What is a Textile Consultant?
Generally we call a person consultant who provides expert advice professionally. A consultant is a person who fits the required person specification for a client’s project in terms of skills, knowledge, and experience and who has the ability to manage a project for successful completion. Textile Consultant is a person who offers technical, engineering creative, marketing and other related services in the textile industry. In simpler words, Textile consultants offer solutions to business needs in textile industry. Textile consultancy consists of a number of services which are extremely beneficial for the manufactures in the textile sector labour issues.
How does a person assess their readiness to be a consultant? This is a tough question but perhaps the person should stand in front of a mirror and ask the following questions:
- Do I have sufficient subject authority in the area of the project?
- Am I prepared to commit the time required for the project?
- Do I have sufficient hands-on experience?
- Do I have a national/international perspective on life and respect for all cultures?
- Am I prepared to travel and live on-site for the required duration of the project?
- Can I communicate well?
- Can I manage well?
- Do I understand how to plan and schedule a project?
- Am I creative and flexible when solving problem?
- Do I fully understand the implications of the project?
If the answer to all of these is yes, then you have made a start but every project will bring new questions for you to ask yourself. The questions will be less daunting as you build up experience though if you can honestly self-assess; some of them may become more daunting, but that is not a bad thing and will lead to continuous performance improvement. Some consultants have brought dramatic shifts in management thinking and improvements in the performance of organizations. Following image expresses all functions of a consultant.
Textile Consultant Job Description
Textile consultants work with a variety of materials including manmade and natural textiles, leather, fur, plastics and metals. They may be responsible for developing fabrics for furnishings, clothing, household items, medical supplies, or textiles for use within the automotive industry.
Principal responsibilities of a textile consultant are:
- Liaising with and providing technical advice to design, marketing, purchasing and production staff
- Creating products in response to given briefs
- Amending designs where necessary
- Producing samples
- Evaluating, identifying and selecting fabrics/products from suppliers
- Ensuring quality in areas such as strength, durability, colorfastness, and water and chemical resistance
- Checking products for suitability and testing for performance under various conditions
- Controlling production and quality standards
- Problem solving
- Dealing with customer queries and complaints
- Keeping up to date with trends and innovations
- Developing manmade fibers and quality assessing natural fibers
- Spinning fibers into yarn, and knitting or weaving yarn into fabrics
- Producing non-woven materials
- Identifying the latest fabric trends, developments and innovations
- Overseeing the dyeing, printing and finishing processes
- Advising commercial colleagues on technical aspects of the business
- Making and sizing pre-production garments
- Sourcing fabrics and accessories
- Undertaking quality evaluations of materials and checking the quality of the final product
- Responding to product queries, including complaints from wholesalers and customers.
Qualifications of a Textile Consultant/Technologist:
To be a textile consultant or technologist you need a degree and practical experience in a relevant subject such as physical, mathematical and applied sciences or engineering.
In particular, employers look for candidates with a qualification in one of the following subjects:
- Chemical and physical sciences
- Clothing technology or garment technology
- Computing and mathematics
- Fashion studies
- Materials science or technology
- Polymer science or technology
- Production or manufacturing engineering
- Textile technology or textile science
- Total quality management (TQM).
A textile consultant should be aware of the latest activity within sustainable fashion/textiles. Textile Consultancy for all professionals, buyers, garment technologists and textile manufacturing teams in the textile industry. A textile consultant will be expert in following branches:
- Textile Innovation
- Product Development
- Technical Textile
List of Leading Textile Consultants in the World:
- Deepco Export and Import textile Agency—China
- Alyaf Industrial Co. Ltd.—Saudi Arabia
- Masood Textiles – Pakistan
- Koka Consulting—U.S.A
- Taiwan Textiles Federation—Taiwan
- K.M. Associates— India
- Ana Textile Consultancy Pvt. Ltd.— India
- Atira— India
- Texcore Combines—India
Feasibility Study in Textile Industry:
The purpose of the feasibility study is to allow the clients and/or the funders to decide the likely viability of the project as proposed by the consultant. The size and content of the feasibility study will vary, depending on the scale of the project. The days are almost over when a single consultant or even when a single agency would be asked to undertake the project management of a model new textile factory project, and so the design technology consultant is much more likely to be looking at the scale of projects given earlier or to be asked to look at specific elements of a more major project.
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However, it is still necessary for the consultant to provide input to the feasibility study of a major project or to prepare a suitable scale feasibility project for the more likely type of project that they can confidently take on and succeed. This does not mean that the range of projects in which design technologists will be involved in is small, in fact, the opposite. The range of projects is only limited by the consultant’s subject knowledge, experience, and self-confidence.
Textile and RMG sector depends upon foreign raw materials (fabric). This dependency may incur a great risk. In this case feasibility study keeps great rule. The main purpose of feasibility study is to predict demand in the next five years and calculation profit and loss.
The following is a list of the minimum contents of a feasibility study:
- Background: This will include the history of the clients and their own knowledge levels, experience, environmental and cultural considerations, and the qualifications and track record of the consultant.
- The project: This will give the reasons why the client wants this project to happen and why some of the possible routes should be considered.
- Appropriate technology (AT) and/or management systems to be considered: Raw materials to be used and/or acquired.
- Market considerations: If a new product is to be developed, then the likely market acceptance and possible costing and pricing factors must be examined. Who are the target consumers and what will be the competitive advantage provided by the new product? Similar factors have to be considered if the client wishes to make a design technology and/or systems management change.
- Timetable scheduling: It is important that the consultant provides a project management schedule that is realistic and that allows for possible contingencies and financial interventions that might take place.
- Project costs: All costs must be presented to the client and funder including consultant’s fee, plant and equipment acquisition if required, new building (again if required and the design technologist will require local advice on this matter), training, and additional manpower.
The feasibility study report must be presented professionally and should not promise more than the consultant who is confident to deliver. Non delivery is a disaster for the career of any who would be consultant. If a member of academic staff of a university carries out a consultancy, he or she will be covered by university insurance schemes as long as he or she acts through the auspices of the university consultancy arm, which is often nowadays known as enterprise and innovation. If the consultant is operating as an individual, he or she would be well advised to take personnel cover. However, insurance will only cover financial losses; reputation losses are much more difficult to recoup.
- Textile and Clothing Design Technology Edited by Tom Cassidy and Parikshit Goswami
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.