Recently updated on May 26th, 2023
Whether you want to study fashion design or start your clothing line on Etsy, you love making clothes. When it comes to fashion design, pencils and sketchbooks are no longer enough. In today’s world, both students and professionals use the best software for clothing design!
It is possible to visualize garments in 2D and 3D with the best clothing design software. 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.
The purpose of this article is 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!
Do Fashion Designers Use Software?
Today, students and fashion designers use computer software to design clothing. Almost everyone involved 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. A clothing concept can also be turned into a 2D sewing pattern using these programs. In some programs, clothing designs can even be printed out on a 3D printer for an authentic 3D simulation!
It is also easy to share digital design concepts. Up to and including the manufacturing of the product, they ensure more accurate reproduction of the design.
An artistic concept no longer needs to be sketched out on paper. Adobe Illustrator is used by design students 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. An artist 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 as well as measurements and shapes 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!
It is also possible to translate the clothing concept into a sewing pattern with many CAD clothing design programs. It is common for clothing to have more than one piece of fabric stitched together, even the simplest 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 the process of converting a design concept into a 2D pattern!
What are the benefits of digital clothing design? The use of digital design is a necessity if you plan to go to fashion design school, launch a clothing line, or sell your designs. The decision to embrace digital design will need to be made by you if you enjoy designing your clothes for fun.
If you have no background in graphic design, you may face a steep learning curve. To help you adjust to designing clothing digitally, you can often find helpful tutorials online.
List of 15 Best Clothing Design Software Options
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 have to offer before selecting the right software.
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.
To create high-definition illustrations, this type of software uses math and geometry. In contrast to some simpler drawing programs, it doesn’t work by dragging and dropping or clicking and drawing. This type of software is also used by some video game designers!
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. Leading the way in design trends is this Singapore-based company.
Lotta and VStitcher are two software packages offered by the company. Rather than focusing on the details of concept design, Lotta emphasizes the basics. In addition to crafting concepts, you can also 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. This program is typically purchased by large companies, with additional users costing more.
Using C-Design Fashion, you can streamline the clothing production process. As part of the product creation process, it allows you to share and disseminate design information.
Your designs, including sizing charts, can be shared centrally through this program. Besides creating artistic variations, it also allows you to use color schemes. Additionally, you can import your digital designs from Adobe Illustrator or other software easily.
Moreover, this software is suitable for both small and large businesses. Pricing plans start at just $49/month!
Using CLO 3D, you can design garments in 3D with an intuitive, interactive interface. Additionally, it provides key features such as the creation of 2D sewing patterns. Although its main focus is 3D, there are many options for sizing, color schemes, and styles to choose from.
Add folds and layers to a 3D design or make it look like the garment is moving with fancy 3D design tricks!
There is a 30-day free trial offered by this product so you can determine if it is right for you. The cost per month increases to $50 after that.
A good alternative to Adobe Illustrator is Corel Draw. You may want to consider this software if you are just looking for a powerful graphic design tool! Several apps and a full software suite are available. A variety of features are included in the suite, including vector illustration, collaboration, photo editing, and typography.
This option may cost less than AI depending on the products you choose. Furthermore, you can collaborate with other artists using the program’s advanced design tools.
You can choose from a variety of pricing models, some of which are more relevant to fashion design. It costs $249 a year to use the illustration software.
Digital Fashion Pro
You learn fashion design basics with Digital Fashion Pro, which sets it apart from the competition. For learning fashion design, it offers a starter course and a starter kit. Even helps you launch your own clothing business with its features!
Additionally, it contains many tools for designing and illustrating. Several helpful tools are included in this software to help you create 2D sketches, including tools for shaping, typing, and coloring. You can also 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.
In addition to a 3D design tool using Adobe Illustrator, 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!
The 3D modeling and design capabilities of Fusion 360 are advanced. You will be able to master incredible 3D tools with this program, even though it is not tailored to the fashion industry specifically!
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.
In addition to providing a range of 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 as if you could reach into the computer screen and touch the texture of the material.
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!
On the website, you can download a free 30-day trial or purchase a license for $490.
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.
Drafting, digitizing, and editing sewing patterns is made easy with this program’s features. 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 bad news! Small business owners may not want to commit to such a level of investment unless they have 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.
With this product, you can create 2D sewing patterns from your design concepts, as with most comprehensive design tools.
There is a lot of promise in this innovative program, but it also appears to be in its infancy. Pricing information, for example, must be obtained from the creator of the program!
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 a variety of 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!
In the world of fashion design, TUKA is a pretty big deal. A 3D design package, a pattern-making package, and a textile and print design package are offered by this company. 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. From advanced 3D Hi-Res simulations to 2D pattern design, these apps cover it all. The virtual showroom helps you create your online store, though, and that may be the most appealing part of this package.
Nevertheless, this isn’t just a tool for creating concept designs. In addition to uploading and editing designs, it also allows you to create your designs. To receive a quote on this product, you must submit a quote request.
Software for fashion and apparel is offered by Blue Cherry. 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, Blue Cherry provides solutions for supply chain management, inventory management, and distribution management. 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 are also available, including Valentina and Blender, which are 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!
Take a look at Valentina and Blender, two open-source, totally 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 for this costs a fortune! ), it also lets you choose colors, and styles, and add aesthetic touches.
For pattern drafting, Valentina has a high level of industry-specific functionality that is ideal for home sewers and small business owners. There is a learning curve with this software, but it 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 does equip you with everything you need for creating and animating a garment model.
There are many features in this program, including layering, shading, lighting, textures, etc. You will need another program for drafting 2D sewing patterns with Blender, though.
Best Clothing Design Software for MAC
Many of the fifteen programs listed above are compatible with MAC computers, but you will also find programs like Etelestia and Dress Assistant that are designed specifically for them.
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.
From under $100 to upwards of $1,000, these products are available at varying price points. 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. A great place to start learning about digital fashion design, it has a simple interface and limited functionality. 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 a greater degree of precision. As a result, garment prototypes cost much less to create, resulting in greater 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, which is 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 Own Clothing Line?
The ability to come up with a unique design and the business savvy to make the line profitable are both necessary to launch a clothing line. From designing clothes to marketing and selling them, you have to shift your mindset. 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 brand names 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 will need to 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, you should consult a legal professional.
- Sewing your clothes is a must? You don’t! The clothes you design can be sewed by you or they can be manufactured by a manufacturer.
- What is the best way to learn how to design clothes? If you have the time and money, you can attend a design school. A design program like Digital Fashion Pro offers learning tools, or you can watch a lot of free YouTube tutorials!
- What are the steps you take to make your clothing line successful? There are a lot of factors at play here! Keep in mind, however, that you should look for an untapped market niche.
- Last but not least, consider writing your business plan. To prepare yourself to take your clothing designs out into the world, you will have to answer these questions and many more!
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 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 inspiration 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 line of clothing, 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 all your time 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 design or 3D design tools to create the design.
- Using different colors, fabrics, or patterns in the material, you can often create variations on your basic design. 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 very own clothing is the first step to bringing your product to market, but it’s a huge step! Hopefully, you will be able to accomplish your design goals with the programs described in this article.
Do Fashion Designers Use 3D Software?
Designers need to use 3D modeling software to create prototypes and produce clothes and accessories using this technology. It could also be a great solution for showing your models to your customers, as many of these software tools feature excellent renderings.
What Software Do Fashion Companies Use?
Even fashion students use CAD software to design clothes, make textiles, and manufacture apparel. For most fashion entrepreneurs, Adobe Illustrator is the preferred digital tool for converting their designs.
What Website Can I Use To Design Clothes?
You can use your designs and photos to create custom clothes with Spreadshirt. Make your T-shirts, jackets, and caps by embracing your creativity.
Is There An App To Design Clothes?
Fashion Design Sketches is a sketchpad for fashion designers of all levels, from amateurs to professionals. Make women, men, and kids look unique, fresh, and exceptional. There are dresses, costumes, skirts, blouses, and trousers to choose from. Social networks are a great way to share your designs.
Is There An App To Design Outfits?
In just a few minutes, you can create basic fashion sketches with Fashion Design FlatSketch. Over 1,000 graphics are available in the app, as well as the option to draw your own details.
What Are the Three Most Common Fashion CAD Systems?
- Cosma Technology.
- Optitex Pattern Design Software by Optitex.
- TUKAcad by Tukateck Inc.
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. There is usually a high price tag associated with this type of software 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. Be sure to check our article for the best free sewing patterns for pants and trousers.