Fashion Careers are an interesting spectrum, with fashion designers gaining popularity in the world. But there are some positions that haven’t been explored before the clothes hit the shelf of a shop. One of them is the position of a Garment Technologist, which is crucial in certifying that the engineering of the final product runs smoothly. They are responsible for making sure that the vision of the product is aligned with the expectation, which requires communication between the brand and the factory. If you are a practical and more proactive creative person, being a garment technologist might just be the fashion job for you.
What to study?
As fashion companies keep subcontracting production to other countries, there will always be the requirement for garment technologists. Studying fashion design and development at an art college along with gaining experience in pattern cutting is important for a garment technologist. You need to know to be aware of body types, fabric presentations, structure and basic mathematics to do the job well.
You would have special knowledge of:
- Production Techniques such as stitching and pattern-cutting
- Properties of different textiles
- Manufacturing procedures for clothes
- Fashion and retail
How to become a Garment Technologist?
You could start as a pattern cutter at a supplier to gain the necessary experience to be a garment technologist. It offers an opportunity to understand construction and to witness how garments are made and pieced together. Learning how to use garment technology like Gerber is also advantageous in developing the essential pattern skills to be a qualified garment technologist. International companies usually invest in young talents and provide numerous free courses which are great for junior roles, but the progress can be slow. Starts ups or smaller companies on the other hand, provide more weightage in roles and the ideas are given more importance. For example, if you start off as a part-time pattern cutter at a supplier, you could end up with a garment technologist position at a global brand because of one of the client contacts you build. You just have to show creativity and build networks.
The Role of a Garment Technologist
A garment technologist is accountable for the correct fit and performance of a garment. They have to work with the design team and factory, as they have to instruct them about the measurements and structure of the garment to enable them to produce more prototypes. The garment technologist is also responsible to communicate feedback between different factories. They also advise on suitable fabrics, suggest changes to designs, confirm items can be produced to budget and make sure the correct garment construction methods are used.
Here are the basic Duties and Required skill set for a Garment Technologist
- Work diligently with Buying, Design, Merchandising and supply base.
- Evaluate the product risks in terms of safety and analyze test reports.
- Assess the quality of materials and checking of the final product.
- Ensure that the product is competitive and ahead of market trends via fit days and wearer trials.
- Experience in pattern cutting and grading is essential.
- Create and maintain relationships with suppliers, sourcing regions and technical labs.
- A good understanding of manufacturing abilities and an aptitude to conduct factory production assessments is beneficial.
- Knowledge with PLM (product lifecycle management) systems and Adobe is desirable.
Garment Technologist jobs do differ depending on Retailer, Supplier or Manufacturers. Therefore, it’s significant to think about your personal skills and areas of interest and then decide which type of technologist job would suit you best.