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Textile management is a professional industry concerned with the make and management of clothing and apparel. The textile industry is often combined with fashion merchandising and design, and universities that prepare students to enter a career in textile management usually have one department for textile, fashion and design. The goal of these programs is to create professionals who will enter the field able and willing to create and interpret knowledge of clothing materials to better serve the industry.
A degree in textile management may be granted as a business administration degree, as many textile students hope to become textile manufacturers or other business owners who specialize in textile production. For these careers, some knowledge of business is required, so students studying textile management will usually take at least a few business courses. Textile marketing is another popular field in the textile industry, and requirements include studying the clothing market, participating in hands-on research projects, developing products and coordinating sales efforts with clothing stores. Students interested in this aspect of the textile industry will focus heavily on marketing courses, and they will learn quickly how to apply principles of public relations and sales to the clothing industry.
Another area of textile management is the production of textile fabric. Students interested in this field should be hands-on learners interested in creating tangible products. Textile technology is constantly changing, so students interested in this area should be willing to be on the lookout for new trends in the clothing industry. The creation of textile fabric includes producing yarn and any of several kinds of fibers. People who are drawn to knitting and crocheting might find an interest and talent in this aspect of textile management.
Other areas of the textile industry where professionals who receive education and training in this discipline may work include merchandising, inventory control, sales promotion, public relations and human resources. Many career opportunities are present for students interested in working with textiles, and because of the broad nature of the field, there is opportunity for movement within the industry during a lifelong career. It is a fast-paced, diverse and exciting career field, although it can also be competitive, depending on which side of the industry you are interested in. Opportunities for employment in textile management can be pursued with retailers, manufacturers, market research firms and product information venues. Typical tasks of a textile professional may include studying fashion changes and the corresponding impact on the market, developing new apparel lines, studying customer behavior and purchase cycles, analyzing statistics, and operating and organizing retail stores.