Clothing and Textile Technology

Today's textile and clothing industry offers exciting and rewarding career opportunities with ever-increasing demands for skilled professionals.

Although the South African fashion and textile industry has been facing a number of challenges due to globalisation (such as cheaper imports from the East), there is still a bright future for properly qualified graduates who wish to have a career in the clothing and textile industry.

Textiles are an important part of our lives and play a key role in many different sectors, including medicine, transportation, construction, and most obviously in the fashion and clothing sector. In addition to traditional products such as home furnishings, technological advances in textile manufacture have seen huge strides made in creating life-saving inventions such as flame-retardant suits, bomb suits, artificial arteries and synthetic skin.

The clothing and fashion industry itself continues to be an extremely dynamic and important sector of the economy, providing enormous scope for well-qualified graduates to make their mark. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) is one of South Africa's major centres of higher learning with internationally recognised programmes that prepare students for careers in the clothing and textile sector.

The Department of Clothing and Textile Technology at CPUT offers three-year diploma and four-year degree programmes in Clothing Management on the Bellville Campus.

The programmes in Clothing Management equip students for careers in various technical, business and management positions in both the manufacturing and retail sectors of the clothing industry. Students take subjects such as Production Technology, Production Organisation, and Management and Business Studies. These all help them to conduct basic research, analyse and implement systems and policies, and combine a wide range of clothing-related technological knowledge, skills and experience in a specialised area of clothing technology and management.

CPUT's Department of Clothing and Textile Technology provides an excellent academic starting point for careers that use creative and technical skills in this sector of the economy. These careers include:

  • production managers
  • work study officers
  • quality managers
  • dyehouse managers
  • weaving or knitting managers
  • structural textile designers
  • pattern makers
  • CAD operators
  • fabric technologists
  • garment technologists
  • fashion and textiles sales people
  • fashion buyers
  • fashion merchandisers
  • retail managers
  • visual merchandisers
  • fashion stylists
  • clothing and textile lecturers and research assistants
  • entrepreneurs/ freelancers.

Although design often comes to mind when considering careers linked to fashion and textiles, very few people in the industry are employed as designers and job opportunities are scarce compared to the numerous career paths for clothing and textiles graduates as listed above. Competition for posts in this sector means that a degree or diploma is often just an essential minimum requirement for success. As a successful candidate for a job, you will also have to demonstrate considerable talent, dedication, commitment and motivation.

As a CPUT graduate, you will also have had the hands-on experience at factories and other places of work. These work-integrated modules of the clothing and textile programmes give you important practical experience which is highly valued by employers and ensures you have the competitive edge in the job market after finishing your studies.

Contact us

Department of Clothing & Textile Technology
Faculty of Engineering
Cape Peninsula University of Technology
PO Box 1906
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 959 6466
Fax: +27 21 959 6497