Benefits and Importance of Computer Aided Design in Fashion Industry

Computer Aided Fashion Designing and Its Application

Shubham Anil Jain
Department of Textiles (Fashion Technology)
DKTE’S Textile & Engineering Institute, Ichalkaranji, India
Intern at Textile Learner


What is Computer Aided Design (CAD)?
Computer Aided Design (CAD) is the use of computer technology and advancement for the process of design development and collection development. Computer-aided design proves very useful for doing fashion sketches, flat drawing, pattern making development, computerized marker planning and many other fashion designing related aspects. CAD systems were initially developed to design precision machines, but by the 1970s, they began to find wide applications in the textile industry. Today Computer-aided design use is universal in textile and fashion designing. Computer-aided design or “CAD” is fast becoming the future of sketching and apparel manufacturing in the industry. In today’s scenario, Fashion Design Institute students enhance the knowledge of how to use these CAD software, as this will be the future of Fashion Industry. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, a growing number of fashion designers shift hand sketches to the computer method, which allows designers to view designs of clothing on virtual 3D models and in various colors, shapes, size, etc. Established Fashion Designers and Fashion Industry experts already know the future of the CAD software and hence they are already exploiting it.

Computer Aided Fashion Designing
Figure 1: Computer Aided Fashion Designing

Benefits and Importance of Computer Aided Design in Fashion Industry

  1. Using CAD software, a fashion designer can develop new sketches, patterns, varieties of prints more quickly and accurately. With the evolutionary use of CAD, fashion designers can create multiple modifications of a single design or style and adapt it as per the requirement.
  2. It is known that not all colors work for all kinds of designs. A certain color might work for a particular design pattern but might not work for other patterns. This is where CAD comes for the designer’s relief. CAD helps in exploring more colors among the designs to help you get the perfect color that brings out the pattern individually.
  3. In fabric designing process, it allows the designers to work with different fabric patterns and textures. This will ultimately reduce the cost and will save the time taken to deal the patterns manually.
  4. As the whole process can be done on virtual version and very less part of the whole process is an actual physical, so the raw material cost of collection development in fashion designing can be reduced to a minimum.
  5. CAD also allows the fashion designer to explore various color ways of a print developed as compared to the traditional design methods, where the modifications and rectifications are more fast as well as more accurate, as it reduces rooms for errors.
  6. CAD helps designers in lot of aspects. Previously, it was very hard to give life to a design by solving sewing errors. CAD helps in rendering a similar model design with exact specifications which gives idea to the designers for rectifying the errors and modify the design.
  7. Instead of saving your work on paper, clipboards and albums or in hard copy, if you have soft copies of your work, chances of losing your work will be very less as well as it can be retrieved very easily at any place and any time.

Different Fashion CAD Solutions that Can Make Fashion Design Process Easier:
In today’s era if you want to become a fashion entrepreneur or successful fashion designer, you will need specific tools in your arms which are capable of taking your creative renderings from paper to product. You must have access to different fashion design software which are developed to make your ideas and sketches an appreciable reality. Nowadays, almost all the fashion designers, clothing line start-ups, textile designers, apparel manufacturers, and even fashion students utilize CAD software to enhance their skills and creativity.

At the moment, many fashion entrepreneurs and illustrators are most likely using Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw to take their designs into the digital world and make it more live. Today commercially many software’s are available which can help us to start our clothing line. This software’s gives a full range of options like digital fashion sketches, digital samples, and develop prototypes, computerized marker making, etc.

What is fashion design software?
Fashion design software is basically a computer-aided design (CAD) tool that allows users to make 2D and 3D sketches, illustrations, and tech packs with callouts to specific design and functions. The goal of using fashion design software is to simplify communicating design ideas for accurate samples, illustrations and production which runs later in the supply chain. Once the designs produced using these software’s are approved, they become the only source of truth for those constructing the garment.

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Various logistics software for fashion and textile solutions is available to you when you start your clothing line or fashion designing. Here are five fashion design software programs with multiple functionalities that could be advantageous to your fashion design process by eliminating particular aspects of your work while giving you a competitive spirit.

1) Digital Fashion Pro: Professional Digital Fashion Sketching & Illustration
Digital Pro is a good solution which is developed to start the fashion brand. The package includes professional design software and different fashion design templates, samples everything which is needed to make a business in fashion digitally. It includes video and E-training guide that explains the core functions of designing in a clothing line. This software is specifically helpful to create technical sketches and design menswear, women’s wear, kid’s wear, baby clothing, handbags, shoes, and accessories.

Digital Fashion Pro
Figure 2: Digital Fashion Pro

It is easy-to-use and give access to hundreds of digital fabrics, textile prints, and customizable clothing templates. It is useful to design things like jeans, t-shirts, dresses, outerwear, athletic wear, handbags, swimwear, shoes, etc.

2) TUKATECH: 3D Fashion Design & Garment Development Software
TUKATECH has two digital fashion software products, TUKAcad and TUKA3D. It is particularly developed for designers and also for manufacturers, the TUKAcad allows to create advanced patterns, grading, and markers to streamline your production process. Key features include pattern-making, automatic grading update with pattern changes, marker making, and integration of artwork and logos.

3D Fashion Design
Figure 3: 3D Fashion Design

According to TUKATECH, TUKA3D is one of the most advanced 3D apparel fit and virtual fashion design system, which is developed for fashion industry that designs, develops, and delivers. It eliminates the need for physical samples; it makes it possible to create life-like digital collections. The features of this are 3D virtual sampling in 5 visual ways, real-life virtual fit sessions, and fabric and trims library.

3) C-DESIGN Fashion: Fashion Design & Collection Management
When it comes to a software that will can help throughout the clothing creation process, then it is C-DESIGN Fashion. The objective of this software is to help designers to go from design to production. It allows the creation of ready to wear collection through release of technical files that include materials information, measurement chart, color matching, labelling, and much more.

C-DESIGN Fashion
Figure 4: C-DESIGN Fashion

It is developed with an intuitive user interface; many fashion designers in the industry consider it to be one of the most advanced fashion design software in the market. Its key features includes different aspects such as fashion illustrations, technical drawing tools, latest generation design tools, and color and fabric matching.

4) PatternSmith: Cutting Solutions
The Award-winning software, that is PatternSmith, is an instinctive and easy to use solution specifically built for textile patterns. It provides different templates, 2D or 3D drafting, editing, and nesting solutions. PatternSmith makes it simple to execute all the types of designs while enabling to create, manage, and nest patterns and export files to your cutting machine.

PatternSmith-Cutting Solutions
Figure 5: PatternSmith: Cutting Solutions

This includes the textile pattern creation and management tool’s key such as automated pattern clean-up, custom add-ons, streamlined order processing, and a full 2D CAD pattern drafting and editing. The main feature include that it creates a patterns that are ready to be cut by a fabric cutting machines.

5) CorelDRAW Graphics Suite: Create Everything from Scratch 
It is most popular vector design software which is used in the professional computer aided fashion design industry, by many fashion designers to draw their mannequins and to produce their design. The key features of this include shape drawing tools and shaping options, vector illustration, and layout. It is one of the oldest software, which is still used by many fashion designers.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite
Figure 6: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite

Application of Computer Aided Design (CAD) in Textile and Apparel Industry:

1. In Yarn design
With the help of CAD software, fashion designers can select different types of material for producing yarn, size of yarn, texture of yarn, according to their requirement. When any new yarn is designed such as slub yarn, multi twist yarn, multi count yarn or any other, fashion designers can get clear visualization of the designed yarn that is what should be length of the slub, size of the slub, etc. So that if any defects are there can be easily identified and rectify, which creates less chances of mistakes in future. Also the designs can be saved in system which can be utilized for future project.

2. In Fabric design
CAD can be used in fabric designing which includes both surface design and structural design. It acts as stimulation for all the types of fabric and gives an idea to plan a complex weave, color scheme, etc. With the help of CAD no of pattern can be created based on the design and can also generate an infinite number of designs variation. Any kind of fabric design can be created starting from plain to dobby and jacquard. Some of the prominent software for this are Design Dobby, Design Jacquard from Textronic, Pro Weave from Pointcarr, TUKAstudio for TUKATECH, Weave It, Adobe Illustrator etc.

3. In Print design
With the help of CAD the fashion designers can select theme and color according to their requirement. The motifs prepared can be resized, recolored, rotated or multiplied depending on the designer’s goal. We can draw the graphic pattern and fill in the colors. Nowadays, new CAD systems are developed which have built in software to match swatch color to screen color to printer color automatically. The main uses of CAD system include  creation of different designs print, or the interpretation of artwork supplied by customers, the latter being either painted artwork, fabric samples or possibly black and white film negatives.

4. In Apparel design
When it comes for the garment preparation, the process starts with a proper design of the garment which will contain the shape of the garment, any design or embellishment that will go on the garment etc. So all this process can be done completely on computer system where we can design the garment, check out color combinations, make changes if needed and along with that documentation, proper fitting of the garment. Once this is done, they can be made ready for pattern making. Most popular design software are Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, AutoCAD, Smart Designer Modern High Tech, Telestia Creator etc.

5. In Pattern making
The use of CAD in pattern making comes a great opportunity in garment export house, fashion school, medium or large size garment business etc. because of its features and simplicity. With the help of CAD the awkward and tough job of pattern making which required skill technician can be done with ease and accuracy. With the application of CAD the accuracy and easiness of pattern digitizing, drafting, grading has increased many folds. It also helps in visualizing and analysing the sizes and measurements of different styles and various internal features such as notches, button, drill holes. Some of the world-renowned patterns making software are Lectra, Gerber Accumark, O/DEV by Optitex, TUKAcad by Tukatech, Richpeace, Gemini CAD systems Wild Ginger etc.

6. In Cutting room operations
The main application of CAD in the cutting room is basically for marker making which can be done manually or automatically through a powerful algorithm providing the highest material utilization. Along with this, they are also united with a CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) which are generally spreading and cutting machine. It gives the information for the spreader to prepare spread job, a number of plies included, spread length, spreading mode etc. The world renowned cutting room software is Integrated CAD by Gerber technology, Modaris by Lectra, GT CAD Software, O/PRO by Optitex, SMARTmark Tukatech, Richpeace etc.

Future of CAD in the Apparel Industry
The way, in which technology and advancements are done, we can anticipate a future wherein the entire process of garment manufacturing and fashion designing would be done through machines and software’s by a powerful algorithm and with very little human presence. As On-demand manufacturing becoming the new way of production CAD has already influenced the industry with its 3D visual rendering of garments on to the human figures, 3D visualization, etc. It will also play a very crucial role in a 3D printed fashion which is expected to becoming the trend in the fashion industry. With CAD, today’s era is of computerized sketches and illustrations which has huge potential of changing this diverse industry, pushing forward the boundaries of fashion. The growing use of CAD software leads to new trends and new evolutions in fashion and textiles. In future the CAD can be integrated with AI technology which will able to anticipate different actions and improve the 3D modelling experience, allowing users to repair or anticipate design errors.

With the evolution of Computer Aided Design (CAD), it has touched and transformed every aspects of fashion designing into a new way. So almost all the old traditional processes turn obsolete and are replaced by newer and effective technology. Manual skills have been replaced by computerized skills. Computer Aided Design reduces the need of manual sketches in the process of fashion designing. Many manual skills such as mathematical calculation or artistic skills to sketch are no longer an obstacle in the path of fashion designing, so it has given a number of advantages of Computer Aided Design pertaining to the processes of fashion designing. CAD provides precision and eliminates the scope of human flaws in the entire work. CAD technology has reduced wastage of resources and thus, consumer dissatisfaction. Also, CAD manages all the information for the designer which would otherwise have to done through a time taking manual process. So we can conclude that with the help of CAD it has increased overall productivity of the process of designing and saves both time and material wastage, which ultimately saves cost of manufacturing.


  1. CAD and Rapid Prototyping for Product Design by, Douglas Bryden.
  2. Pattern cutting for clothing using CAD by, The Textile Institute and Woodhead Publishing
  3. Importance of Computer Aided Design in Fashion Industry by, Prachi Shah
  4. Fashion CAD Solutions That Could Make Your Fashion Design Process Easier
  6. Evaluating the Benefits of Computer Aided-Design (CAD) in Fashion Education, the Case of Accra Polytechnic Joyce Adwoa Oppong, Vivian Biney-Aidoo & Eunice Antiaye Department of Fashion Design & Textiles.
  7. CAD System and Its Application in Garment & Fashion Industry

Image References:


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