The Fashion Technology practitioner creates garments. The technical skills involved include design, pattern construction, cutting and garment manufacture. The practitioner may work in one of several sectors but often they are self-employed and work on commissioned projects or in the retail manufacturing sector or in sampling garments for production. As such they need to have business acumen and strong interpersonal skills when dealing with clients. Excellent customer care and selling skills are crucial. As some work is often commissioned for important events, the practitioner must understand the needs of the client and be able to offer appropriate expert advice whilst interpreting the vision for the finished project. Customer briefs must be clearly understood and followed accurately. abrics are often expensive, delicate and easily damaged or handled incorrectly. Given this, the practitioner must be respectful of the raw materials with which they work and apply extensive knowledge of effective sourcing, purchasing, handling and storage of all materials. Sustainability, ethics and budgets are all serious considerations when sourcing materials and selecting sub-contractors.
The design of a garment requires innovation, creativity and artistic and design talents that incorporate aesthetics and practicalities. The practitioner must apply the rules and theory of composition including design elements and principles as well as technique. He or she is often creative and artistic, with a good eye for design and the ability to create pleasing and functional garments, suitable for their purpose. In addition, a thorough knowledge and understanding of specialist equipment and its use is essential. Another requirement is a high level of technical knowledge in patternmaking and construction techniques. Different fabrics will react in various ways to the manufacturing process and these characteristics must be considered throughout the preparation and production process. There is a wide range of practice in the fashion sector. Some practitioners produce small ranges for retail outlets or high class fashion houses or prepare bespoke garments ordered by individual clients.
At the other end of the professional spectrum, the practitioner may work in an industrial setting, producing prototypes for mass production. Practice also varies across the world. The fashion industry is truly global: for example, a garment may be designed and prototyped in one country and sub-contracted for manufacture in another. Wherever employed, it is essential that the practitioner is aware of current and emerging fashions and trends in the fashion industry. Equally important is an awareness of new developments in fabrics and textiles as well as machinery and equipment. Significant damage can be done to a business and its reputation if fashion trends are misread.