Fiber Technologist

Conduct experiments to make better fabrics.

What does a Fiber Technologist do?

As a Fiber Technologist, you use science to study every aspect of both natural and synthetic fibers. There’s no pulling the wool over a Fiber Technologist’s eyes. You know how to do research to find out what makes a fiber what it is and how it can be improved. Whether you want to know why cashmere is soft and fuzzy or what makes wool coarse and scratchy, you can find the answers.

Fiber Technologists study the nature, origin, and use of a specific fiber to learn more about its properties and determine how to improve it. For example, if you work for a wool manufacturer, you may want to know how to improve the texture and feel of wool without diminishing the heat retention. Using what you learned in your college science classes, you conduct experiments to blend other fibers with the wool and study the effects. You may conclude that wool is scratchy by nature and there’s no way around it, or you may determine that if combined with a specific ratio of cotton, it remains warm without irritating the skin.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills are essential in this job. After conducting experiments and researching the outcomes, you’re responsible for reporting your findings. Your employer will surely want to know how you’re going to make the next big textile, and all eyes will focus on you as you explain the outcome of your wool-and-cotton experiment.

Keen attention to detail and accuracy are also important. When the experiment produces favorable results, you need to be able to replicate it following your previous guidelines. But, if you happen to be one of the millions out there who suffer from allergies, stock up on your antihistamines or grab some tissues – it could be a bumpy (or wooly) ride.