Designers may develop their skills by completing courses at TAFE or university in design and / or manufacture. Other designers are self-taught and gain their skills through on-the-job training. Depending on the size of the company, designers may work alone or collaborate as a member of a team working towards a common design goal. To be successful, all designers must have an understanding of the market place in order to ensure their final products meet a consumer need or want. The sectors of the textile industry are dusters, and designers usually specialise in a particular design area such as surface decoration, costume or interior design. The ensure future success, designers must continue to develop their skills and expertise to keep up to date with current trends in the industry.
For most designers, success is not instant; they start out small and gradually build up their business. Starting up a business requires a large initial input of capital to either rent or buy suitable premises from which to operate, to pay wages, to purchase materials and to market the finished product. All these things must be paid for before the business can start to make a profit. Often, a designer will employ a business partner to manage the administration part of the business. As part of the Australian Government's $747 million assistance package for the Australian TCF industry, businesses can apply for two different grants. Type one grants are for building and equipment expenditure, trade showings and in-store promotions. Type 2 grants are for research and development, including innovative product development activities. Both grants will assist companies in developing and competing successfully in the international TFC industry.
External factors: Political
Designers do not work in isolation - they are influenced by the policies of the government in power. Since the late 1980s, Austalian governments have pursued a policy of reducing the level of protection to the textile industry. Previously, tariffs were charged on imported textile products, raising the price of imported goods. Consumers therefore found locally-manufactured goods that were of a better value for money. The reduction of these tariffs has resulted in a greater number of important textile products. The high cost of labour in Australia has meant that the consumer can now purchase goods manufactured overseas at a lower price than ovally produced goods. To be successful in this political environment, designers need to focus on areas of design, branding, innovation and consumer service.
Designers today must choose to embrace technology if they are to succeed in a contemporary society. Through the use of technology, it is now possible for the fibre, yarn and fabric manufacturers to develop a product to meet a specific end-use. Designers can use this technology to create unique and original products to ensure they are ahead of their competitors. Computer-aided design (CAD) allows designers to develop their work on screen, easily changing design fathers, fabric colours and prints to ensure the final product is the right one. They can also save a design for future editing. This shortens the design cycle as well as reducing the cost for the designer. Computer-aided manufacture (CAM) incorporates a variety of automated manufacturing processes. Although the initial setup costs are high, in the long term, CAM reduces the length of the manufacturing process as well as allowing the designer get their products and designs into the market place as quickly as possible. CAM also reduces labour costs. Many companies today use technology in the form of the World Wide Wed to market their products. Consumers can now purchase textile items from around the world straight from...