Tools for Fashion Sketching


A key component of fashion designing is properly sketching the designs you would like to create. Any wanna-be fashion designer hoping to pursue a career in the field will likely want to go to a fashion school and acceptance could depend upon a solid portfolio of personal sketches and designs that showcase potential.

Carbon Paper

  • Beginning fashion designers often use carbon paper or tracing paper to outline body templates for each design. Simply lay the carbon paper atop a body template, trace the bod and then place the tracing paper on a blank sheet of paper and begin designing. You can also use this paper to add to your designs without making a permanent decision. Place the paper on top of your permanent design and add to it on the carbon paper. This allows you to throw out design ideas that you do not like without damaging the permanent design. When you like a design, you can draw it on the permanent picture.


  • Your list of pencils should include wood-cased pencils of varying shades and hardness. Soft B or B2 pencils are used for general sketching, and 4B pencils are thicker, allowing you to add emphasis to specific parts of your sketch. Carbon pencils create a matte effect in the clothing, and colored pencils are a necessity for adding color to your designs. Many designers prefer water color pencils, which allow you to sketch dry for solid coloring or with water for paintbrush effects to add highlights to your clothing sketches.


  • In fashion sketching, pens are used to help create different effects and signify which materials will be used in the designs. There are a few different pens you should have in your arsenal: sketch fountain pens, marker pens, drawing pens and radiograph pens. Each type of pen comes in sets with various colors and tip thicknesses, which help create specific brush strokes needed in fashion sketching.

Other Materials

  • Putty rubber is important because as it erases it does not rub away your paper or leave streaks or holes in the design. A metal ruler helps create straight lines, and a sharp craft knife and cutting board give your work a more professional look when you need to trim paper. Finally, don't forget a mounting board for presenting your work.

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