What is Textile Engineering?

Amy Dyslex

Textile engineering, also known as textile technology, is the study of various principles form engineering and scientific methodologies. These principles are then implemented for the processing and production of all kinds of textile fabric and yarns from textile fibers. The disciple involves extensive study of chemical and physical principles, which is then utilized for the detailed study and analysis of the behavior of polymers involved in the formation of textile fiber.

Textile engineers come up with new production techniques, like weaving fibers for example.
Textile engineers come up with new production techniques, like weaving fibers for example.

This field is part of the larger textile industry that is also referred to as "rag trade" in Australia and England. Other than textile engineering, the working mechanics of this industry involve design, manufacture, distribution, and sales of clothing and apparels. The textile industry developed and progressed in Britain during the Industrial Revolution of 18th century, and from there spread to Germany and then America. More advanced technologies in these countries led to the development and innovation of textile industry on more advanced scientific principles.

A finished textile.
A finished textile.

Textile engineering is an innovative field as it is a scientific realm. It involves the creative research, study, and exploration of new techniques for production and improvisation. Textile manufacturers not only seek to develop and find new techniques for the production of new fabrics of better quality, but they also constantly work on improving existing textile fibers.

A closeup of satin cloth.
A closeup of satin cloth.

A textile engineer who works in the textile industry or in textile production has to undergo a standard degree program. The course study involves classes in other aspects of engineering, including mechanical, industrial, and chemical. These modules are intended to strengthen and solidify the basic concepts of engineering for students. This coursework will help prepare students to better understand the technical aspects of the field, as they study advanced topics in textile production.

Silk, a type of textile.
Silk, a type of textile.

A career in textile management, on the other hand, primarily focuses on developing and enhancing communication and management skills. This module typically offers courses in the realm of sales, quality control, marketing, and computers. Some universities might also offer courses in accounting, economics, and resource management.

Polyester fabric.
Polyester fabric.

Advanced programs in textile engineering focus on textile chemical technology and fiber science. Education in this field usually also involves training in plant designing, wet process designing, dyeing, and printing. A career offers employment opportunities in product research and development, corporate management and supervision, process engineering, and sales.

Sateen fabric.
Sateen fabric.
A folded square of linen.
A folded square of linen.

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