Dressing for human beings is a natural necessity albeit today, it is more than just that. People have incorporated taste and fashion into the natural act of dressing. Textile engineering nowadays involves determination in the development dynamics of the fashion industry. With the emergence of new technologies, clothes take on a different character and dimension. This engineering major concerns itself with research and education on the processing of raw textile materials using different techniques.
Aside from the common uses of textile materials including clothing, furnishing fabrics and home textiles, these products are also helpful in making communication satellites as well as designing electronic circuit designs in information technology. For instance astronauts clothing and equipment used as heat and radiation shields, light and durable fibers used during manufacture of aircraft wings, artificial organs, muscles and blood vessels are among textile products.
For the reasons above, textile engineering has become indispensable to our lives. In Turkey for instance, the textile industry generates the greatest revenue both in terms of the finished products, and the workforce.
Textile Industry Developments
The textile industry was once thought to be dead but now it is more alive than ever. The U.S. textile industry in 2012 generated $54 Billion in shipments and employed 233,000 people. In 2013, textile companies in countries such as Canada, Dubai, Great Britain, India, Israel, Brazil and the U.S. made announcements of plans to expand textile plants in their countries. For most of these countries - especially India, the industry contributes largely to the economic development of the countries.
Workers in these industries produce thread, yarn and fabric for apparel, home products, furnishings and industrial use. Some of the examples include Pampers diapers, Huggies, Swiffer mops, according to David Rousse, Pledge furniture wipes and the president of the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry.
A.Blanton Godfrey, dean, College of Textiles at North Carolina State University said, “Textiles manufacturing – yarn, fabric, woven and non-woven- is still here and growing. We are selling cotton yarn cheaper than the Chinese.”
Job Prospects for Textile Engineers
This is undoubtedly great news for textile engineers. Their knowledge and expertise is needed in these great companies. Textile engineers apply engineering principles to the manufacture and design of textiles, fiber, apparel and associated products and processes. They possess both the chemical, mechanical and industrial sound knowledge required to achieve this. Textile engineering graduates have a wide choice of occupation fields to pick from as shown below:
• Working for large clothing companies to offer expertise in design of new manufacturing methods and machinery
• Research and development of advanced protective fibers for fire and rescue or military use
• Working in career fields related to sports such as athletic gear companies to ensure their clothing lines are up-to-date with the latest ventilation and comfort technology
• Chemical companies that make polymers
There are dozens of career choices for textile engineers. The likely titles include the following;
• Process engineer
• Quality control supervisor
• Technical Services/Sales Manager
• Operations Trainee
• Process Improvement Engineer
• Medical Textiles Engineer
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the people entering the engineering fields during the next 10 years have better employment opportunities with those that possess advanced degrees having the highest demand. Colleges offering this course such as North Carolina State University have over the past 3 years had 100% placement rate for textile engineering graduates with different textile companies. Therefore this is indeed an interesting career for those with passion for the fashion world.
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Reference: USA Today