Fashion Technology

The skills required to work in the clothing and textile industry can lead to various careers in the fashion sector, which also encompasses apparel production, manufacturing, management, marketing and sales. Apparel production is a very exacting profession that requires a great deal of creativity. It involves measuring, tracing, cutting, sewing, fitting, adjusting and finishing. These steps are taken according to the specifications provided. Dressmakers can also create their own designs and sketch patterns for garments that are tailor-made for specific clients or sold off the rack in retail stores.

Computers have transformed the clothing design/production industry. Compared to traditional methods, computer-aided design (CAD) is generally quicker and more precise. It makes it easier for designers to create variations of the same pattern. Knowledge of fashion marketing principles helps designers to market their creations.

Traits and Talents

If you are interested in fashion, creative, artistically gifted and someone who likes to work with people, you might enjoy a career in this field. As a dressmaker, you must be able to follow instructions and patterns carefully. As you will have to take into account client specifications, you will have to be flexible and meticulous. Manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination and good eyesight are also needed for carrying out the precision work that apparel production entails. Dressmakers must also possess written and oral communication skills, which are essential in dealing with clients and working with co-workers because they are often asked to understand and visualize a written or verbal description of the garment they are to make.


Education and Training

  • Completion of a college or art school program in theatre design, clothing design or exhibit design is required or A university degree in fine arts or visual arts with specialization in theatre design, clothing design or exhibit design 
  • Creative ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, is required. 
  • Use of computer-aided design (CAD) software may be required. 

The Workplace

Typical duties of a fashion worker include: 

  • Designing the look and feel of garments 
  • Measuring and cutting garments to appropriate size and lengths 
  • Cutting, sewing and fitting garments to clients and adjusting and tailoring to suit the needs to the purchaser 
  • Work with computers and CAD to ensure precision and feel or clothing. 
  • Follow instructions when creating garments. 
  • Fashion designers design and create clothing and accessories for men, women and children 

Skills for Success

  • The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

    • Reading
    • Adaptability 
    • Creativity & Innovation

Sample Job Titles

  • Buyer 
  • Pattern designer 
  • Costume designer

Companies and Sectors

  • Manufacturing and service 
  • Retail stores 
  • Specialty shops 
  • Department stores