When we think of how a garment is made before it hits the runway, we often only think of the designer or the seamstress constructing the piece. However, there are many more talented individuals behind the scenes who contribute to the successful creation of a fashion collection. This includes the print designer, product developers, garment technologists, pattern cutters and more! There are many more career opportunities hand on with the garments than you imagined. Today we will be discussing the role of a Garment Technologist, what their role consists of and how to become one.
Understanding garment technology equals fashion brand success
Duties of a garment technologist
Garment technologists have many duties within the clothing industry, from the concept of a design to the final selling pieces and marketing tactics. Their duties include:
Garment technologists modify designs during every stage of the development process. Some design modifications may involve their other duties, such as changing materials for budget or production reasons. They may also change a design for purely design purposes, such as replacing an element of the outfit to better align with company needs. Garment technologists can change the design for comfort, ease of use, material and storage purposes while working with a design team to help improve the product overall.
Garment technologists may adjust the material in an outfit. This could result in an entire material overhaul or the replacement of a part of the garment, such as a collar, shoulder pad or sleeve. Garment technologists may do this to increase comfort, style, flexibility or the price of an item to better meet industry standards. Material adjustments may also be necessary throughout a process to help a team determine which material is best for a piece of clothing, which is why garment technologists can be helpful for the prototype building process.
Another function that garment technologists help fulfill in a design team is helping ensure that a garment works well within a companys budget for that line. Material and even marketing for a piece can impact the budget that the company needs for it, and so its the garment technologists of the team who make major decisions concerning a pieces marketing needs as well as its base design. Because base design, including material needs, need to be made before marketing decisions, garment technologists strive to ensure they make the right decisions at the right time.
Overseeing fabric testing
A garment technologist not only helps design the fabric settings for a piece of clothing but also helps test the fabric during the prototype stages as well. Although the testing portions have much to do with the companys preferences, some tests may involve changing the material or adjusting a marketing plan. For example, sports material may require flexibility and breathability for the skin during high physical activity.
If the clothing item does not meet these standards, a garment technologist may need to return to the team and design an entirely new prototype that both meets these needs and fits within the budget. Additionally, if the garment technologist has already created advertisements for the piece, they need to ensure that the clothing piece meets all advertising requirements. This is so that the company can deliver stated promises and also fulfill customer expectations for products.
Responding to product queries
When a company creates a new query for a product, a garment technologists job is to understand the project requirements and move forward with a development teams progress. This can involve testing different materials for feasibility, developing a marketing proposal and creating prototype models. As consulting employees, garment technologists may review multiple products at a time and work in different stages of the development process for each.
Analyzing product returns
If a customer returns a product or the company recalls the product line for any reason, garment technologists determine the next best course of action concerning the garment. This may involve further adjusting the material, changing styles, removing advertisements or changing the marketing plan entirely. Returns and recalls may even cause a product to undergo a total process reset for the team. In some instances, a product recall may even cause discontinuation of the garment, although for a garment technologist, reworking a material may be better than discarding it entirely.
What is a garment technologist?
A garment technologist is a product adviser that helps a design team ensure that each product aligns with the companys vision. Garment technologists work for manufacturers and retailers to help design teams create clothing items. As employees, they can either work as full-time advisers for a company or as commission advisers for select pieces or lines of clothing. They work with designers to modify models, test suitable fabrics and ensure that each redesign is as efficient as possible to help streamline the process.
Garment technologists are involved with more than just the design of a piece. They also gauge and seek to improve the marketability of an item by analyzing product returns. Theyre also responsible for ensuring that an item stays within budget. Garment technologists may work with other clothing staff, such as pattern cutters, graders and designers. They may also work with other prominent members of the process outside of the employee range, such as buyers and stakeholders.
How to become a garment technologist
If you want to become a garment technologist, consider some of the following steps:
1. Consider a degree
To become a garment technologist, students usually pursue a degree related to the subject. This can help them learn basic fashion design sense and how to design clothing on a basic level. Degrees students pursue when they want to become a garment technologist include fashion design, textile studies and garment technology.
2. Complete an apprenticeship
Depending on the courses a student studies while in school, they may be able to apply for an apprenticeship immediately after graduating college or during college. Some courses may even have an apprenticeship as part of the curriculum. Apprenticeship not only allows students to gain experience but help them expand on the principles they gained during their time in college.
3. Get a certification
Another way students prepare themselves for the garment technologist industry is by gaining a certification. Certifications in fashion design can help them expand upon their skills and receive qualifications to add to their resume. For example, they may learn to produce garments and footwear to a quality degree acceptable to retailers or gain industry knowledge. Certifications may also allow a student to develop a professional network or find job opportunities.
4. Continue to gather experience
If a student has gained certification after an apprenticeship and education, they might then choose to gather as much experience as possible from fashion designing jobs. Experience can help students build impressive resumes. As a student gains experience, they can continue to work toward better positions that allow them to work toward their garment technologist goals.
5. Search for opportunities to apply your knowledge
When you work toward your ideal position, consider searching for opportunities within your industry where you can apply your knowledge, even if that means creating your own products. You may choose to begin personal projects so that you always have a new piece youre developing to stay creative and mention to prospective employers in an interview. You can also choose to do consultation work with multiple firms, rather than just employment at one. Any of these options can help you get started in the industry.
Garment technologist work environments
Garment technologists usually work either as full-time employees with a manufacturing company or as consultants for multiple design firms. Either way, these professionals often work indoors, often working at a desk to organize details concerning a prototype, its schedule or their schedules. It may also be a social job due to the nature of collaborating with many others on a team and maintaining relationships with individuals like suppliers.
Skills needed to become a garment technologist
Some skills that garment technologists often have include:
Attention to detail
Garment technologists use attention to detail for many aspects of their positions, such as when evaluating a piece or adjusting material. Not only does attention to detail impact their judgment, but it also can help them notice potential improvements for a piece. Small detail adjustments in a garment technologists work, such as the size of the collar or the color palette of a sleeve, may impact the entire piece and improve its potential sales.
For garment technologists who work with multiple projects as independent businesspeople or consulting employees, multitasking can be a helpful skill. Not only does this help them manage their schedules, but it also can help them focus on each stage of their clients needs. One client may be in the developing process of a new piece, while another is handling a recall and may need to redo the entire piece. Multitasking skills can help technologists understand each processing part individually and handle the needs for each in its own time.
Communication can be a helpful skill for garment technologists because of who they work with each day. Not only do garment technologists work with customers, but they may also communicate with stakeholders and other employees concerning a projects development, action courses and current status. To effectively translate information to stakeholders and other members of the team, communication skills can help them write and present information in an effective way to their audience.
Design analysis skills help garment technologists assess a fabric and make decisions concerning a pieces material, color and general layout. During college courses, internships, apprenticeships and certifications, garment technologists learn how to improve their ability to analyze designs with a company goal as a model. Some companies may want to produce sportswear, while others want to appeal to a particular demographic. Fulfilling the needs of design firms is one of the most prominent goals of a garment technologist that directly benefits from having an adept design analysis skill.
Because garment technologists almost always work on teams, having the ability to work well with others is a good skill to develop. Design teams work together not only to critique and change a design but also to improve and better display others. Garment technologists understand how to work with an entire team concerning decisions about a single piece and understand how to make different opinions and ideas understood and applied throughout a pieces process.
What is garment technologist?
- patience and determination.
- excellent communication skills.
- a knowledge of garment production methods.
- a good understanding of manufacturing processes and textile properties.
- a keen interest in clothing and fashion.
- a methodical, innovative approach.
- good organisational and planning skills.
How much does a garment technologist earn UK?
What is a junior garment technologist?