What does an Embroidery Designer do?

A.E. Freeman
A.E. Freeman
An embroidery designer could be hired by a fashion house.
An embroidery designer could be hired by a fashion house.

An embroidery designer creates craft kits and designs patterns for crafters to learn needlework. She may work in the fashion world, either producing hand embroidery designs for couture or mass-produced, machine embroidery designs for commercial manufacturers. Typically, an embroidery designer will need a degree in industrial design and experience in the graphic arts and pattern making.

An embroidery designer may create patterns on a computer for use with automated industrial embroidery machines.
An embroidery designer may create patterns on a computer for use with automated industrial embroidery machines.

An embroidery designer may choose to work as a freelance designer, creating designs that she can sell to clients. She may also embroider garments or other materials and sell those directly to customers at craft shows or online. She can also be hired to work for a fashion house, hand stitching designs onto couture garments.

In some instances, an embroidery designer is responsible for the design from the initial research and brainstorming to the finished product. She may sketch the initial design by hand or use a computer-aided design program to develop and draw the design. She'll then create a sample, or swatch, of the design and make any adjustments to the design based on how the swatch turns out. If the embroidery design is meant to go on a garment or other textile, she'll figure out how to position the design so that it looks best.

An embroidery designer creates designs to sell to clients.
An embroidery designer creates designs to sell to clients.

In most cases, an embroidery designer should earn a bachelor's degree in commercial or industrial design from a reputable design school. During college, an embroidery designer will learn the basics of design, plus how to use computer-aided designs programs. It is up to the designer to keep up with the latest developments in embroidery software and design programs after completing his training.

A punch needle can be used for some types of hand-made embroidery.
A punch needle can be used for some types of hand-made embroidery.

Embroidery designers need to have a good sense of aesthetic and a good eye for pattern and design. They should have the ability to draw, even if their career involves using a computer to draft designs. Since designers commonly work with others creating fashions, craft kits, and other textiles, they need to be able to work well with others in a collaborative setting.

Embroidery is often used to decorate quilts and linens.
Embroidery is often used to decorate quilts and linens.

An embroidery designer who is in business for herself or who freelances is also responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of her business. She needs to constantly reach out to new clients and have excellent customer service skills to deal with clients who may be less than satisfied.

Embroidery designers who are advanced in the field may use their skills to teach others. Some designers teach embroidery or stitching courses at local community centers or art schools. Others may teach at a college.

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Discussion Comments

VioletPrince

@TanGoddess.

I’m not sure you can take Embroidery Design as your major, but rather a concentration or specialization. For example, you might enter into a Bachelors of Art degree in Fashion Design and add Embroidery Design as your concentration. I also think it may be available as a concentration in some textile or technology programs. I would assume many art and design schools like The Academy of Art in San Francisco or The Art Institute may offer it, or at least something similar.

TanGoddess

Not to discount the work of an embroidery designer, but I had no idea this required a BA degree. Which school offer this?

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    • An embroidery designer could be hired by a fashion house.
      By: berc
      An embroidery designer could be hired by a fashion house.
    • An embroidery designer may create patterns on a computer for use with automated industrial embroidery machines.
      By: Moreno Soppelsa
      An embroidery designer may create patterns on a computer for use with automated industrial embroidery machines.
    • An embroidery designer creates designs to sell to clients.
      By: Olga Kovalenko
      An embroidery designer creates designs to sell to clients.
    • A punch needle can be used for some types of hand-made embroidery.
      By: Louella Folsom
      A punch needle can be used for some types of hand-made embroidery.
    • Embroidery is often used to decorate quilts and linens.
      Embroidery is often used to decorate quilts and linens.
    • Kasuti is a type of embroidery that involves elaborate patterns.
      Kasuti is a type of embroidery that involves elaborate patterns.