Career as a Knitwear Designer
Updated: Dec 6, 2021
Knitwear design used to originally just be a leisure activity for grannies and women of the household. It is now a massive industry in fashion that has transcended all boundaries today, especially in recent years. Now, everything right from your sweaters and T-shirts to your innerwear and sportswear is knit. So naturally, the world and its sartorial needs revolve around knitwear. Today, the fashion industry is also a source of exports to global entities and that’s a given, considering the country’s rich history in craftsmanship. Having said that, a career as a knitwear designer may not be as known as it is in other countries, but consider this as a road less taken that turns out to be the best path chosen.
Source: Unsplash Having a career as a knitwear designer today can open up several new avenues for you as a designer, maybe more than a fashion designer. Brands and labels are increasingly launching special segments for knitwear now. These exclusive collections boast the distinctive quality and features of knitwear with garments and even lingerie. These wonders in fashion come to the market with their seamlessly comfortable feel, low-maintenance, wrinkle-free quality, and versatile nature. Safe to say, knitwear comes to the world of fashion with its very own exclusivity and timeless appeal that reels shoppers towards it. What Exactly is Knitwear
Knitting, one of the oldest forms of clothes-making, was first discovered between the 3rd and 5th centuries. We’re guessing the ones who invented it were awestruck by its versatility and that’s why it is one of the most loved categories in fashion today. So, in case you’re still lost, here’s what knitwear exactly is. Knitwear is basically the product of knitting, which is the inter-weaving or inter-looping of yarns. Because of the flexibility and comfort the textile offers, it is not only a top choice for warm sweaters but also for socks, runway pieces, and even lingerie. Difference Between Fashion Design and Knitwear Design
Yes, when you study fashion designing, knitwear, being a branch of fashion naturally comes under the curriculum for you. But of course, what you study there is a small trailer of what the actual industry of knitwear is. Naturally, what you learn as a part of the syllabus under fashion designing may not be enough for you to pursue knitwear full-fledged. And, that’s where the difference really lies.
Ideally, what you learn under fashion designing – your colour schemes, pattern-making, illustration, stitching, etc., all also comes under the curriculum of a knitwear designing course. The only and main difference comes in the play of the fabric used. Under fashion designing, you learn to work with all different types of fabrics like georgette, chiffon, cotton, and more. But, with knitwear designing, you only work with knitted fabrics, which have their own new-age machinery and technology to make use of. This specific specialization is also why a knitwear designer can also be a fashion designer but the latter cannot be the former. Scope of a Knitwear Designer
Here’s imparting some more clarity to you! So, now you know what knitwear actually includes and how booming the segment is. But, if you were to be a knitwear designer, what would you do? What exactly is the scope in the industry for a professional knitwear designer? As touched upon earlier, a degree in knitwear designing is a specialization. Although the curriculums are common with that of fashion designing, the fabric used is different and so are the many creation techniques. This opens up the doors of a student to an umpteenth of career options that are much in demand today and shall stay so tomorrow too.
A career as a knitwear designer is aspecialization where students gain massive insights into the technical skills of knitwear, including computerized knitting, which gives them an upper hand over other types of designers. This discipline is, contrary to myths, not limited to just winter garments but also way beyond. And, these expert insights into this niche, along with the technical knowledge, machinery and equipment, etc. make you adept for many career moves. Launching your own label is one of them. Here are some more career directions a knitwear designer can embark upon.
Source: Unsplash 1. Designer
What a fashion designer does, is exactly what a knitwear designer does, but with knits and new-age technology. The processes are more or less the same yet slightly different, considering the fabric is not the usual ones. Here, after conceptualizing the design, the first sketch is illustrated, followed by the colours, patterns, the exact yarn, and finally, a sample creation. 2. Merchandiser
A knitwear merchandiser is someone who manages the backend of a knitwear fashion house/label. A professional merchandiser in this domain takes care of some of the business and marketing aspects of the label, along with inventory management, consumer habits, and trend forecasting. 3. Buyer
A knitwear buyer can work at export houses and fashion houses with the responsibility of forecasting and buying the right products for the right consumers, at the right time. This involves a lot of trend forecasting and in-depth study of the market and consumers. 4. Stylist
A knitwear stylist is exactly what the job title says – stylist, who does exactly what a fashion stylist does. Except here, one deals with the styling of knitwear garments like sportswear, lingerie, sweaters, and other arrays of outfits made with knitting. A knitwear stylist may be in demand in the industry for shoots, celebrity appearances, movies, and other areas of the fashion world. 5. Label Owner
Lastly, after specializing in such a lucrative career as knitwear designing, you are practically ready to launch your own brand that is exclusively knit-wear. You have the option of delving into specific garment businesses like an intimate wear brand, sportswear brand, or more. The possibilities are endless!
What it Takes -A Degree in Knitwear Designing
A rather obvious qualification if you wish to pursue knitwear design as a career is first getting a professional degree in the same. A Bachelor’s in Knitwear Design is the most obvious and the first step. The curriculum here involves the same subjects as that of fashion designing except this is a lot more focused on knit, its machinery and computerization techniques. Not to mention, the detailed study of its history, markets, trends, and yarns. -The Right Interest and Skills
Evidently, if your heart lies in knitwear, we’re assuming you have ample interest in the field. But here, you’ll need more than that. Of course, you got to be equipped with artistic ability and creative imagination to be able to visualize, conceptualize, and translate them onto paper. Moreover, a a knack for general forecasting of trends and an understanding of the current and past trends is needed too. -Understanding the Distinctness of Knitwear
If you’re thinking in this direction of knitwear designing, then naturally, you need to understand why this is different from other fields in fashion. You need to be able to know what is that distinguishing factor about knitwear that sets it apart from the rest and what gives it more leverage than them. It all takes the understanding of different yarns and fabrics and the many types of machinery used to create knitwear. Moreover, an in-depth idea of knitwear and its many possibilities globally is essential as you get into pursuing it as a career. The Final Takeaway
One quality that makes the fashion industry so widespread and ever-evolving is its flexibility. Nothing is limited to a rigid line; everything is flowing and open to evolution. This is the same reason why after specializing in the unique know-how of knitwear designing, you can also branch out and head into specific segments of knitwear – lingerie designing, sportswear designing, and more. The possibilities are endless and having a specific niche that you have expertise in, certainly, has the potential to open up more avenues for you.