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Computer-aided Design (CAD) in Clothing Manufacturing

by Boris Hodakel  • January 21, 2019 • 3 min read

Technology plays a significant role in the fashion industry. Its role spans many areas in the industry from fashion design to clothing manufacturing. Fashion design is renowned for innovative and diverse creations, and the use of software presents a new and fresh element to how clothing is made. It is true that most designers still prefer to put the initial sketches on a piece of paper using conventional pens and pencils. However, many now translate those outlines into digital formats. New software allows individuals to unleash their full creative potential and experiment with colours, shapes and sizes.

What is computer-aided design (CAD)?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines computer-aided design (CAD) as the use of computers to design objects. However, CAD can do more than produce naked shapes. Depending on your requirements, it can also include measurements, provide information about the materials, tolerances, processes and other symbolic details.

It comes naturally that the technology capable of creating objects in two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) space, as well as curves and surfaces, was already noticed by such industries as shipbuilding, aerospace craft developers, medical professionals and builders.

The main advantage of using such ‘computer simulations’ is bringing down the production costs, and speeding up the design production cycle. Pens and pencils retain their importance; however, the convenience of copy-pasting, reshaping and doing overlays of the original drawings and printing it all out attract increased attention from the clothing industry.

The use of CAD in clothing manufacturing

In many fashion apprenticeships and degree courses, traditional methods of design are still taught but with a digital infusion. This blend of artistry flair and technological innovation is improving the translation of fashion design to the manufacturing phase. This knowledge of software and its contribution to the fashion industry is assisting both fashion designers and clothing factories with everything from initial specifications through to print, pattern and final product production.

Software is pivotal in making clothing to specification, and the use of design applications enables fashion brands to recreate realistic drawings that show exact pattern requirements such as seams, print placement, fabric cuts and colour. This type of software also assists in creating a Tech Pack in the design stage. As explained in our article: A Fashion Tech Pack and Preventing Manufacturing Errors, you can see the process behind the first fit sample. This planning process is essential to get right and communicating your exact specifications can prevent costly errors.

The future of clothing manufacturing

The advancements in technology and its integration into the fashion industry is continuing to make waves across the sector. Every aspect from retail through to factory processes is seeing notable changes in the way software and systems is handling everyday tasks. One of the significant benefits for the sector is the introduction of automation. Software is making it possible to speed up processes that were once laborious and time-consuming. There have been negative elements to automation due to the replacement of people in some roles, but in fact, the benefits generally outweigh these points, as people can be refocused in other areas and improve their skills in different niches in the fashion sector.

Change is inevitable in any industry and leaps in design and technology are making it easier to take clothing from the ideas phases through to production more efficiently. To support this innovation, Sewport provides a simple yet effective way to connect with clothing manufacturers across the globe. The platform also provides resources such as a Tech Pack creator, terminology and fabric calculation toolbox.

Creating an account is simple, and you can share your designs and ideas with clothing manufacturers in a few easy steps. You can also find suitable industry experts to help translate your ideas into digitised designs and take advantage of the experience and knowledge of a CAD designer.

Join Sewport today and take your designs to the next level.


About the author:

Boris Hodakel is the founder and CEO of Sewport - an online marketplace connecting brands and manufacturers, former founder of various clothing manufacturing services. He is passionate about e-commerce, marketing and production digitisation. Connect with Boris on LinkedIn.