7 best design software to create bags and backpacks

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Enthusiasts appreciate the beauty of using a pen and paper to make their ideas come to life. However, enjoying the best fashion design software for bags is a much more inspired approach.
  • You want your book bags, coffee bags, and leather bags to be unique, that’s for sure. Therefore, turn inspiration into incredible products in Adobe Photoshop.
  • With all those top-notch tools for a beautiful bag, don’t hesitate to complete your work in Adobe Illustrator.
  • You can discover more useful ideas from our articles found on the dedicated Graphic and Design Hub.
Backpack design - Design backpacks software

In order to design every aspect of a great looking bag or backpack, you will need to be able to design shapes (2D panels).

These panels will be the parts used to build your final 3D project for a backpack, but you can also create 3D models directly.

Fortunately for you, the days in which you had to start your projects by using a pen and paper to create templates for you panels are gone.

Today, we can use specialized software that allows you to edit every aspect of your design with precision and professionalism, makes rendering your model a lot faster, and provides automated measurements and suggestions.

You can choose to use either a 2D or a 3D design software to create your project. Creating 2D panels that you can then print out and use to cut materials is a bit easier than the 3D modeling option, but it all depends how sure you are about your skills using this type of software.

In this article, we will explore some of the best software options on the market that allow you to design your leather bags, book bags, and coffee bags with ease.

Be sure that they do offer a lot of other useful features to help you along the way, so read on to find out more.

What’s the best design software to create bags?

Adobe Photoshop

download Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a popular raster graphics editor among professionals worldwide. As you may know, it has been used for superior design projects and realistic painting for ages.

Since it is an extremely powerful tool for drawing and painting with intuitive pens and brushes, it can clearly turn into your top fashion design software for bags.

You may crop, retouch, repair, and erase unwanted elements in a blink of an eye. Moreover, experiment and play around with color and light to make sure your bags will look better than ever.

Besides the chance to enjoy a remarkable level of customization, controlling brushes with your finger or Apple Pencil will feel like your second nature.

Amazing key features you should take into consideration:

  • Thousands of pencils, pens, markers, and brushes may be used with a guarantee of maintaining high quality
  • Precise Content-Aware Fill to if you want to fill multiple areas of an image without leaving the window
  • Spot Healing feature to clean up imperfections with ease
  • Useful Patch Tool to hide unwanted content
  • Enhanced Transform Warp to divide your image with a customizable grid

Download Adobe Photoshop free

Adobe Illustrator

grab Adobe Illustrator

Another great software tool for the job is Adobe Illustrator. While Adobe Photoshop excels at designing the best bags and backpacks, Illustrator brings you the joy of unmatched 3D control over your project.

Let’s cover the basics first. Adobe Illustrator is a great vectorization program that offers all the basic tools you may think of.

If the creation of geometric figures isn’t your thing, then you’ll probably enjoy creating 3D patterns in Illustrator. You may control their appearance with shading, rotation, lighting, and other properties.

Moreover, keep in mind that there’s an application for mobile devices known as Adobe Illustrator Draw that you may also use.

After all, it integrates with Illustrator in an excellent way, so that’s your chance to transfer your latest bag designs between the PC or Mac and your tablet/smartphone.

That, along with tons of tutorials to help you manage the capabilities of the program, make it a great fashion design software for bags.

Some key features that you’ll most likely find useful:

  • The workspace is not only intuitive, but you can adjust it according to your preferences
  • Two simple ways to create 3D objects: by revolving or extruding
  • Incredible Pen tool to create all kinds of designs
  • Useful Shape Builder tool to create and reshape objects with ease
  • Integration with other Adobe products you use daily

Download Adobe Illustrator free

Marvelous Designer

MarvelousDesigner - design bags and backpacks

Marvelous Designer is a great software option that was designed specifically to help its users create beautiful fashion designs, with 3D capabilities.

You can use this software to quickly and easily create bags, backpacks, blouses, t-shirts, dresses, pants, etc. , no matter how complicated the models or patterns are.

This software will virtually replicate the fabrics you chose for your project and creates a 3D render so you get an idea about how the final product will look.

Marvelous Designer is compatible with most of the other 3D design software and offers a beautifully designed user interface that helps you streamline the process.

You can use this tool to immediately edit and apply different garments with different textures to a 3D shape of your choosing.

It is worth mentioning that this app has been used by top of the range game studio – EA Konami. If you saw The Hobbit, then you know what Marvelous Designer can do for you.

The customization power offered by this software is unlimited, being constrained only by your imagination.

Here are some of the best features found in Marvelous Designer:

  • Great processing speeds for both design and rendering
  • Technology-based on sewing and pattern making – creating blueprints for a garment
  • Can be used by people with little to no experience because of its intuitive design and user interface
  • Can edit textures, fabrics and physical properties either by using one of the built-in presets, or by choosing the parameters on your own (advanced users)
  • Can trace existing models and assign specific locations for pins
  • High-polygon modeling – captures the realistic movement of clothing on different shapes
  • Great segment and sewing tool – simple to use and fully editable

If you want to have an inside peek at the design process for a bag, you can watch this video.

If you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the options and variations Marvelous Designer has to offer, you can visit their official tutorial page.

Try Marvelous Designer

Optitex by Efi


try out Optitex

Optitex is another great software option that contains all the features required in order for you to create incredible fashion designs with ease.

You can create bags and all sorts of accessories with customizable stitching, design, and other features.

You can easily create 3D virtual samples of any part of your backpack/bag design allows you to save money and time when starting a new project, while also allowing you to see a high-quality rendition of what you created.

Interior design can be simple with the right set of tools. Check out these software solutions.

This software gives you the power to maintain constant contact with all the elements found in your supply chain, making information clear for everybody involved, and at the same time reducing the production costs and times.

Constantly communicating with your suppliers and partners allows you to always make informed decisions, simplifying the entire process of manufacturing.

Optitex has a very encompassing library that allows you to choose from a large collection of elements – buckles, eyelets, handles, zippers, etc.

This software works by combining both 2D and 3D worlds into one space.

The 2D view allows you to edit your project’s elements on a plane, while the 3D view allows you to apply that element to any surface with different shapes and sizes.

The rendering of the 2D element layered on the 3D element is created through the powerful processing power found in this software.

You can find a good range of tutorials regarding how to use Optitex to create amazing looking bags and backpacks, on their official webinars page. 

Try Optitex by Efi 


Rhino 6 - design software for bags and backpacks

Rhino 6 is incredibly powerful design software that can help you create your dream backpack with ease, and is so exact in its measurements that it can be used to create delicate machine parts.

With this measuring capability, you will never encounter any issues regarding the sizes of your material panels, or a not fitting stitch.

This ability is powered by the newly developed double-precision meshes, allowing you to achieve great results no matter how big your project is.

In Rhino you have the ability to add, edit, and remove any annotations, change their styles, and also offers you access to history support.

This software has all the capabilities needed in order to create projects from scratch, edit them in any way imaginable, analyze the structure of your materials, render 3D objects, can animate your project if needed, and also translates curves, surfaces, and solids.

Because of these features, you have unlimited power to create, as you are only limited by your imagination and hardware capabilities of your PC.

In order to create a backpack or bag in Rhino, you will need to draw the shapes of your panels in 3D, then use the command ‘Unroll Surface’ for every panel.

Doing this assures that your structure is completely flattened, so you can easily transfer the final project into a material cutting machine.

After flattening your panels, you will need to use the ‘dupborder’ command in order to remove the edges of your panels. Then, you can use the ‘offset’ command.

This will allow you to build in the seam allowance. After this process is completed, you can easily export the files and send them to the cutting machine.

Some other useful features found in Rhino 6:

  • Freeform 3D modeling tools with professional-grade features
  • Great accuracy is both design, analyzation of data, and manufacturing
  • Compatible with all other design, CAM, drafting, engineering, animation, and illustration software options
  • Can repair the structure of meshes from IGES files
  • The learning curve is not as big as in the case of the other software options

If you feel like you need a bit of a walkthrough regarding how to start using Rhino 6, you can visit the official tutorials page.

Download Rhino

Modo by Foundry

Modo by Foundry - bag and backpack designer

Modo is another incredibly useful tool to have on your proverbial ‘toolbelt’. This software is specifically designed to create 3D modeling, textures and also rendering complex materials and patterns.

Modo contains great direct modeling capabilities with flexible procedural modeling, and also contains the MeshFusion Boolean toolset and other great sculpting tools.

This software was designed to be easily understandable and used by artists and designers of every level of expertise, without limiting your ability to create astounding backpacks and bags.

Here are some of its best features:

  • Incredibly powerful renderer with photorealistic results
  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) developer tool compatible with Unity and Unreal
  • Flexible tool assembly system – can build your own set of tools by joining different operations
  • Perfectly integrates with Python and C++ APIs
  • Can customize the look and functionality of the user interface
  • Supports formats like OpenSubdiv, OpenColorIO, OpenEXR, OpenVDB and Alembic
  • Supports UDIM workflows while also integrating perfectly with modeling and selection workflows
  • Layer-based and nodal shades system – creates amazingly real-looking materials with ease
  • A great library of pre-made realistic materials

One of the best options found in Modo is the fact that its features can be easily extended by downloading one or more plugins from the official Modo library. Here are a few examples of some useful plugins:

  • V-Ray – a toolkit that allows you to control the lighting, shading, and rendering of your project
  • Power Translators – greatly useful tools for designers and engineers, allows you to import CAD data from other software

If you want to know more about how to get started using Modo, you can visit the official tutorials webpage.

Try Modo by Foundry


SolidWorks - bag and backpack design software

Solidworks is another great software option that allows you to create backpacks and bags and offers a wide range of features.

You can use this software to design your project, simulate their use to find any possible issues, help you estimate costs of production, checks if all manufacture instructions are correct, and also allows you to manage your data, all from one single screen.

SolidWorks comes in 3 versions: Standard, Professional, and Premium, each with their own features.

The Standard version of SolidWorks is a fully functional software, and allows you to perform stress tests on your project on parts only, and allows you to animate your project.

The Professional version of SolidWorks contains all the features found in the previous version, and also adds photo-realistic rendering, and offers access to eDrawings Professional – helps you export your project into an SW file and share it with your customer.

This version also has a standard library of parts that you can use by simply dragging and dropping them in your project – buckles, pins, straps, etc.

This version also allows you access to the SolidWorks Costing tool, which helps you estimate the costs of parts or of the entire project, no matter how big it is.

The Premium version of SolidWorks includes all the features found in the professional version, and also allows you access to performing static, stress, and motion analysis, as well as the ability to analyze individual parts.

Another great tool found in the Premium version is the Tol Analyst tool, that helps you set different sizing rules for elements, and also an easy interface with eCAD that can work for electrical designs, and PC board designs as well.

Here are some of the best features found in SW:

  • An intuitive user interface that doesn’t require a lot of time to learn
  • Can create relationships between features and other ports – for example connecting the width of your backpack’s strap with the buckle
  • Great access to measuring tools no matter what pages are opened
  • 3D markup – ability to add markups directly to parts and assemblies
  • Can publish your SolidWorks files to XR
  • Can create training videos for users on how to use your item best
  • Geometry & scene hierarchy
  • Can change all aspects of appearances of materials, but also textures/decals
  • Full control over lights and cameras – allows you to capture the best side of your project
  • Per-configuration custom properties, per-node comments, per-node, and design tables

Download SolidWorks

Because designing bags and backpacks is a difficult job as it is, you can make things a lot easier by using specialized design software.

The top 7 list we presented in this article cover both the needs of experienced designers and also people who just started in their design saga.

If you’re not very experienced with using CAD software, you might want to first try out Marvelous Designer, or Optitex by Efi, or Modo applications, as these are specialized clothing software options.

Because of their specialization in this domain, it is a lot easier for you to learn all the steps of the creation process than in a software that isn’t.

Even if they are simpler to use than the other CAD options presented in this article, these two options offer a wide range of features that cover all your designing needs.

If you don’t mind a bit of a steep learning curve, or if you already have experience using CAD software, you could jump right in and try out Rhino or SolidWorks.

If you don’t know which one of these two to try out first, we would recommend going with Rhino, as it allows you a bit more freedom to create, has high-polygon modeling, and also offers great rendering capabilities.

We would love to know what software option you chose from this list and how it worked for you. Please feel free to let us know in the comment section found below.

FAQ: Learn more about the best design software/graphic design

  • What software do designers use?

When looking for the best design software, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are both top choices.

  • What software do I need to do graphic design?

If you want to master graphic design, then Adobe Photoshop gives you complete control over your projects.

  • Which language is used in graphic design?

A great understanding of HTML5 and Javascript are both essential for manipulating images and working with animations.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in August 2019 and was revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.