Whether you want to study fashion design or start your clothing line on Etsy, you love making clothes. Regarding fashion design, pencils, and sketchbooks are no longer enough. In today’s world, students and professionals use the best software for clothing design!
Visualizing garments in 2D and 3D with the best clothing design software is possible. The ability to create sewing patterns is also included in many fashion design tools. In addition to providing thousands of color and pattern options, design software also enhances the artistry of clothing design.
This article aims to teach you how to use clothing design software. In addition, you will find a list of the most popular design software programs. Lastly, you’ll discover some tips for using cloth design software!
- The fashion industry is seeing a significant boom, leading to technological developments like 3D rendering and modeling software for apparel design.
- Various software options are available for clothing design, ranging from generic programs like Adobe Illustrator to industry-specific software like Blue Cherry and Browzwear.
- These software options offer features such as high-definition illustrations, business aspect support, fit testing before production, and centralized sharing of designs.
- Best clothing design software for Mac – Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW
- Best clothing design software for Windows – Adobe Illustrator
- Best clothing design software for beginners – CLO 3D
Table of Content
Do Fashion Designers Use Software?
Today, students and fashion designers use computer software to design clothing. Almost everyone in the clothing industry relies on computerized designs in today’s digital world!
By implementing measurements and design features, these programs save designers a lot of time. These programs can also turn a clothing concept into a 2D sewing pattern. In some programs, clothing designs can be printed on a 3D printer for an authentic 3D simulation!
It is also easy to share digital design concepts. Up to and including the product’s manufacturing, they ensure more accurate design reproduction.
An artistic concept no longer needs to be sketched out on paper. Design students use Adobe Illustrator to learn the basics of digital design. There are many CAD options available to professional designers.
So, what is a CAD design program? CAD stands for computer-aided design. Artists can use software or a web-based program to help with some of their work.
The use of CAD programs is invaluable when designing concepts. Color schemes and shapes can often be selected and measurements and adjusted. Furthermore, 3D-printed designs are becoming increasingly popular in the fashion world.
An authentic visualization of clothing designs can be seen in three-dimensional designs. The design of a CAD program can be easily duplicated in a 3D printer, thanks to many CAD programs!
Translating the clothing concept into a sewing pattern with many CAD clothing design programs is also possible. It is common for clothing to have more than one piece of fabric stitched together, even the most straightforward item, such as a T-shirt. Templates or pattern pieces are required for each of those pieces.
A sewing pattern can be thought of as a puzzle piece. Computer programs can simplify converting a design concept into a 2D pattern!
What are the benefits of digital clothing design? Digital design is necessary if you plan to go to a fashion design school, launch a clothing line, or sell your designs. You must embrace digital design if you enjoy designing your clothes for fun.
If you have no background in graphic design, you may face a steep learning curve. You can often find helpful tutorials online to help you adjust to designing clothing digitally.
List of 15 Best Clothing Design Software Options
- Adobe Illustrator
- C-Design Fashion
- CLO 3D
- Corel Draw
- Digital Fashion Pro
- EFI OPTITEX
- Fusion 360
- Marvelous Designer
- Pattern Smith
- Smart Designer
- TUKA 3D
- Blue Cherry
Many clothing design software options are available on the market, some with unique features and some with high prices. Find out what the most popular programs offer before selecting the right software.
1. Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator remains a popular tool in design schools even though it is not technically a fashion design tool. Students are introduced to vector graphics software through this course.
This type of software uses math and geometry to create high-definition illustrations. In contrast to some more straightforward drawing programs, it doesn’t work by dragging and dropping or clicking and drawing. Some video game designers also use this type of software!
There are thousands of tutorials available online because so many design students use this program. The following steps will help you learn how to use this clothing design program.
You’ll also benefit from a great discount if you’re a student! AI is still far cheaper than many specialized fashion programs, even if you’re not a student. A monthly subscription costs just $20.99.
The focus of Browzwear is on the design of cutting-edge 3D clothing. Many benefits can be gained from 3D design, including the ability to test a design’s fit before it is produced. This Singapore-based company is leading the way in design trends.
Lotta and VStitcher are two software packages offered by the company. Rather than focusing on concept design details, Lotta emphasizes the basics. In addition to crafting concepts, you can use true-motion fit to draft sewing patterns with VStitcher!
One of the downsides of this awesome software is that it’s not practical for a single user. The software is available for a free demo, but the pricing requires a quote. Large companies typically purchase this program, with additional users costing more.
3. C-Design Fashion
Using C-Design Fashion, you can streamline the clothing production process. You can share and disseminate design information in the product creation process.
Your designs, including sizing charts, can be shared centrally through this program. Besides creating artistic variations, it also allows you to use color schemes. You can also easily import your digital designs from Adobe Illustrator or other software.
Moreover, this software is suitable for both small and large businesses. Pricing plans start at just $49/month!
4. CLO 3D
Using CLO 3D, you can design garments in 3D with an intuitive, interactive interface. Additionally, it provides key features such as creating 2D sewing patterns. Although its main focus is 3D, many options exist for sizing, color schemes, and styles.
Add folds and layers to a 3D design, or make it look like the garment is moving with fancy 3D design tricks!
This product offers a 30-day free trial to determine if it is right for you. The cost per month increases to $50 after that.
An excellent alternative to Adobe Illustrator is CorelDRAW. You may want to consider this software if you are looking for a powerful graphic design tool! Several apps and a full software suite are available. The suite includes various features, including vector illustration, collaboration, photo editing, and typography.
This option may cost less than AI, depending on your chosen products. Furthermore, you can collaborate with other artists using the program’s advanced design tools.
You can choose from various pricing models, some more relevant to fashion design. It costs $249 a year to use the illustration software.
6. Digital Fashion Pro
You learn fashion design basics with Digital Fashion Pro, which sets it apart from the competition. It offers a starter course and a starter kit for learning fashion design. It even helps you launch your own clothing business with its features!
Additionally, it contains many tools for designing and illustrating. This software includes Several helpful tools to help you create 2D sketches, including tools for shaping, typing, and coloring. You can customize clothing templates and pose-able models to find the perfect look.
There are three levels of the latest version available for purchase, starting at $399 for the individual user model and going up to $824 for the advanced industry edition. Before downloading the software to your computer, you must purchase it and wait for it to arrive.
7. EFI OPTITEX
In addition to a 3D design tool using Adobe Illustrator, EFI Optitex offers a wide range of software options. The program also allows you to draft sewing patterns.
Also included is a fabric manager, which is a business-related tool. Business owners of both large and small companies can benefit from this type of software!
Adobe Illustrator has a unique partnership with this program. Additionally, it designs logos and sportswear.
If you want to find out if this software is right for you, you can request a free demo from the company. The pricing information for this software is only available after you request a quote!
8. Fusion 360
The 3D modeling and design capabilities of Fusion 360 are advanced. You can master incredible 3D tools with this program, even though it is not specifically tailored to the fashion industry!
Currently, much of the fashion industry focuses on 3D models. Thus, investing in this software and using it to design clothing may be a good idea.
Sketches, surface models, direct models, and freeform models can be created with this software. Aside from creating simulations, you can also collaborate on data sharing!
Fusion 360 is available for a free trial. You can purchase this software for $60 per month or $347 per year.
9. Marvelous Designer
In addition to providing various design tools, Marvelous Designer focuses on fabric simulation. Other features include pattern drafting and 2D design.
You can use this software to create 3D designs that look like characters from high-quality video games! With your designs, you’ll feel like you could touch the computer screen and the material’s texture.
A variety of modeling and animation options are also included in the program. As a bonus, the clothing designs can easily be embellished with fancy trim and details!
You can download a free 30-day trial or purchase a license for $490 on the website.
10. Pattern Smith
It’s no surprise that Pattern Smith specializes in designing sewing patterns. Digital pattern pieces can be created with this 2D CAD drafting program using advanced tools.
This program’s features make drafting, digitizing, and editing sewing patterns easy. A sewing-specific feature of the program is the ability to insert notches, darts, and tucks in patterns.
This cool sewing program is free for a 30-day trial period. It costs $1,000 per year, which is terrible news! Small business owners may not want to commit to such an investment without a wildly successful home business.
A Korean fashion design CAD program, SmartDesigner offers both 3D and 2D sketches of garments. Additionally, it includes industry-specific features like draping or creating apparel made from woven fabric versus knit fabric.
This product allows you to create 2D sewing patterns from your design concepts, as with most comprehensive design tools.
This innovative program has a lot of promise but appears to be in its infancy. Pricing information, for example, must be obtained from the program’s creator!
The 3D fashion design tools provided by Tailornova are advanced. A web-based version is available instead of a downloadable one. In addition to cloud-sharing options, some features can be accessed from various devices.
With this program, you can design your garment, make your pattern, and select fabrics to make it a reality! In addition to its design tools, it offers custom-fit options so you can design clothing that fits anyone. Try out the free trial version or subscribe for $29/month for the whole package!
13. TUKA 3D
TUKA 3D is a big deal in the fashion design world. This company offers a 3D design package, a pattern-making package, and a textile and print design package. A specific set of advanced features is included in each garment design software.
A range of business-oriented features is also available from TUKA, including marketing and product creation tools.
The software TukaCAD is particularly well-known for its ability to design sewing patterns! A huge community of users also shares and sells their designs in the TUKA marketplace, making this software a popular choice.
A subscription to this software is available for as little as $20/month for some features.
Virtuality is part of C-Design’s fashion brand. With Fashion, you can create fashion designs in a modern, streamlined manner. These apps cover everything from advanced 3D Hi-Res simulations to 2D pattern design. The virtual showroom helps you create your online store, which may be this package’s most appealing part.
Nevertheless, this isn’t just a tool for creating concept designs. In addition to uploading and editing designs, you can create your designs. You must submit a quote request to receive a quote on this product.
BlueCherry offers software for fashion and apparel. As a result, you are immediately aware of the industry-specific capabilities and features provided by the tool.
Designing clothes for business is the focus of this software. This tool ensures that the design concept is utilized accurately and efficiently at all levels of clothing production.
In addition to cargo delivery software, BlueCherry provides supply chain management, inventory management, and distribution management solutions. Marketed as an all-in-one solution, it covers everything from concept to implementation.
The software may be too advanced for you, however. You may find that this software provides a bit more than you need unless you run your own small business. Also, depending on what software you purchase, the monthly fee can range from $59 to $120.
Best Free Clothing Design Software
Several free options, including Valentina and Blender, are also available as high-end fashion design programs. Some paid products, such as Browzwear, also offer a free trial, but these often have limited functionality.
Furthermore, some companies offer students a discount. Among the discounts available to students is a 60% discount on Adobe Illustrator!
Look at Valentina and Blender, two open-source, free clothing design programs if you can’t afford the big bucks but still want to up your game.
Software for drafting 2D sewing patterns is available for free from Valentina. Even though this program focuses on pattern drafting (which is pretty impressive since most software costs a fortune! ), it also lets you choose colors and styles and add aesthetic touches.
Valentina has a high level of industry-specific functionality for pattern drafting that is ideal for home sewers and small business owners. This software has a learning curve but is not as steep as Adobe Illustrator.
Using Blender, you can design 3D models for free. It has many applications besides fashion design, but it equips you with everything you need to create and animate a garment model.
This program has many features, including layering, shading, lighting, textures, etc. However, you will need another program for drafting 2D sewing patterns with Blender.
Best Clothing Design Software for MAC
Most programs today support both MACs and Windows. It wouldn’t make sense for manufacturers to focus only on one operating system and cut out half of the market!
A full range of 2D and 3D concert options are available in Etelestia, a CAD design program. A special program called “Solutions for Designers” is also offered at the company, along with design courses and pattern drafting tools.
These products are available at varying prices from under $100 to $1,000. The prices listed on this European company’s website are in Euros, so be aware of that when you visit!
Dress Assistant is a wardrobe organizer that teaches you how to mix patterns and textures. It has a simple interface and limited functionality is a great place to learn about digital fashion design. It costs only $29.99 to get this simple tool.
3D Clothing Design Software
TUKA, CLO 3D, and Browzwear are among the most popular 3D clothing design software programs. Almost all design programs will incorporate 3D design functions soon if they haven’t already!
Since 3D designs are more accurate, there is greater precision. As a result, garment prototypes cost much less to create, resulting in more significant profit.
Additionally, three-dimensional garment design facilitates the marketing of prototypes to potential buyers and allows everyone involved in the garment production process to see the end product more clearly.
This method also saves a lot of time, another reason why 3D is the future of garment design. It is often necessary for the fashion industry to move quickly to keep up with new trends. Today’s global clothing market is too competitive for old-fashioned design methods!
How Do I Design My Clothing Line?
The ability to create a unique design and the business savvy to make the line profitable are necessary to launch a clothing line. You have to shift your mindset from designing clothes to marketing and selling them. Starting your own small business is the key to success!
Your clothes will look great in a brick-and-mortar store or on Etsy if you sell tie-dye t-shirts. There would only be an exception if big brands wanted to take on your clothing line. That’s great, but you still need a lot of business knowledge.
Learn about the ins and outs of small business ownership by taking a community college or online course. It doesn’t matter how big or small your clothing line venture is; you must ask yourself a few key questions.
- Are you going to need financial capital to get started? Yes, probably. The materials and software you will need to make your clothes will likely need to be purchased.
- Are you required to have copyrights or trademarks for your clothes? If you create a unique design, you have certain rights to it. If you are unsure about this topic, consult a legal professional.
- Sewing your clothes is a must? You don’t! You can sew the clothes you design, or a manufacturer can manufacture them.
- What is the best way to learn how to design clothes? You can attend a design school if you have the time and money. A design program like Digital Fashion Pro offers learning tools, or you can watch many free YouTube tutorials!
- What are the steps you take to make your clothing line successful? There are a lot of factors at play here! Remember, however, that you should look for an untapped market niche.
- Last but not least, consider writing your business plan. You must answer these questions and more to prepare yourself to take your clothing designs into the world!
How to Design Clothes on the Computer?
It’s easiest to learn how to design clothes on the computer by buying one of the design software programs mentioned in this article and following their learning tutorials or “help” sections until you understand how it works.
Many design programs have varying levels of functionality and have their own interfaces. Some provide thousands of tools to create 3D garment concepts, while others focus more on 2D sewing patterns. You can design clothes on a computer by following a few basic steps.
- Find an inspirational source – can you tell me what inspires you to create? What period, theme, or message moves you? Imagine you’re a vintage clothing enthusiast who wants to design polka-dot blouses of your own!
- Before you start sketching, narrow down the market – if you were to create a clothing line, what kind of clothes would you like to see, and who would wear them? Rather than wasting your time on vague concepts, you can focus on designing that item once you have specifics!
- Your design program should have templates you can use – do you have any templates you can use or modify to create your design more easily?
- Alternatively, you can use your program’s vector or 3D design tools to create the design.
- You can often create variations on your basic design using different colors, fabrics, or patterns in the material. Beads or buttons could also be added as decorative elements.
- Concept sketches can be created with variable measurements and measurement charts if your software allows them.
- Designing your clothing is the first step to bringing your product to market, but it’s a huge step! Hopefully, you can accomplish your design goals with the programs described in this article.
Best Clothing Design Software FAQs
What makes 3D rendering and modeling software essential in modern apparel design?
3D rendering and modeling software has become indispensable in the fashion industry due to its ability to visualize and refine designs before production. This technology allows designers to create detailed and realistic models of clothing items, facilitating a more efficient design process, reducing the need for physical prototypes, and enabling designers to experiment with different styles, fabrics, and colors more easily.
Can Adobe Illustrator be used for fashion design, and if so, how does it benefit beginners?
Adobe Illustrator, while not exclusively a fashion design tool, is widely used in fashion design education for its proficiency in creating high-definition vector graphics. It’s particularly beneficial for beginners as it introduces them to essential design principles and techniques. Additionally, its popularity ensures an abundance of online tutorials, making the learning process more accessible.
How does software like Blue Cherry integrate the business aspects of clothing design?
Blue Cherry stands out by integrating the business aspects of clothing design into its software. It provides tools for managing the clothing production process, including inventory, supply chain, distribution, and cargo delivery. This makes it an excellent choice for small business owners and seasoned designers looking for an all-encompassing solution that covers everything from concept design to distribution.
What unique features does Browzwear offer for clothing design?
Browzwear focuses on cutting-edge clothing design, offering unique features like testing the fit of a design before starting production. Software packages like Lotta and VStitcher enable designers to work on basic concepts and more comprehensive tasks like creating true motion fit and crafting detailed sewing patterns. However, it’s more suited for large companies due to its licensing structure.
Can CLO 3D be user-friendly for those new to 3D fashion design software?
CLO 3D is recognized for its interactive and intuitive interface, making it user-friendly for those new to 3D fashion design software. It offers a comprehensive set of 2D and 3D modeling features, focusing on real-time design modifications. Numerous video tutorials support its ease of use, helping new users quickly master the software.
A clothing design software program allows you to create realistic, detailed visual representations of garments. There are software types that provide 3D designs, and there are software types that focus on drafting sewing patterns and 2D designs. This type of software usually has a high price tag because of its advanced features.
There is a wide range of design software on the market today, but Adobe Illustrator, Digital Fashion Pro, and TUKA are some of the most popular. Check our article for the best free sewing patterns for pants and trousers.