Dr. Kulneet Suri
Fashion designing is one of those domains that need a lot of creativity and innovation. And though it may sound simple, designing is a highly technical subject that requires precision and accuracy. All those beautiful designs that you get to see on your fashion apparel are a result of the hard work and dedication of the fashion design professionals.
To produce the best output of their talent, fashion designing professionals use several tools at different stages that enable them to create and produce their designs efficiently. If you have appropriate and good quality tools, it may goes a long way in a fashion designing professional’s life. These tools can be physical instruments and / or computer software.
Here are some of the tools that are considered to be a must for the professionals working in the fashion design industry:
Fashion Sketching and Art Tools
Designers pen down their creativity on paper before getting started on fabric. Drawing / sketching pencils, sketchbooks, poster colors, carbon paper, tracing and sketching paper roll, etc. are hence an important part of every professional fashion designer’s kit.
Pattern Making Tools
Making patterns ensure accuracy in measurements, inseams, waistlines, etc., without wastage of too much fabric. All designers use white or brown pattern paper, tracing wheel, french curve, hip curve, styling curve, awl, pencils, plastic ruler, measurement tape, yardstick, weights, notches, tracing wheel, etc. for making patterns.
A sewing toolkit is a staple for every designer. Different kinds of sewing machines are used at various stages of garment production. A professional designer sewing kit must contain sewing needles of various sizes, a pair of scissors, thread reels, glue, decorative trimmings, zippers, a different type of fasteners, seam ripper, etc. Sewing kits especially come in handy during emergencies like an accidental snag during a photo shoot or last-minute fittings before a fashion show.
Fabric Pressing Tools
The garment needs to be steam ironed before the draping process. This makes the fabric stiff and draping and creasing easier. Pressing tools like a steam iron, tabletop ironing board, fabric steamer, etc. are a must for a fashion design professional.
Draping is one of the most important techniques used by fashion design professionals in their daily life. A design professional drapes, positions, and pines the fabric onto a dress form to create a structure of the garment. This is a very integral part of the process of producing a design and requires several essential tools like muslin cloth, dressmaker pins, measurement tapes, styling curve, fabric scissors, adhesive style tape, non-adhesive style tape, blue and red pencil, sketch and tracing paper roll, tracing wheel, yardstick, pencil sharpener, L square, etc.
Most designers use a dress form for styling and draping their garment that is being produced. There are a large variety of dress forms available in the market. Even though a standard dress form can be used by professionals for styling, draping, fitting, garment pattern making, etc., it is generally of a specific size and can only be adjusted to other sizes by using a dress form fit / adjustment kit. Some professionals also use a full body dress form as per the garment requirements.
Computer Assisted Design Tools (CDA)
Some specialized computer software for almost every field and fashion designing is no exception to it. Fashion designers use certain specific programs for creating new designs and also for editing purposes. Software like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Coral Draw is a must for every young designer’s survival. Mastering these programs makes a lot of difference in the quality of designs and ease of working.
The writer is Senior Director at Institute of Management Studies (IMS) Noida