What is CAD?

In the world of fashion today, technology plays a huge part. It contributes to many areas of fashion including the fashion design process all the way to the garment manufacturing process. The use of certain design software also allows fashion designs to be translated clearer and easier, as it is more visual.

A few fashion designers still prefer the good old pencil and paper sketches, and this is something you can do if you’re an aspiring fashion designer, however there is a likelihood that you will have to translate those sketches into a digital format at some point in the design process. This is where certain design digital software comes to use. Fashion designers can use such software to really get their creative juices flowing; experimenting with colour, shapes, sizes and much more.

What is CAD?

CAD is known as ‘Computer-aided design’ and it is more or less defined as the ‘use of computers to design objects’ and it allows one to document the design process from start to finish.

CAD can also be of use to the manufacturing process by transferring details of diagrams that have information of product materials, the processes, dimensions, tolerances and much more intricate detail for the fashion product that is getting made. CAD can produce 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional diagrams which allow the designs to be viewed at any angle, even from the inside looking out. Of-course, this is more useful for object-based products rather than fashion designs, however it is a fantastic dimension to have as it means you can almost view a real-life product and see how it works, before paying to create the real thing.

A great advantage of using CAD means that you as a fashion designer will instantly cut down productions costs and you will speed up the design process. As mentioned before, pencil design sketches are not as crucial today, but it is useful to have as an ‘original copy’ which you can then copy and paste onto your computer. By doing so, you can re-shape, create overlays, colour, and add more detail to your original drawing. Making your fashion designs digital will make it easier for the garment manufacturer to analyse your designs and create a fashion product that is more accurate the original idea.

CAD also contributes massively to the Tech Pack, which is a crucial part to the design process. As mentioned in our article How to Create a Tech Pack,we add that the Tech Pack should have refined details of your fashion product that you want to create. This is not just basic measurements, it’s also the shape, patterns, seams, techniques and much more. The more in-detail you go, the more likely your real-life product will be a complete replica of your original fashion design; so it is important you add as much as you can, and CAD can make this process easier for you.

The use of CAD in the Tech Pack allows you, as a fashion designer to show the exact pattern requirements you may have in your designs, as well as fabric cuts and colour Writing out that you want your design to be ‘red and blue’ won’t quite do it. There are thousands of shades per colour, therefore, using CAD will allow you to pick and name the specific shade that you want for your fashion design.

There are also many business benefits of using design software for fashion designers, these include:

  1. Time – using design software will fasten up the design process and save time in production. It is great for small fashion businesses as it also allows them to save on production costs.
  2. Decrease the risk of errors Fashion designers are unlikely to make as many errors, as the software allows you to go into intricate detail, therefore there should not be any miscommunication with your garment manufacturer.
  3. Easy to learnEveryone’s learning process is different. However, fashion design software is pretty easy to learn and there are loads of tools online to give you tips and tricks on how to use the software and improve your skills. Even as a beginner, you can attend classes that are local to you or pay for an online package.
  4. Save coststhis links back to pointer number 1 and 2. As you are designing everything online, your designs have a bigger chance of being made into an accurate real piece, therefore you won’t need to get anything re-made due to the due to the original fashion designs being wrong.

Overall, CAD is a great software that can be of fantastic use to the fashion design process. As a start-up and/ or current fashion designer, it is important you know the basis of CAD, because it means you can save a lot of money, a lot of time and reduce the risks of any costly errors in the future.

Learning CAD is easy and simple to do, investing in a learning package now will save you money in the long run, and will be important for when you have to create your Tech Pack. We advise that you pick up the basic skills of CAD before you continue any other part of the design process!


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