Garment or textile technologists oversee every stage of garment production, from sourcing the correct fabrics, to design then manufacture. They are involved in choosing the correct fabric ensuring it is fit for purpose, and making sure production remains within budget. They work closely alongside designers, pattern cutters and buyers.
You could be:
researching and sourcing new synthetic fibres and fabrics
testing fibres, yarns and fabrics for properties such as strength, colour fastness or crease resistance
working with designers to make sure the design suits production methods
working with pattern graders to size pre-production garments and advising cutters and machinists on making up samples
checking and approving sample garments and making any changes needed, including correcting faults
making sure garments can be produced within budget
visiting clothing factories to check on the process and advise staff
making sure garments are delivered on time and in good condition and ensuring customer satisfaction.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries are usually around £21,000 a year. After experience this can rise from £25,000 to £35,000. Higher earners can make up to £55,000 a year or more.
Garment or textile technologists usually work in an office, with some time spent in design studios and factories to check on the manufacturing process.
You will spend some of your time in a laboratory testing fabrics.
Factories may be dusty and noisy.
You may wear protective clothing due to noise and working with chemicals.
You may have to travel within the UK and overseas, possibly to South-East Asia, China or Eastern Europe.
You have to meet deadlines for delivery.
Working hours vary, increasing at busy times and when you have deadlines to meet.
You may get in with an HND (SCQF Level 8) or degree (SCQF Level 9) in a subject such as clothing or fashion technology.
Heriot-Watt University (Scottish Borders Campus) offers a BSc Hons in Fashion Technology. For entry you require 4 Highers at ABBB (BBBC for Widening access entry) including English plus National 5 Maths.
Glasgow Clyde College offers an HND in Fashion Technology. For entry you require 2 Highers; or other relevant qualifications at SCQF Level 6; or relevant experience.
You may be able to get in by doing a Modern Apprenticeship in Fashion and Textiles Heritage (SCQF Levels 5 or 6/7).
After gaining experience you may go into technical management, production and quality control.
You might move into sales or marketing management or into general management.
The Textile Institute offers a range of professional qualifications for continuous professional development (CPD). There are three levels: Licentiateship (CText LTI), Associateship (CText ATI) and Fellowship (CText FTI).
Some graduates may become owner-managers of their own textile companies.
You may find work in the UK or abroad with textile manufacturing companies and research organisations.