Technical Drawing: Specs and Flats

Technical Drawing: Specs and Flats

Shubham Anil Jain
Sr. Consultant
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India


There are many different terms are used to characterize the drawing of a detailed garment specification. Flats, working (or technical drawing), specs (or schematics) all highlights the diagrammatic styles of showcasing an item of clothing. So, basically they are considered as the two-dimensional drawings of garment construction, which shows the front, back and side views with the technical information regarding it. They also narrate design details of the product like top stitching, trims and pockets. This kind of drawing is mostly used to accompany a fashion illustration, giving the viewer more detail touch of information about how the garment is manufactured to back up its visual description.

Technical Drawing

A) Flat Sketches:
A flat sketch or fashion flat is defined as two dimensional linear drawings of the clothing, which is laid flat on a table and drawn from top view. It is seen that, plain and simple flats serve to highlight the crucial details that remain hidden in the artistic drawing like hidden zipper or stitches. Flats will consist of all the design details we want to be inculcating in the garment.

B) Specification Sheet:
When it comes to a spec sheet, it is the most complex and detailed sheet. Sol, overall it is the sheet that really does the hard work and explains everything to a factory about the product which makes sure you get product back correctly and accurately with minimum chance of error.

Simply, it consists of,

  1. A Flat Drawing, which is a kind of technical drawing of the product.
  2. All the key measurements for the product.
  3. Technical information regarding the product about fabric, machinery, trims, colors and anything else you need to add in your design.

C) Importance of Flat Sketches:

  1. As per the flat sketches are concerned they, are crucial part of the garment specification sheet tech pack, that goes to the pattern maker and factory team.
  2. They help in providing the pattern maker and the factory teams all the technical instructions that make up each garment.
  3. It is considered as a essential tool for communicating the specifications such as shape, size, fabric, style lines, details etc.
  4. Technical Flats plays a good role and support as the master, along with the Tech Pack, behind your design.
  5. When any confusion happens during the development process, the factory team will always refer back to the Technical Sketch. That’s the reason why the sketches act as one of the most important parts of the product development journey.
  6. Special characteristic of flat is that they helps to try a number of variations as well as also helps the merchandising team to execute the sample.

How Fashion Design Sketches and Fashion Illustration are Different:

  1. The main aim of illustration and fashion design sketches are different as per their utilization. Illustration is simply drawn to highlight how the style, design, color will look on a model. Majorly, it is found that fashion designers use illustration to showcase their collection line-sheet and various marketing strategies. So, overall illustration is more regarding creative side of fashion design.
  2. On the other sides, fashion design sketches is more of a technical or specification drawing. So in flat sketches, how the color, fabric, aesthetic will look on a model or a mannequin is not the point of interest. So, majorly the flat sketches is drawn only in a two dimensional form.
  3. Here, the style detailing and stitching lines are more highlighted on the flat sketch. Basically, flat drawings are more about of technical design and documentation. And the Fashion Flat Sketches are drawn to develop tech packs.
  4. If you observe, when you lay down a garment on the floor or on a table flat, one can analyze and observe only one side of the garment. With this you can easily see the detailing of the garment on that particular side. Tech pack designer generally, prepare fashion flat sketch based on this theory.
  5. The basic motive of the flat sketch or spec sheet is to give a clear idea and visibility of the garment style and its detailing. That’s the reason why in a flat drawing you will see three side view of the garment style.
  6. The 3 major view, i.e. the front view, the back view and the side view of the style. Fashion design sketches is more about a 2D drawing with solid lines drawn to explore the basic structure and detailing of the clothes. One can consider this as a blueprint just like the blueprint for a building plan.

Drawing Techniques: Rules and Guidelines
There are many techniques which are used for drawing flats, specs. While drawing technical flats or specs one must follow some rules or guidelines which are as follows:

  1. Flats are always drawn symmetrically. Always draw the half of the garment only with it split in the middle, vertically and the duplicate the next half of the product.
  2. It is always suggested that, the flats must be drawn with rulers or French curve.
  3. Try to keep it as detailed as possible. The details which are supposed to be included is darts, seam lines, stitch lines, vents, trims, buttons and anything that is clearly visible on the garment. Always remember that the details and position of the trims must be clear.
  4. Highlight the elements of the drawing accurately. For e.g, Single stitch line or double stitch line.
  5. While drawing the seam lines and stitch line, always remember that it must be clear and should be moving from end to end.
  6. Always try to include many views of the garment. It is found to that only just front/ back view are not necessarily enough for a factory to understand the design requirements and details. Ad per the standards, we should always draw the side views, inside and other details to show how the garment should be constructed.
  7. Try to keep it Simple. Try to keep the technical flats drawing as a vector line work. Add necessary details of the product as explained above but don’t complex the things either.
  8. Try to Avoid unnecessary volumetric effects and wrinkles to the flats. While highlighting layer of fabric in a flat, use a darker line to highlight shadow and depth.
  9. Simply by illustrating a basic top flat and trying out different collar types and sleeves we can design new things. For example with a very basic pants design, we can create 5 different designs by simply playing with the pockets.

Currently, it is very clear that the sketches are the fashion designers’ tools of communication with themselves and with their public. Drafts are specifically being used to help designers to develop ideas, come up with different solutions, and roughly translate them onto paper for future reference. In contrast to this, final sketches like flat sketches that go into tech packs or spec sheets are meant to highlight a clear explanation to those involved in fashion production, i.e. majorly factory team. The one who wants to become a skilled fashion designer, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the technical sketches and flat drawings, to cop up with the current evolution of fashion industry.


  1. Fashion Flat Sketches 101: All You Need to Know
  2. By mayamuth, Flat Sketches and Technical Drawings
  3. 06 Aug 2023, Flats And Specification Drawings
  4. BY PAROMITADAS, MARCH 25, 2021, Fashion Flats: Design and Manufacturing Foundation
  5. Your Step-by-Step Guide to Tech Pack Flat Sketches

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