Textile design

Textile designers work in a huge variety of fields, from the design and making of fashion fabrics, garments and accessories, to interior and exterior fabrics, wallpapers and products.

In textile design studio courses, you will create new materials and surfaces using a wide range of established and emerging technologies and processes for weave, knit, dye, embroidery and print. Students also use non-traditional materials and processes, such as concrete, glass, wood, and light projection.

What first year courses to take if you want to major in textile design

  • To get into the textile design major, you must take 223.157 Material in first year. View the Material video here.
  • First year students get two slots for “elective” courses. There are many options, for example:
    If you’re interested in digital fabrication, you could take 197.122 Digital Fabrication
    If you’re interested in printmaking, you could take 222.104 Printmaking
    If you’re interested in fashion design, you could look at 212.100 Fashion Pattern Making and/or 212.101 Fashion Construction. These courses get you into a number of more advanced fashion electives, such as 212.309 Contoured and Knit Apparel.
    If you want to apply illustrative techniques in your textile design, you could focus on your drawing skills in 213.154 Contemporary Drawing and/or 213.155 Drawing The Body I.
    If you might incorporate words, letters and numbers into your designs, you could take 222.158 Type as one of your other core studio courses (alongside Material).
  • See our Yellow Book for all the details.

Key facts

Massey textile graduates include:

  • Kelly Olutunji-MacClean (Fibretech)
  • Hannah Webster
  • Amy Butler (Levana Textiles)


Graduates have a diverse skill set and well-developed design capabilities, employed in New Zealand, Australia and further afield, where they are designing traditional textiles, developing new materials, and producing specialty wallpapers and homewares (even toilet seats!).

Koha and collaboration in textiles

Massey University students worked with high school students in a client-designer relationship.