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Textile/Surface Design

Textile Surface Design

It's what's on top that counts.

Textile/surface design is the art of changing the appearance of natural and synthetic surfaces by the application of traditional, stylized, digitized, and illusionary techniques to embellish a product. It's also the art of enhancing a surface's structure by applying three-dimensional techniques, such as weaving, knitting, embroidery, lace, devor, beading, and embossing.

In courses taught by practicing professionals, you'll acquire a wide range of skills applicable to a variety of areas, from apparel and home furnishings to greeting cards and tabletop, so you'll have many career options. For inspiration, you'll be immersed in the designs and creative traditions of countries around the world and cultures throughout history. Courses blend theory with hands-on practice in such traditional media as painting, drawing, and screen printing, as well as digital methods.

In this program, you'll combine artistic ability, technical skills, and creative innovation, as you learn how to take a design from conception to product. When you graduate, you'll join a growing network of successful alumni, who connect you to the industry and to job opportunities in the many aspects of this global field.


  • Facilities include professional-level studios for painting, printing, weaving, and knitting, and state-of-the-art computer labs.
  • Strong industry and alumni ties translate into networking opportunities for students.
  • New York City, the creative center of the surface design industry, is your extended campus, with its design studios, showrooms, museums, and galleries.
  • Students showcase their designs at major trade shows, including the International Fabric and Fashion Show (IFFE) and Surtex at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York.

In this program, you'll:

  • work in a wide range of media, including paints, dyes, fibers, yarns, silk screen, and CAD programs.
  • find inspiration in The Museum at FIT, which houses the worlds largest collection of costumes and textiles.
  • collaborate with fellow students in the Textile/ Surface Design Club.
  • have opportunities to compete for prestigious industry scholarships.