Computer technology is making waves in the fashion design zone. From determining textile weaves to sizing designs; computers are a vital component of the fashion industry. New software programs continue to replace old manual skills. Going by the wayside are "old fashioned" flat pattern construction, pencil sketching and traditional math-based pattern sizing. Those who lag in math and falter at sketching can now breathe a little easier.
Like many industries, fashion design is rapidly changing in the face of this emerging technology. Most fashion design colleges, however, still teach traditional design methods, including manual flat pattern construction, draping and line drawing. Cutting-edge education also focuses on computer aided methods of design. Software can help users draw, create woven textures, drape models to create patterns, adjust sizes and even determine fabric colors.
A common misconception among design hopefuls is that math and drawing lack relevancy in today's market. This could not be further from the truth. Many design houses require sketch books and expect them to feature line drawings done by hand. Math also continues to be a basic design requirement. Successful designers understanding the costs of production, distribution and sales.
Combining Old and New
State-of-the-art technology is important, but a sound understanding of the methods behind production are also essential. Manually figuring size adjustments and cutting pattern pieces instills that knowledge. Software programs constantly evolve. A program used today may be obsolete within several years. Being trained on today's software does not guarantee it will be used when you are ready to go out into the field. Understanding calculations is timeless, as is computer competency. Software, however, shifts rapidly.
Sketching remains a basic design skill. The option now exists to create computer generated drawings of your work. Take advantage of the old and new. Master the ability to sketch on paper and perfect your skills as a computer-aided designer. Masterful sketches, whether hand-drawn or computer-generated, are what sell your designs.
Fashion continues to evolve with computer technology pointing forward. You must not lag behind. Yet you should not forge forward without a sound understanding of the basics. Computer technology is the prevalent method for both knit and woven pattern construction and is coming to the forefront as the sketching method of choice. Learn the necessary technologies to stay on fashion's forefront.