- Having a reliable apparel design software is a must if you are a professional designer or looking to become one
- Our list presents the best textile pattern design software available right now that will help you get the measurements right and save a ton of time
- Vectorizable graphics can also be utilized in an apparel design for a more complex and visually appealing effect
- Check our clothing design section for more top lists and guides
With the latest advancements in computer technology, it is easier than ever to start producing original pattern designs for your clothing business.
Apparel pattern making software classifies as CAD (Computer Aided Design) software, and it can be used by anyone, no matter if they have experience in the industry or not.
Of course, experience in using CAD software helps, but with the use of specialized software, the learning curve in this domain is not very steep if you have the time to invest in learning.
Good CAD software for this domain will offer you the possibility to save a lot of time, reduce the overall costs of production, and never have to worry about getting a measurement wrong before sending your project’s panels to be cut by a CNC machine.
In order to help you get you started in this domain as soon as possible, in this article we explored some of the best apparel pattern making software available on the market in 2019. Read on to find out more.
Adobe Textile Designer
Prints for fabrics aren’t all that easy to design as simply sketching on a piece of paper. That is why Adobe Textile Designer was created, acting as a set of tools for fashion and décor artists to help streamline the process of designing prints for fabrics.
Initially, fashion designers would use Adobe Photoshop for this kind of job, but then they realised that using the base generic program didn’t cut it anymore, so they decided to go for a more niche approach with more dedicated tools.
That’s how Adobe Textile Designer came to be. You can use it to create bold and striking patterns, but not only for clothes, pretty much anything that is covered in fabric and can use a splash of color.
Thanks to this handy plugin, you can do much more within Photoshop, while keeping every element editable until you are ready to send it to your printer. This includes, but is not limited to, previewing patterns, defining separations, and working with colorways.
More so, the great part about this program is that the files it edits are the same PSD format that Photoshop users are used to. Thus, you can always switch between one program or another when editing your print.
Note: Adobe Textile Designer is merely a plugin for Adobe Photoshop. As such, you will also need to purchase and install the base program in order to use Adobe Textile Designer.
PatternSmith is one of the best software options on the market that gives you a wide range of tools to help you create the apparel of your dreams.
Whether you represent a company and need to streamline the pattern making process, or if you just started the journey by creating garments at home, this software will surely help you.
This software allows you to draft patterns, edit, nest, and also control the cutting machines, giving you professional results, while also reducing wasted materials and simplifying the process of apparel creation.
Here are some of the best features found in PatternSmith:
- Automatic computer-calculated nesting – allows you to make the most out of the piece of garment you’re trying to cut
- Can customize the fit of your entire project
- Wide range of templates to help you choose the best option for your project
- Can create patterns in 3D and then automatically transform them into 2D data for cutting
- HideShot – helps you outline and find any flaws in your patterns
- Automatically slices large patterns to get the most out of your material and fit it easily into your cutting machine
- Easy to use and understand
- Can export files easily for transfer to other editing programs or your cutting machine software
- AutoMetrix – assures you can cut patterns fast and without errors
- Some issues have been reported with the ‘Back’ button when dealing with very complex patterns
- No command line
- Additional charges for nesting.
This software is another great option that helps you deal with all the issues of pattern creating, by offering you access to a wide range of features.
Here are a few of the best features found in PatternMaker:
- Can view and print designs as needed with the capability to move, rotate, cut, and spread your apparel garments
- Great professional-looking templates that can simplify the entire process of garment creation
- Can be used to draw a wide range of pattern pieces (polygons) – curved segments, circles, rectangles, etc.
- Easily measure curved items with very exact results
- Can open and also export .dxf files
- Easy to learn and use
- 30-day free trial that includes free pants and bodice patterns
- Some features can be difficult to navigate
- Customer service could be better
Accumark is another great software option that will surely help you streamline the process of creating garment patterns, offering you access to a wide range of features that simplify the process of creating, editing, and cutting your project’s 2D panels with ease.
Here are some of the best features found in Accumark 2D:
- Create professional-looking garment designs fast
- Material-efficient calculations – allows you to get the most out of every piece of garment by reducing waste
- Multi-dimensional grading – easily modify any existing projects
- Can generate custom reports based on your needs
- Easy customization for your apparel by using the drag and drop image placement feature
- Very useful automatic batch processing for large-scale projects
- Saves a lot of money and time by streamlining a wide range of processes
- Great design pattern exporting options
- Not easy to learn
- Navigation can be difficult and the user interface seems a bit outdated
Because apparel design is complicated as it is, it is far more efficient to use specialized software to help you with the design, measuring, fitting, and cutting of your 2D patterns.
For these reasons, in this article, we explored some of the best software options on the market that allows you to save precious time, reduce the waste of material, and also simplifies the process of cutting your apparel panels.
Please feel free to let us know how these software options worked for you by using the comment section below.
FAQ regarding apparel pattern making software
- What app can I use to design clothes?
There are many options you can choose from, our preferred option is Adobe Illustrator due to features available and constant updates that it gets.
- Which is the best software for pattern making?
The best app to make a textile pattern is Adobe Photoshop and specifically you will need the Adobe Textile Designer plugin for it.
- What is the best fashion design software for beginners?
Unfortunately, there are not that many solid options of beginner friendly software available on the market, but fortunately there are a lot of guides and learning material from Adobe, that is why we recommend Illustrator as the best tool.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.