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Textile Chemist

Add chemicals to fabrics to make them better.

What does a Textile Chemist do?

A Textile Chemist studies fibers and filaments to identify how they react to a variety of stimulants. Falling under the broader category of Chemist, the Textile Chemist focuses on finding ways to improve certain fibers or create new ones. The underlying role of all Chemists is to find ways to make something better or develop something new – sounds perfect for a perfectionist!

As a Textile Chemist, you must first understand what makes textiles what they are. Studying their strengths and weaknesses tells you how they can best be used in product development.

Courses in organic and inorganic chemistry, biology, textiles, and mathematics prepare you for your daily tasks. Using your science background, you conduct laboratory experiments to learn more about a specific textile. For example, you work for a clothing manufacturer that specializes in stain-resistant hospital scrubs. Even though the current fabric used resists stains, it’s your job to make it even better.

Studying the chemically treated cotton fibers, you notice a specific change in the textile six days after the chemical is applied. You then begin testing the stain resistance at days one through five, and determine that they’re more stain resistant than day seven. Using that knowledge, you try to eliminate the chemical change on day six to improve the overall stain resistance of the cotton.

Communication, English, and public speaking skills are necessary to convey your findings to your company executives and research peers. After all, if you cannot clearly tell the world how your work changed the face of stain-resistant cotton, nobody will know. And they will all wear stained scrubs.