Fabric and Garment Technology

What is it?

Picky about the materials you like to wear and the cut of your clothes? Maybe a career in fabric and garment technology is for you. These roles are concerned with the materials used to make our clothing and the way they are produced. A fabric technologist will ensure that they best materials are sourced for each garment, that they’re dyed, embroidered, and printed correctly, and that the material quality is up to scratch.

A garment technologist’s role is to oversee the production of clothing, liaising between the brand and the manufacturer to ensure the final product reflects the original design and is completed to a high standard. Working between the design and production teams, these roles are very important for fashion brands.

The career ladder

As with many hands-on roles in fashion manufacturing

you might start out your career as an apprentice pattern cutter or fabric/garment technologist within a workshop. From here, your career progression could look like this

Daily tasks

As a fabric technologist, your day to day tasks will include working with suppliers to understand the cost, availability and capabilities of materials, as well as conducting quality assessments, experimenting with a wide range of materials, and sharing your knowledge to plan collections with the design and production teams.

A day in the life of a garment technologist will include testing garments to check they’re made correctly, fit properly, can be worn and washed and still keep their shape and colour, as well as ensuring that any technical elements (such as waterproofing on a raincoat) are up to the test.


“Developments within fabric technology and circular economy is increasingly important as the fashion industry tries to improve its reputation and not be so damaging to the eco system. People who specialise in this are now crucial to a companies success and brand image.” – A GFF member university lecturer

What should you study? What skill do you need?

To start a career as a fabric or garment technologist, you might study fashion or textiles design, as both of these courses will give you a solid foundational understanding of how to create clothing and work with different fabrics. You could study a diploma in garment or fabric technology, or you could do an apprenticeship as a tailor or pattern cutter, working directly with the technical production of clothing.

The skills you need to work in these fields include an eye for detail, problem-solving skills, a strong knowledge of clothing manufacturing and fashion design, great organisational and communication skills, as well as the ability to work on multiple garments at one time.


This role involves using software such as Adobe Creative Cloud and other industry platforms too, so a certain degree of tech-savvyness is needed.

Want to learn more?

A great place to start with any hands on skill based career is to begin sewing, altering, and mending your own clothes to understand how fabrics work and how clothes are constructed. You can start with darning socks or sewing buttons, then download a simple t-shirt pattern from the internet. As you gain more experience, you can work your way up to come complicated patterns. You can also research different materials, natural and synthetic, to discover their properties and capabilities.

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