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Five Online Resources for Fashion Designers

Fashion designers can be solitary, independent professionals. The Department of Labor reports that nearly a fourth of all working fashion designers are self-employed. For those who plan on working with established firms, most employers still plan on recruiting designers that hold two and four-year degrees with a keen subject knowledge of fabrics, textiles, and retail trends. That's where your online education will come in handy.

But there's no reason to be isolated, even if you are planning on becoming an independent fashion consultant. If you're still attending classes, it's the optimal time to begin developing your own database of key online resources in the fashion trade. Many websites come and go, but there are several stalwarts that you might add to your toolkit.

Fiber Source

Fiber Source hosts a directory of more than 1,500 world-wide fiber producers in more than 70 countries. Find guides to biocomponents, manufactured fibers, trade names and trademark fibers (including acetate, acrylic, melamine, polyester, nylon, rayon, spandex, triacetate, vinyon, and more).

Textile Web
Textile Web is home to updated industry news, a buyer's guide, informational articles, supplier lists, market research tools, and informational articles. Visitors can seek jobs online or advertise products and services.

Fabric Link
Fabric Link hooks fashion trades with consumers, providing textile dictionaries, stain guides, discussion boards, a retailers' forum, trade news and information, a fabric care center, and a product knowledge database. Find key links to universities, consumer programs, trade associations, retailers, and more. The site boasts of more than 150,000 visitors per month.

Textile World
Textile World provides Federal government news impacting the trades, business and financial reports, supplier notes, and online marketing tools. Search for information on non-woven textiles, dying, printing, finishing, and other topics.

Hemp Industries Association
Hemp is a vibrant textile worldwide, although slow to gain recognition in the United States. Search for links to hemp producers and merchant websites around the globe as the industry gathers steam in this country.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic

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