Finding an internship in the textile industry is very dependent on where you are in the United States, but if you live in Los Angeles or New York City which are essentially places as close to a fashion mecca as you can get, you definitely must find a job interning as a textile buyer or any job that will allow you to take a peek into how fabrics are chosen from among many.
Here's how to find a job as an intern in the textile industry:
If you do not live in Los Angeles or New York, move. You have to get closer to where the job is so you can land an internship at a really good textile company.
If you'd rather stay where you are, it's your decision. If your stubborn streak tells you that you can find an internship program right at home, then go to your school's career counselor and state your purpose. There might be a few options she can suggest that you can start with on your search.
Go online and google the American Textile History Museum (ATHM). The ATHM has a continuing internship program for aspiring designers and retail merchandisers. However, this is an unpaid program. You are definitely going to get into this not for the money but for the portfolio and experience. If you want to know more about this, visit the ATHM website at athm.org. You can also find ATHM on Facebook and Twitter.
Intern at your local department store, textile, or wedding store. Or everywhere else that you know sells clothes and fabrics. This could be your indirect entry into textile manufacturing. Speak with the in-house designers and offer your help as an intern. You might or might not get paid for your efforts so you have to be financially ready to support your internship.
Actively seek out textile events and fairs. This is a great place to look at finding internship. When there's a huge gathering like an annual event or fair, you can be sure to find many textile manufacturers you can talk to and discuss prospects with. Look for announcements online at Textile Society of America textilesociety.org or by scouring newspapers and trade magazines.
Join a reality show. You might think of this as a kooky idea but hey, reality shows featuring aspiring models, designers, and fashion editors are big on TV - ANTM, Project Runway, The Fashion Show, Running in Heels, to name a few. Pick one, write an application letter, and send in an audition tape. Who knows what will happen to that, right? Things might swing in your favor yet.
Add these fantastic websites to your list as your search continues. As mentioned, you might not find it easy to look for a place to start your internship program but as long as you continue searching, your chances will improve. Here are more websites to add to your list (and you have to really look at these because these will immensely help):
It's going to be a steep climb but it never is easy because you have chosen a profession that is not as accessible as the others. Do not be discouraged because it will pay off in the end. Immerse yourself in the search and soon you will find yourself swathed in no less than Gucci prints while interning for a fabulous textile house.