood that a textile designer/ fiber artist is responsible for a wide range of tasks, from being a specialist in colors and textures to learning how to sell your products and designs and study trends. These six responsibilities tell us almost everything about a textile artist like MJ Kinman's job. As a textile designer, you can start your own designing firm or even work as a part of a design team in a company.

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Rushell Kayna

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Rushell Kayna
Joined: July 22nd, 2019
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