Must Have Tools for Fashion Design
If you are looking for tools for fashion design or tools for fashion designing or tools for fashion designers, you are in the right place.
Fashion designing is like an ocean and it really easy to get lost in hundreds of fashion design equipment and supplies and then wasting money on things that you may not know if they work.
No, I don’t want this happen to you.
This is the place where you can find all of my favourite fashion design resources and any tools to add to your fashion design tool kit.
I will be updating this page with new things all the time, so make sure to bookmark or save it to your Pinterest to visit back often.
Please note Not all but some of the links might be affiliate links. Meaning I get a small percentage if you purchased any from those links at no cost to you. I promise every single resource here are 100% used by me and totally loving them.
After having multiple certifications in fashion designing and working with hundreds of fashion designers, my goal for you is to point you in the right direction by helping you avoid as many as hurdles and failures. You are totally in the right hands.
Best Fashion Design Books
When I’m learning fashion design, I ended up purchasing every single fashion design book that I found. Most of the books are useless and trying to go through each of them is so overwhelming and a lot of waste of money. Don’t do that!
Out of those thousands of books, here are my top picks.
Before we get into…,
Did I own all these books?
- Yes! I have all of these books.
Did I complete reading all these books?
- Nope! I’m not gonna lie. Most of these books are 300 pages plus. And completing these books might take years and I totally don’t recommend for you too!
- Instead here’s how I use them. Let’s say if I want to create a trench coat.
- I head over to creativity or fashion illustration books and pick some exercises from it and do them to warmup creativity.
- Then I head to pattern making book to see pattern making techniques of trench coat and then get to sewing book to refer any techniques and make any notes.
So all these books are not like you read them once and forget. You are going to use them regularly whenever you need. Every fashion designer has their own small resource library, so they can refer to when they need help.
I put these books into 3 categories:
- Core: meaning it is a must and you should invest in it first.
- Extended: once you build your core library, these are the next books to add.
- Extras: meaning these are optional but good to have after you build your core and extended library.
- If you are in budget, look for used books on amazon
- You can get 2 free audiobooks when you sign up for a free audible trial here. You can cancel anytime after your free trial if you want to.
Creativity in Fashion Design (Core)
Though there are so many things involved in fashion designing, as a fashion designer you need to work on your core skill which is creativity. End of the day people come to you for your designs. This book is jam-packed with different ways to build up your creative skills. This is one of my most favourite books that I always refer back when I get some time. Especially the scamper technique from this book is like a gold mine.
Bina abling fashion sketchbook (Extended)
Bina Abling is my favourite author. I totally love her sketching style and this book is an excellent resource to have on your collection. This book covers step by step fashion illustration techniques to uplevel your fashion sketching skills.
Pattern making for fashion design (core)
We used this book as a textbook for pattern making when I'm studying at fashion school. This book walks you through complete pattern drafting techniques. This book is an absolute must for any fashion designer. As I told before you don't need to master sewing or pattern making. There are other people who do it for us. But we do need to know the basic structure and construction of the garment. It really helps us to know the possibilities of design. No, this book does not cover any draping techniques or menswear patterns.
Fashionary sketchbook (core)
I could talk all day about fashionary products without getting bored. I totally love and recommend their collections of tools. I already used 10+ fashionary sketchbooks. They are so cute, super comfortable to use. As I always say, as a fashion designer, Your core skill is developing concepts and sketchbook is the vehicle that you cannot ignore. If you haven't already maintaining any kind of sketchbook, do order this today.
Blue is the new black (Extras)
This is pretty much an advanced book that takes you through the entire overview of how the fashion industry works and great to have once you started your fashion business. Some people call this book a fashion Bible. I recently got this book and im on halfway reading it.
Fashionary visual dictionary (Extended)
Another favourite book from fashionary. If you want to get into the fashion industry, you need to know the fashion language and this book makes it super easy. I totally love the visuals and this book is worth every single penny.
Illustrating fashion from concept to creation (core)
Out of all fashion sketching books, I love this classic book that has everything you need to know about fashion illustration. I love the details inside like basic silhouettes, sleeves, dresses etc… I refer to this book very often as I work on fashion collections.
The art of manipulating the fabric (Extras)
If you love sewing, this should definitely be in your tool kit. You will learn such incredible sewing techniques and create some couture pieces. This book does not teach about sewing clothes but this is all about how you can manipulate the fabric with different approaches like fabric flowers, decorative pleats and things like that. Even though I don't like sewing much, I get all excited and inspired by looking at this book.
The spec manual (Core)
Once you got your design ready, you need to manufacture your design and step 1 is creating spec sheets. Spec sheets have all the details about your design and that makes the manufacturer easily understand what you are expecting. This book teaches you all about making spec sheets.
Professional sewing for fashion designers (core)
I'm not really a great fan of sewing. But this book has changed the way I sew. This book is specially made for fashion designers and not for general sewing. I loved every single page of it. Sewing techniques are displayed in detailed illustrations. I especially loved the extra practice prompts after every single chapter. Yes, you don't need to know perfect sewing to become a fashion designer, we hire someone to do that but you have to know the basics of garment formation so you can design practical fashions.
Fabric swatch book (core)
I fell in love with this book as soon as I saw this. This book covers everything about fabrics. Like paints for artists, the fabric is medium for fashion designers. Understanding fabrics is a key skill for any designer. Especially what I love about this book is not only you get the information you need but also you get all the fabric swatches, so you can touch and feel the actual fabrics.
The art of fashion draping (Extended)
If you are not pattern drafting type and love to drape patterns directly on a mannequin, this book has everything you need to learn. This book helps you as a reference whenever you are working on samples. Though this book is great, If possible, I highly recommend learning Pattern draping directly from a school or an experienced person in live.
Hope you find these useful and be sure to check back often as I add new tools here one by one.