Textile engineering is a large industry worldwide. It is mostly centered on the transformation of textile fibre into cloth, then fabric to textile. These are first printed or dyed, manufactured into garments that are then transformed into useful commodities like clothing, household articles, furniture and many other industrial goods. The textile industry also contributes to environmental degradation by producing fibers, weaving products, and disposing of textile waste.
There are two main areas of textile engineering. One is that of textile designers and the other of textile technicians and cleaners. The designers create the designs for products and bring together various fabrics, textures and colors to form a product that is unique in its own way. In textile engineering, textile designers find inspiration in the designs created by the technologists. These textile designers and technologists must work together to create new textile designs.
After the designs are ready, textile engineers create the fabrics out of the designs using different methods and equipment. Often, textile engineers use sewing machines to create items like napkins and tablecloths. Fabric dealers and textile manufacturers supply these products to textile engineers. The dealers and manufacturers then sell these products to customers.
Designers transform ideas into physical forms through the use of technology. This is usually done through the use of machines, such as embroidery machines or computer-aided design (CAD) software. They may also work with fabric mixtures to reproduce certain designs or to create new patterns. These textile engineers can be found in fabric stores, industrial apparel companies, and in textile manufacturers' outlets. They may specialize in a particular field of textile engineering.
While the bulk of textile engineers work with fabric products, some specialize in fabric manufacturing and others in repairing textile equipment. They test the equipment before it is sold to customers. They repair tears, stretch marks, and creases in fabrics to make them ready for sale. They also evaluate the quality of materials used and perform quality checks on employees and on their production process.
Those who want a career in textile engineering can obtain a four-year degree at a four-year university or a junior college. Many textile engineering graduates continue on to college to earn a master's degree or a Ph.D. In addition to studying textile engineering, those with a textile engineering diploma also may choose to work in textile manufacturing, apparel industry, or other fields. Graduates can find regular jobs in the textiles or clothing industry, or they can pursue advanced degrees in other areas. A textile engineering degree can lead to a rewarding and exciting career in this specialized field.