How Do Fashion Designers Draw Clothes?


Many people think that fashion designers must also be talented artists. Though some of them are trained as visual and fine artists, not all designers are able to make perfect drawings. There are many ways that fashion designers draw clothing, and not all involve sketching.

Drawing Materials

  • Fashion designers who draw their collections frequently use materials that can be found in most art, craft and hobby supply stores. These tools include sketch pads, charcoal pencils, colored pencils, felt pens, putty rubber for erasing, cartridge paper and B, 2B and 4B pencils.


  • Sketching can run the gamut from a quick, rough drawing to very detailed, lifelike figures. Fashion designers sketch clothing to put their vision for a collection on paper. Unless the sketches will be sent to a seamstress or manufacturing facility, they need not be technical, neat or intricately detailed. Often, fashion designers make notes on their sketches to denote what fabric and cuts they want for the finished piece.


  • Fashion silhouettes are pre-made blank clothing templates. Most designers that use these are focused on the colors, fabric and patterns of a piece, rather than the cut or design. Silhouettes are often used to design lingerie, swimwear and outerwear.

Figure Templates

  • Designers who want to focus more on pattern, color, fabric and cut than drawing an actual body often use figure templates. These templates are often blank bodies, with no coloring, features or hair. Designers can add these details if they wish, though many choose not to. Figure templates can be found for free, though they can also be downloaded for a price, typically costing less than $5 each.


  • CAD, or computer-aided drafting, is being used more frequently by fashion designers to draw clothing. This is the preferred method for many designers that are computer-savvy but not skilled at making sketches and detailed paper drawings. CAD allows fashion designers to render a more realistic representation of their clothing, and some programs can even make 3D clothing sketches.

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