4 reasons why you should study Textile Design

4 reasons why you should study Textile Design

Are you considering a career in Textile Design, but are a little unsure of what it actually is, or if it’s a worthwhile career path to go down?

We spoke to BA (Hons) Textile Design lecturer Lucy Robertson to ask for her top 4 reasons why you should study Textile Design.

BA Textile Design lecturer Lucy Roberston, photographed in the constructed textiles studio standing in front of reels of coloured yarn

Innovate through material play

Textile Designers get to play with different materials every day, from luxurious yarn, to foil effects to natural dyes. We are always working with fun and interesting materials.

At NUA we encourage students to experiment across a range of disciplines.

They can knit, print, weave, laser-cut and stitch throughout their degree with no need to specialise.

We also push students to explore alternative surfaces and materials (textiles don’t always have to be soft!) alongside more traditional ones. 

Our students might create surfaces from waste materials, grow bio-materials, work with hard materials or create e-textiles which light up or make sound.

The possibilities through material innovation and play are endless and increasing each year, we can’t wait to see what you create!

A close up shot of colourful hand painted fabric, alongside multiple colour swatches and a lampshade design
Close up of lime green yarn loosely looped through clear plastic buttons, creating a loose square knit. By BA Textile Design graduate Kiera Morel
A flatlay of bright orange, grey and red textile weaves, with metal loops, nuts and chains intertwined. By BA Textile Design graduate Emma Cutts

Make a change 

Sustainable and ethical ways to design, create and manufacture textiles are urgently needed. The textile and fashion industry has a bad reputation when it comes to sustainability.

An estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste is created annually from the fashion industry (Fashion Revolution, 2020). In addition, finishing processes such as dyeing can require as much as 200 tonnes of water per tonne of fabric (Yusuf, 2018).

By using found resources alongside eco-friendly materials and processes we encourage sustainable practice.

If you study textile design, you could be the next change-maker in this area! 

"It all starts with drawing; drawing helps us understand the world around us, to articulate our thoughts and to plan our designs"

Lucy Robertson, Lecturer, BA Textile Design

Gain vital skills 

As well as the practical and design thinking skills gained when studying Textile Design, you’ll learn many vital transferable skills such as team work, project management, communication, marketing and commercial awareness.

We help students engage with industry through placements, live briefs, competitions and external opportunities to further build their experience, portfolio and CV.

Our graduates have gone on to work in many roles including as entrepreneurs, freelance surface and textile designers or in house designers for brands such as Next, IKEA, F&F, Warner Brothers.

Others have gone on to work as events co-ordinators, sales executives, technicians and university lecturers.

There’s also opportunity for further study and research with MA Textile Design and PhDs in a range of related topics.

Read graduate and student’s stories on our blog.

A close up shot of a hand-painted floral surface pattern by BA Textile Design graduate Molly Brown. A green painted background with shades of pink flowers on brown branches intertwine across the painting
A close up shot of woven brown, peach, blue, yellow and green yarns, producing a circular repeat pattern. By BA Textile Design graduate Rebecca Bardwell-Dix

Use textile thinking to understand the world

Throughout the design process, textile designers consider a variety of things; industry trends, colour, material, surface, pattern, construction and finish.

It all starts with drawing. Drawing and mark-making are a very important part of textile thinking and designing.

This practise helps us understand the world around us, to articulate our thoughts and to plan our designs.

Our aim is to help students to practice this skill and identify ways that work for them to express their thoughts. They’ll learn how to draw for weave, knit and print.

We encourage students to draw in a range of different ways and find their unique style which helps their portfolio stand out.


Take a look at what students are doing from day to day on our Instagram.