Textiles are everywhere: clothes, bed sheets, draperies, carpeting, upholstery
fabrics and towels. Textiles even make it into space as the lining of space
shuttle cargo holds.
Textile engineers design and develop the processes, equipment and procedures
that create all these fibers, yarns and fabrics.
They can work in plant and design engineering, process engineering, production
control and supervision, product development, technical sales and services,
quality control, research and development, and corporate management.
Even medical science depends on textiles for artificial arteries and filters
for kidney dialysis machines, bandages, gauze and hospital gowns. The Jarvik-7
artificial heart is made up of more than 50 percent textile fibers and has
Textile engineers are constantly working on new developments in this exciting
field. "Textile engineering is a career that seems almost obscure in this
country. A lot of people don't even know it exists," says textile engineer
More than 50 percent of the textile industry is located in the southeast.
However, textile engineers can work virtually anywhere in the U.S. or internationally.
Engineers need to be creative, inquisitive, analytical and detail-oriented.
They should communicate well and be able to work as part of a team. Engineers
should expect technological change to alter the nature of their work many
times throughout a career. The most successful are willing to keep pace with
Most textile engineers work a 40-hour week, but deadlines may bring extra
pressure to a job, creating stress and the need for long and hard hours.