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5 Design Tool Capabilities Fashion Designers Can’t Miss (and a bonus one that’s good to have)

Fashion design has been one of the most sought after creative careers, especially with the opportunity to become a famous designer and entrepreneur that goes with it. Designers who worked for distinguished fashion houses have gone on to launch their own fashion labels, becoming creative entrepreneurs that many aspire to emulate.

At the same time, the digital economy has created even more opportunities for creative designers to make their mark, starting from simple T-shirt design, ready-to-wear and boutique clothing lines and now creating virtual fashion designs for the metaverse on platforms like Roblox and Meta.

(Image: Courtesy Vectornator )

The starting point for any aspiring fashion designer is of course the design tools that they must learn to use. In this digital age, pencil and paper designs are considered outdated, so it’s critical that aspiring fashion designers and entrepreneurs have the right technology tools for their design requirements.

The key capabilities any fashion design tool(s) need to have include the following:

1. Mood board Creation:

Any fashion collection starts with the inspiration or mood board. While it can be easy to collect images based on creative line of thinking, putting them together to form a cohesive and comprehensive theme can be a challenge. Basic design tools like PowerPoint and Photoshop don’t help you with the mood board creation aspect. Here are some tools that make the job easier:

2. Color Palette Selection:

Choosing the right color palette enhances your mood board and helps define the collection. Color combinations can depend on a variety of factors such as mood, season, etc. Finding the right combination of colors is possible with some of these tools:

3. Flat Sketches and Illustrations:

Basic design sketches are the starting point of most fashion collections, and the most common tools used are Illustrator, CorelDraw and Photoshop. However, a number of other tools both online and offline are available if you’re looking for ways to create designs for your collection. These include:

4. 3D Modelling:

3 Dimensional modelling converts your illustrations and flat sketches into simulations of what they would look like on real people. This significantly reduces the number of iterations and samples that your design would go through and brings down the total time and effort required to bring a design to market. For digital fashion designs, 3D modelling is the final stage of the process.

Some of the 3D modelling tools widely used in industry include:

5. Tech pack Creation:

Tech packs are the technical details of your designs. Consider them the fashion equivalent of a construction blueprint. Without a tech pack, your manufacturers will not be able to convert your designs into actual garment samples. Illustrations are only one part of the tech pack, which includes other details such as fabric, trims, stitch details and so on. Some great tech pack tools used widely:

BONUS: Pattern Making Software

While most designers don’t need to create patterns themselves, they are required for the manufacturing stage. Patterns are the final designs used to plan the cutting of fabric. These are essentially tools used by sample makers and production planners to lay out the cutting plan for fabrics. These tools help reduce fabric wastage and make the manufacturing process time and cost-efficient. Pattern making tools include:


Design tools are widely available today and they offer a range of functionalities to meet the needs of fashion designers. While the list of tools can be quite extensive, investing the time and effort to learn and practice these tools can be exhausting.

An alternative to this is using the services of a qualified and experienced design consulting team like Fuel4Fashion, who have hands-on experience with these tools and can deliver the required output in a far shorter time.

As you grow, you can also work with consultants like us to help you build your technology stack with these products as well as customized solutions.

Fuel4Fashion is a design, branding and technology consultancy for the fashion and apparel industry. We provide consulting and advisory services across design, business and IT processes to early stage and mid-sized apparel manufacturers and brands looking to grow their business with the help of smart sustainable management practices. Visit our website here and follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn for regular updates.

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