The purpose of research and development
is to provide new knowledge, develop new
products, and improve old products.
Employees in R & D work in modern, well-
equipped laboratories, searching for facts
and analyzing them, all in an effort to
develop goods that will satisfy the
changing wants and needs of consumers
and provide the company with a profit.
Textile Research Scientists,
Laboratory Technicians, and Textile
Testers develop new synthetic fibers,
blend fibers into fabrics with new
qualities, work on different fabric
constructions, find new finishes for
better fabric performance, and test
durability and serviceability of finished
fibers, yarns, and fabrics.
Textile designers have a fine sense of
color, a creative imagination, artistic
ability, a knowledge of and interest in the
fashion field, and a fascination for
beautiful patterns that can be woven,
knitted, or printed onto fabrics.
The designer creates surface
and structural designs to be
used for apparel, home and
commercial furnishings. A
textile colorist takes a
particular design and renders
it in one or more color
combinations. A textile stylist
is responsible for determining
the overall concept of the
Steps in textile production include opening
bales of fibers, cleaning and straightening the
fibers, and spinning the fibers into yarns.
The yarns are then woven, knitted, or matted
into fabrics. The new textiles goods are
chemically or mechanically colored and
Textile converters, production supervisors, machine operators, quality control
inspectors, machine technicians, plant engineers, and industrial engineers
are specific careers in the textile production field.
The fabric created in the textile
production process must now be
sold to manufacturers, so it can
actually be constructed into
apparel, home or commercial
trainees, textiles sales
managers, and textile
promotion agents work
in this domain of the
Apparel designers, also called
fashion designers, create new ideas
for garments and accessories.
They often specialize
in men’s, women’s,
or children’s wear
and may concentrate
in one area such as
lingerie or shoes.
Couture designers, those
specializing in high quality
and custom made clothes,
usually design two major
collections per year.
The field is very difficult to enter, and includes the
fashion designers, assistant designers, sketching
employees, and sample makers. They must be very
knowledgeable about construction methods.
manufacturing is the
Pattern makers translate apparel labor-intensive
designs into pattern pieces. Pattern production of large
graders cut patterns in all the different quantities of
sizes. Pattern markers transfer the garments. Ready-to-
paper patterns to layout on fabric. wear apparel is
Pattern spreaders actually prepare the mass-produced
fabric for .cutting, and the cutters cut along factory
through many layers of fabric at once assembly lines.
assemble the cutout
parts for sewing.
Sewing machine operators construct the
apparel on industrial power sewing
machines in piece-work fashion, meaning
they perform just one specific task over
and over and then pass it on to another
operator for the next step. The garment
finishers do necessary handsewing.
Trimmers and inspectors and pressers
clean and examine the garment. An
alteration hand repairs defects.
Like all big businesses, the apparel production
industry needs business managers to plan,
organize, coordinate, and oversee the work of
others. They might include product managers,
plant managers, production assistants,
supervisors, piece goods buyers, industrial
engineers, costing engineers, quality control
engineers, and plant engineers.
Manufacturing firms sell their finished goods to retail
establishments so consumers can buy them.
showrooms are in
such as New York
City and Dallas.
Showroom sales representatives show products to buyers who visit their
showroom. Traveling sales representatives take sample garments and fabric
swatches out to the retailers, and work under the direction of sales managers.
Market research employees or market analysts study and analyze consumer
habits. Apparel distributors actually get the merchandise to the proper
locations after the sale is made.
and marketing of
fabrics and or
Chief executive officers, personnel
administrators, accounting and finance
employees, data processing employees,
business planners, public relations agents, and
purchasing agents are all part of the textile
Fashion merchandising is a giant field
involving all functions of planning, buying,
and selling of textile/apparel items.
Opportunities exist in large and small
department stores, chain stores, discount
stores, variety stores, and specialty stores.
They are also in mail-order houses, catalog
stores, manufacturers’ outlet stores,
internet stores, and some at-home retail
To succeed in retailing, and especially to earn promotions, you need to be
outgoing, well-organized, able to move and think quickly, and able to get
along with other people. You will want knowledge of accounting and
merchandise math, consumer motivation issues, fashion marketing, and
sales promotions. A background in textiles, garment construction,
advertising, economics, and/or psychology is also valuable.
Retail buyers are responsible for
selecting and purchasing goods for their
companies. Their goal is to make a
profit for the company when the goods
are sold. They must estimate future
demand for merchandise they buy
The buyer must determine quantities of various styles, colors, sizes, prices,
and fashion emphasis…all within a certain budget. The buyer travels “to
market” at fashion centers such as New York City, Dallas, Chicago, Los
Angeles, Paris, London several times a year. They must anticipate customer
trends, have technical knowledge about the merchandise and a keen sense
for business. They work long, irregular hours and under pressure.
The retail salesperson, or sales
clerk, deals directly with the
customer in helping them find
what they want and promoting
sales. The customer service
manager handles complaints
and deals with special needs
such as gift wrapping or
delivery. The alterations expert
takes in, lets out, and reshapes
garments for a perfect fit.
Comparison shoppers compare the merchandise offered by competitive stores
with their own store. Personal shoppers or fashion consultants selects
merchandise for customers in response to requests…even by mail or telephone.
Stock clerks receive merchandise
from trucks, open and unpack
containers, check the number
and condition of products, attach
price tags, place items on
hangers as needed, and take
goods to the proper departments.
Cashiers ring up purchases,
collect money, record payment,
and bag or wrap purchases.
Secretaries, office managers, billing
agents and accountants,
maintenance workers and security
guards all provide support.
Merchandise managers are concerned
with total sales and profits of one or
more departments. Store managers
oversee all aspects of the store’s
operation including hiring, training, and
scheduling of workers. They provide
the store leadership. Another step up is
the branch or district manager,
coordinating several stores within a
geographic area. A fashion coordinator or director
makes sure that all fashion
departments of a large retail business
are kept updated on newest fashion
trends. They assemble an harmonize
the merchandise, making sure clothing
and accessories are coordinated and
displayed together. The fashion
coordinator would be in charge of
store-sponsored fashion shows. They
must work closely with buyers on store
image and fashion trends.
The point of
advertising is to
attract and entice
customers to buy
Positions in fashion advertising include account executives, art directors,
graphic designers, layout artists, paste-up/mechanical artists, and
Display designers, sometimes called display
artists or window dressers, must understand
lighting techniques, accessorizing, and the
use of props. They must have a good
imagination; a knowledge of carpentry and
sewing would be helpful.
Fashion editors, writers, photographers and
copywriters are a specialized segment of
the journalism industry. Fashion illustrators
work for retail stores, pattern companies,
and advertising agencies. Models must
learn to stand, turn, pose, and walk to show
off the best features of the clothes.
Joan and Melissa Rivers
narrate “Inside the
Oscars”, talking about
Publicity sets trends and sells celebrity fashions worn to
clothes. You might not look like the awards ceremony.
these models and celebrities, but Those fashions are the
you can dress like them. That’s newest couture, but need
the message the publicity agent the high regard of the
must present. publicists.
Classroom teachers are found in
middle and high schools, trade
schools, colleges, and universities,
and in adult education classes.
County extension agents work for
the Dept. of Agriculture serving
urban and rural areas. They
focus on 4-H clubs, community
organizations, and individual
This industry includes sales of the
machines, notions, fabrics, and patterns
needed by the home sewer, plus the
books, magazines, radio and television
shows, advertisements, and videotapes
used by them.
The home sewer may limit
their skills to sewing for
themselves and their families,
or as an entrepreneur starting
their own custom sewing
Researching, designing, creating, and storing costumes are all part of the
theatrical costumers responsibility as they are in charge of wardrobes for
stage or screen.
The costume historian or curator deals with fabrics and apparel from the
past. They carefully identify, restore, and preserve garments for museums,
libraries, and recreations.
Textile care and maintenance is a leading
service industry, primarily in commercial
laundry and dry cleaning establishments,
but also in institutions and linen supply.
Jobs are available