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CAD Software for Fashion Design Students


Learning how to use CAD software programs to sketch drawings has opened career opportunities for me and others in the designing industry.


Clothing design software programs are now the go-to design tool that is used by students of fashion design and beginner fashion designers. Ranging from the free downloads you get online, to the pricier but more professional design software like Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator, designers in the fashion industry now use computer software to create sketches of their clothes, accessories, intimates, and footwear designs.

Computer-aided designs (CAD) programs are fast becoming the future of fashion designing and today’s students and aspiring designers have to take classes at design school on how to draw their creations with software.

Whether you are an aspiring fashion designer trying to realize your fashion design dreams, a student in fashion school, a tutor, or even a professional in the field, you will find that using a clothing design software will help you accomplish your design objectives.

Many users are self-taught, and this proves that the software for fashion design is relatively easy to use once you have learned the basics, even if you don’t have fashion designing, sketching, or dressmaking skills.

With clothing design software, you can expand your creativity beyond what you can imagine and no matter what design you visualize in your mind, you can, with CAD software, create incredibly realistic fashion illustrations and presentations. With software, you can convey your personal style that truly represents your vision, without constraints or limitations typical of manual sketching.

Clothing Design Software – What’s Best for Beginners?

Clothing design tools for beginner users like students and aspiring fashion designers can actually start off with a free download or the cheapest design software. Reasons for this is that as a start, you can familiarise yourself with a simple interface and learn how to navigate around to create simple sketches.

From my experience, it was so easy to play around with and learn some curves that I hardly realised how much I had learned until I started to use the more professional design software.

Basically, free fashion design software programs introduce a first-time user to how fashion design software works. However, you will get to a stage where you need more than the basics. You will eventually need tools with more varied components like art and graphics, design templates, digital fabrics, techniques, and other advanced tools.

Professional Design Software for Experienced Fashion Designers

If you are a soon-to-graduate student, a working fashion designer, or simply wish to upgrade your design skills, it is best you buy a more professional design software or subscribe for a download version of fashion design software. With paid versions, you will not only have an edge over other students and beginners, but you will also be way ahead of old-school fashion designers who still sketch the conventional way.

A more professional program is packed with cutting-edge technology good enough to help you develop and create your own clothing line and once you master the inroads, you can work:

  • Full-time for fashion design and merchandising companies, where you can be the in-house designer.
  • As a freelance fashion designer which can constitute a part of an apparel design team.
  • As a seller of unique designs and fashion illustrations to fashion houses, retailers, custom clothes makers, or clothing manufacturers. You can set up your own label and market your creations to them.

Many fashion designers in the industry use one or other of the top two main vector software programs available in the graphic design industry. The most popular vector design software you can use for clothing design is CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator.

CorelDRAW is exceptionally popular because many fashion designers use it to draw their own mannequins and create their own designs. Adobe Illustrator, on the other hand, has enabled designers and artists to create professional standard vector graphics, what you need to make your creativity shine.

The best design software to use will always depend on your personal needs and requirements. For instance, if you just want to play around with designing clothing and other types of apparel, it’s good to go with a free download like EDraw Max which supports English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish languages.

Many of the more professional software programs like Digital Fashion Pro, always offer free trial downloads.

If you plan to go more professional and even aspire to be a top-notch clothing designer, then I will recommend either Adobe Illustrator or Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. However, there are other great CAD programs for clothing design that you can consider, like CLO 3D and Wild Ginger Cameo (for professional patternmakers).

Aspiring Career Fashion Designers

Welcome to the 21st century Charles Frederick Worth. The father of fashion design and the first fashion designer to have his label sewn onto the garments he painstakingly created, should be chuckling now. What it may have taken weeks to create can now be done at the click of a button, literally, in minutes.

The time and expense required to design, re-design and, ‘re-redesign' a new prototype as was the case over a hundred years ago is totally eliminated with today’s CAD. When you think of how samples upon samples had to be made before the dressmaker finally got it right to the client’s satisfaction, you will realise how dressmaking must have been a not-so-fun but tedious task.

Now, CAD fashion design has become one of the basic courses at most reputable fashion design schools and students must, by the time they graduate, be proficient with the use of design software programs. And as the fashion and clothing design industry continue to be on the rise, designers must meet up to the challenges of competition. If you are not technology savvy, you won’t be at par with your contemporaries in the field.

Are fashion designers in demand? Yes. “Employment of fashion designers is projected to grow 3% from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations.”, but still good. Fashion merchandisers are selling more clothing, which of course increases the demand for fashion designers to design apparel and fashion accessories for everyday wear for the mass market.

With the proficient use of clothing design software, you will be able to comfortably find your niche in the industry. Most fashion design jobs can be found in fashion design firms, fashion merchandising companies, and with companies that make mass-produced clothing that appeals to the majority of consumers.

© 2009 viryabo

Thanks For Visiting. Comments Are Welcome

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on February 21, 2018:

Thank you Luciano.

Luciano Bove from Paris on February 20, 2018:

Really a nice Hub!

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on May 05, 2013:

Thanks JRogue, and thanks for visiting.

JRogue on April 29, 2013:

Lovely! Pinned to

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on April 07, 2013:

Im glad you find the article helpful Amo. Thanks for visiting

Amo Boah Designs Ghana on April 06, 2013:

I went through the website and i like the ease you it brings to drawing out your sketches, i think it's a good way to go these days.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on June 10, 2011:

You are welcome kaycee. Thanks for visiting.

Fashion design is a wonderful and sophisticated career. I wish you all the best.


kaycee on May 17, 2011:

I am very much interested in fashion. I know that I wil truly benefit from what you have here. Thank you so much for this comprehensive post.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on May 11, 2011:

Thanks Jason.

JasonPLittleton on May 10, 2011:

Great hub, Thanks for info.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 07, 2011:

Brookelynn, thanks for taking time to leave a detailed and insightful comment.

You are in a wonderful field, fashion design. I should have been a fashion designer instead of an interior designer. it such a glamorous career. LOL!

Well appreciated comments and visit.


brookelynn26 from Atlanta, GA on March 06, 2011:

Great hub, these programs are all great. I've tried most of them and they work. Sometimes the color palettes are limited but that can easily be solved by designing your own swatches in a program like Photoshop. One word of warning though, when you attend school for fashion design, you will be expected to spend at least a year learning how to properly draw fashion illustrations by hand. They didn't start etting me use Vector, graphics, and CAD until my junior year.

mysisters on January 14, 2011:

Nice Hub. This software looks very interesting. Thank you for the information.

anjali chauhan on December 28, 2010:

From where, can i download this software bcz by profession i`m fashion designer so tht i really need for this software plzzzz suggest me soon,Regards,

klarky on November 16, 2010:

where can I download this free? The software looks amazing.

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on September 27, 2010:

Breakingnews, Thanks for visiting and for your nice views.


breakingnews from Pakistan on September 27, 2010:

Thanks for amazing and knowledge full article to fashion designers

online clothing store on May 26, 2010:

Viryabo yours articles are amazing and knowledgeful.Thanks for all knowledge to share with us.

For online shopping visit on our website online clothing store

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on March 20, 2010:

Hi blogger, thanks for your visit. Its a great and fast way to churn out fantastic ideas in a very short time. Great for students especially.


blogger on March 19, 2010:

great softwre to deisgn cloths

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on January 02, 2010:

RosWebbArt, thank you for visiting and your comments.

Happy New Year and GodBless

Ros Webb from Ireland on January 02, 2010:

Nice hub. Some good information here. Thanks for the info.. RosWebbART

viryabo (author) from Lagos, Nigeria. on October 01, 2009:

Thanks for the visit Ebower and the nice comments. Im glad that you find this helpful. You'll definitely enjoy using the clothing design software.


Erin Bower from Georgia on September 30, 2009:

ok this is extremely interesting...I'm beginning to be a basic sewer, but can only draw cartoonish designs, so this is definitely helpful! :D

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