Skip to main content
Student working in the Senior Design lab with fabric.

B.S. Textile Engineering

The NC State Textile Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org.

What is textile engineering?

Take a closer look at just about any industry or research topic, and you’ll find textile engineers playing a role. Put simply, a textile engineering degree allows you to apply your knack for problem solving to achieve tangible progress and results in almost any field. 

That’s because you can find textiles playing a role in just about any industry or research area, from apparel to automotives to medicine. 

Textile engineers apply their knowledge of materials science to develop or improve: 

  • High-performance fabrics that help athletes perform their best. 
  • Biomedical materials for new sutures, grafts to replace damaged or corroded organs and more. 
  • Materials for car seats and trims that can harvest energy and composite materials to make car and plane bodies lighter and more fuel efficient. 
  • Smart textiles (i.e., integration of electronics into fabrics) for health monitoring.
  • Nonwovens for advanced filtration to deliver clean water or minimize the spread of diseases.
  • Nano-fibers for longer lasting lithium batteries.
  • Data analytics and process improvement to optimize manufacturing and supply chain systems.

And that’s just the beginning. 

Our industry-caliber labs and the tactile nature of textiles means you’ll receive a level of hands-on education that other engineering programs simply can’t provide. 

students using senior design lab

In this program, you’ll: 

  • Build a resumé for graduate school or the workforce through opportunities in undergraduate research and summer internships. 
  • Learn Lean Six Sigma, a process improvement methodology used by most Fortune 500 companies.
  • Have a curriculum that gives you the flexibility to study abroad if you choose. 
  • Earn experience in every step of the research and development (R&D) process by working with industry sponsors in our capstone program – Senior Design.

Senior Design

Textile technology and textile engineering students partner with The North Face, the U.S. Army and others for their Senior Design capstone.

Senior Design 2022 Presentation

As a joint program with the College of Engineering, our students get the best of what both our colleges have to offer. 

Benefit from the community and faculty mentorship that comes from our small class sizes. Gain research experience in our labs through the largest summer research experience for undergraduates (REU) at NC State. Earn a holistic textile education – and broaden your opportunities — by learning with students specializing in all parts of textiles, from chemistry and manufacturing to design and business. 

At the same time, take advantage of the resources and programming that come with one of the nation’s leading engineering colleges. Take classes from biomedical, mechanical, industrial and systems, chemical, materials, computer science, and other engineering disciplines. Easily pursue a minor or a double major in one of these fields. You’ll be exposed to a broader community of engineers through the College of Engineering’s First-Year Program.

Engineering Admissions Information

We offer the only ABET accredited textile engineering program in the U.S. 

You’ll learn about:

Process and product development; Fiber science; Fabric formation; Data analytics; Lean Six Sigma; Polymer engineering; Materials science; Biomedical; Mathematics; Chemistry; Physics

Concentration options:

  • Information Systems: Learn how to use computer database information systems and data analytics to solve problems to make processes more efficient or optimize inventory and supply chains. Commonly added to this concentration: minor in computer science, supply chain engineering, or industrial engineering; double major in industrial engineering or computer science. 
  • Product Engineering: This concentration focuses on product design and development but is the most multidisciplinary and flexible in terms of curriculum. Choose to specialize based on your interests, such as biomedical textiles, sports textiles and composites. Commonly added to this concentration: double major in biomedical engineering, minor in material science. 
  • Chemical Processing: Students in this concentration learn how to combine textile and chemical engineering to develop chemical process improvement engineers for industries dealing with fibers and polymers. Commonly added to this concentration: minor or double major in chemical engineering.

Popular minors:

Industrial Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Polymer Science

Making a difference through textile engineering:

Textile engineers are equipped with the skills and knowledge to address some of our world’s biggest challenges, from safety to sustainability to healthcare. Below are just a few recent examples of how our engineers Think and Do for the greater good.

Healthcare

Textile engineering student Reid Barnett spent his summer researching how to integrate health monitoring technology into clothing. The ultimate goal is to record data from a heartbeat that could catch type two diabetes, strokes and heart diseases before they become an even bigger problem.

two students using a lab computer to read ECG data

Sustainability

Students in Senior Design determined the best process to turn post-consumer underwear into fibers that can be recycled elsewhere. They then created products that could be made using this recycled material.

a polo shirt with a button made of recycled PET

Safety

Students in Senior Design developed new, reusable and launderable protective suits for employees at the U.S. Army’s Pine Bluff Arsenal to protect them from hazardous chemicals.

students presenting a Senior Design project
student in a cap and gown at commencement

What can I do with my degree?

The interdisciplinary nature of textiles means that textile engineers are needed everywhere. As the only ABET accredited textile engineering program, our graduates have unmatched expertise. The result? Top employers in just about every industry recruit our alumni to help them solve problems and make a difference. These are just a few of the places our graduates go: 

  • Government Agencies/National Defense: NASA, The U.S. Army, Lockheed Martin, Natick, United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Athletics and Apparel: Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, The North Face, Lululemon, Patagonia, Levis, Peter Millar, HanesBrands 
  • Healthcare/Medical Textiles: ATEX, Merck & Co., Stryker, Medline, Secant Medical
  • Automotives: Tesla, BMW, Volvo Trucks, Nissan, Goodyear, Michelin, Firestone
  • Homewares: Home Depot, Lowes, Mohawk Flooring, Hunter Douglas
  • Traditional Textiles: Milliken, Unifi, Contempora Fabrics, Elevate Textiles, SteinFibers
  • Advanced Materials: Technimark, DuPont, Eastman, Honeywell
  • Other Employers: SAS, All Trails, Lenovo, Cisco, Accenture, IBM, Bank of America
  • Professional Graduate Programs: Medical: UNC-Chapel Hill; Dental: UNC-Chapel Hill; Analytics: NC State, Ga. Tech; Law: Stanford, UNC-Chapel Hill, Campbell University
  • Technical Graduate Programs: Biomedical Engineering: NC State, Duke; Textile Engineering: NC State; Chemical Engineering: Ga. Tech, University of Florida; Mechanical Engineering: University of Colorado

Sample careers:

  • Materials Developer/Specialist/Designer: Apply an understanding of fibers, woven constructions, fabric testing, dyeing and finishing, and more to develop materials used in everything from camping tents to sneakers. Find new applications for a company’s existing materials.
  • Research and Development Engineer: Direct and execute research programs that lead to development of new products and processes or new applications of existing products and processes to improve profits, maintain quality and generate growth for a company or brand. 
  • Product Development Specialist: Collaborate with market research, management, design and production teams to determine what new products would resonate with customers and create them, keeping in mind both form and function. 
  • Strategic Sourcing Manager: Analyze and improve supply chain partnerships and processes to ensure a company is acquiring and transporting its materials in the most effective and cost efficient way. Negotiate with suppliers. 
  • Logistics Manager/Inventory Manager: Oversee ordering, stocking and organization/distribution of items and materials to minimize waste throughout the supply chain.
  • Data Scientist: Acquire valuable data and analyze that information (through statistical modeling or other processes) to derive insights that inform company decisions. 
  • Design Engineer/Process Improvement Engineer: Execute process and machinery improvements for textiles manufacturing to increase efficiency and quality while lowering cost of production. Provide daily problem solving support in the production process.
  • Production Manager/Project Engineer/Product Manager: Ensures progress on a project from start to finish in order to meet deadlines, quality standards and sustainability standards. This could include managing orders, collaborating with technicians and other engineers and adjusting production schedules. Communicates this progress with any clients, vendors or other stakeholders. 
  • Quality Control Engineer: Establish and maintain systems and processes, conduct audits, to minimize deviation and to make sure that all products meet standards set by the company, industry organizations, or government entities.
  • Technical Marketing Manager: Work with engineers to create marketing strategies and materials for technology products or services. Conduct market research and analyze customer feedback to inform pricing and product development.
  • Technical Service/Sales: Use technical knowledge of textiles (as well as related machinery, processes, applications and testing standards) to serve as a resource to the sales team and answer customer questions. 
Two students examining a fabric prototype in the Senior Design Lab
A TT and TE student discuss a prototype for their Senior Design project.

What’s the difference between textile technology and textile engineering?

Our degrees in textile engineering (TE) and textile technology (TT) have many similarities, and students are able to start in one degree and then transfer to the other.

Here are some of the key similarities and differentiating factors that could help you choose the program that’s the best fit for you: 

  • Seniors in both programs go through the same Senior Design program and work with students from the other program on Senior Design teams. 
  • Engineering-based calculus and physics are required for TE students. They are not required for TT students. 
  • TE students are required to take additional engineering courses that TT students are not. That’s because TE is a joint degree with the College of Engineering, while TT is housed solely within the Wilson College of Textiles. 
  • TE teaches students to use system thinking to design to products or processes using materials. TT focuses on the use of technology to solve problems. 
  • TT has a stronger focus on business than TE.