Fashion is a form of self-expression that reflects in clothing, footwear, hairstyle, makeup, accessories, posture, and lifestyle in a holistic sense.
Fashion designers constantly adapt to new markets and customer requirements while designing and creating fashionable items. They focus on several elements like style and comfort to offer the best to their customers.
Fashion Designing: How It Has Evolved Over the Years
Paris was the first fashion capital in the world. In 1826, Charles Frederick Worth, the world’s first fashion designer, built a fashion house called “House of Worth” in the city.
Initially, the focus was on designing clothes for wealthy people but later switched to mass production of clothing. The growth of brand names and labels through franchising and licensed copying allowed companies to bridge the gap between expensive fashion clothing and affordable mass-market goods and accessories.
While the Victorian era style was quite rigid, there is more freedom to try new styles and patterns. During this period, some popular fashion designers include Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Valentino Garavani, Coco Chanel, among others.
How Does a Fashion Designer Work with Clothing Design Software?
Technology has expanded its horizon to every industry, and fashion designing is no different. Fashion designing tools enable creative individuals to set up their businesses and easily move to create garments, shoes, and other accessories for consumers.
Fashion design software covers all facets of design like 2D and 3D sketching, illustrations and patternmaking to produce a design blueprint. It further helps designers convey how a functional yet aesthetically pleasing design would look in real life.
Benefits of Using Free Fashion Design Software
Most free fashion design software helps fashion designers with colour mixing, prototype creation, and fabric patterns. Some of the other benefits of this software are:
- Automation of processes to minimize repetitive tasks like resizing designs, adding watermarks, and more.
- Millions of choices of colours, patterns, and more
- Ready-to-use templates for creative designs
- Easy to test/ compare different looks and fabrics
- Easy to meet changing preferences via modifications and less waste of fabric
- No wear and tear like on paper
- Save designs and keep multiple copies
- Control digital workflows in real-time
- Realistic rendering of how garments and other items look on human body
- Easy merchandising
- Quick sharing with multiple people and teams
Key Features You Are Likely to Get with Free Fashion Design Software
Best free fashion design software includes these essential features to help designers work easily and have complete freedom to be creative with every step.
- Pattern grading
- Pattern, colour, and art storage
- Drag and drop facility for sketches
- Wide range of fabric colour and pattern
- Fabric matching
- Fashion illustration
- Smart design templates
- Apparel tools
- Material development
- Design export option
- 2D & 3D sketching
15 Best Free and Open Source Fashion Design Software List Online
- CLO 3D Software
- Digital Fashion Pro
- Adobe Illustrator
- Edraw Max
- Vogue Runway
- Cameo v5
- Designer Pro
- Digital Fashion Pro 9
- Virtual Fashion Basic 1.0
Fashion design software help in sketching designs faster than traditional methods and customizing them anytime, anywhere. Some of the best fashion design software with a free trial or a dedicated free version are:
Initiated in 2013 by Roman Telezhinsky (Ukraine) and Susan Spencer (USA), Valentina is a pattern drafting software popular among small designers, cutters, individual tailors, and many other in the garment industry.
Valentina, a fashion design tool, combines modern technologies with traditional pattern designing. As a result, it is easy to create a viable and affordable product design that meets customer needs.
With this free fashion design software for beginners, users can understand colours, patterns, styles, and other features.
- 50+ pattern-making options
- Patterns based on a mathematical formula
- Instruction-based drawing tools
- Simple to download, test, and create patterns
- Automation when rebuilding patterns
- Smart design templates
- Easy Synchronization
- Support Forum
Subscription Model: Valentina is a free and open-source fashion design software.
Valentina Compatible Platforms: There are download options for Windows, Mac OS, FreeBSD, Mageia 6+ (.rpm), Fedora (.rpm), OpenSUSE (.rpm), Debian (.deb), Ubuntu PPA (.deb), AppImage package (.AppImage).
Price to Upgrade: None
Blender fashion design tool is used by both individual designers and fashion design studios. This 3D creation suite makes creating, sculpting, and editing models easier.
Rendering cycles include shading, lighting, motion blur, volumes geometry, and more. Freestyle cycle makes it easy to draw various line styles to make shapes. It integrates with multiple pipeline tools. Its first version was released in 1994.
Features of Blender
- Multiple modes like Object Mode, Edit Mode, Weight Paint, and more
- Animation (2D)
- Motion tracking
- Video editing
- Conformal & angle-based unwrapping
- Pre-visualize offline in real-time
- Areas like crypto matters, mantaflow and more
Subscription Model: Blender is free and open-source fashion design software.
Blender Compatible Platforms: Blender runs on Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFly BSD, Haiku.
Price to Upgrade: None
Tailornova is a fashion design tool that enables users to create unlimited designs quickly and easily. This merchandise and clothing design software is popular among fashion students, fashion merchandisers, apparel brands, clothing boutiques, indie designers and others.
Users can just click the patterns and sketches of their choice to get started. With a 3D simulation facility and fit customization, it is easy to make changes according to requirements.
- Ease adjustment
- Sewing instructions
- Intermixable templates
- Templates in 10 different lengths
- Automated pattern measurements
- Pre-determined ease settings
- Vector 2D flat sketches
- Custom-fit pattern
- 3D Fit Model to replicate different body shapes
- Garment simulation
- PDF patterns and print out
- Ecommerce Integration
Subscription Model: Tailornova has a free plan. It is patent-pending software.
Compatible Platforms: Tailornova is web-based software and can run on any device internet connection.
Price to Upgrade: You can upgrade to Tailornova paid plan at a monthly price of INR 2161.04. Annual billing plans offer discounted rates.
Browzwear 3D fashion design software is well suited to designers, creative developers, marketers, and production teams. The clothing designs are more accurate as per specifications, and the finished goods can be marketed quickly.
There are minimum iterations, which decrease the cost. This merchandise and garment design software is used by brands like Adidas, Puma, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, etc.
- Realistic 3D images
- 2D CAD
- Flexible and powerful dashboard
- Fabric Analyzer (automatic)
- True-to-life 3D simulation
- Advanced consulting & integrated service for automated workflows
- New styles and designs with Lotta
- Vstitcher for designs
- Collaborate and merchandize with Stylezone
- Smart Design option to design for manufacturing
Subscription Model: Browzwear has an open platform. VNTANA and Browzwear’s 3D Collaboration Platform is free for freelance designers.
Compatible Platforms: Browzwear works on Mac and Windows.
Price to Upgrade: License is available on request.
Best Fashion Design Software with Free Trial
CLO 3D Software
CLO 3D fashion design software allows designers to add their own patterns and visualize sketches in 3D. In addition, there are avatars and dress forms for different shapes and sizes. Internal renderer enables users to create high quality and realistic images.
This fashion designing tool supports multiple languages like Hindi, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and more. The latest version comes with many new features. It is used by individuals, educational institutions, and businesses.
CLO 3D Features
- Modular design
- 3D garment edit
- 3D arrangement
- 3D simulation and layer
- Fabric kit
- Segment sewing
- Auto grading
- 2D pattern design
- Facility to merge patterns
- Facility to add the hardware items like buttons and zipper
- Fabric fine-tuner
- View, measure, arrange and edit Avatar style
- Create unlimited graphic placements
- Unlimited colourways
- Engineered print layouts
- Easy collaboration via closet
- Compatible files like DXF-ASTM/AAMA, AI/PDF, BOM (XML), and more
Free Trial: There is a 30-day trial for this 3D fashion design software.
Compatible Platforms: CLO 3D software runs on both Windows (64-bit) and Mac systems.
Price to Upgrade: Pricing starts at INR 33534.00 per year for individuals.
Digital Fashion Pro
Digital Fashion Pro is a fashion design software and clothing line startup kit that enables anyone to create amazing cloth designs without being an expert at drawing.
It offers step by step training, model poses, a free graphics program and other business tools to start designing and manufacturing. It is available for more than 75 countries and has been used by designers from Calvin Klein, Bill Blass, Ralph Lauren, Ed Hardy, and more.
- Customizable Clothing templates
- 3D design mode
- 3D design and styling
- Vector Artwork
- CAD Tools
- Sketch render
- Design Export
- Fashion Illustrations
- Textile Pattern Design
Free Trial: Digital Fashion Pro 3D clothing design software download for free trial is available on the official website.
Compatible Platforms: It works with Mac, Windows, and Chromebooks.
CLO 3D Features Price: Regular pricing starts at INR 29733.48.
Adobe Illustrator Fashion Design
Adobe Illustrator fashion design allows designers to draw flat or functional sketches, add colours, repeat pattern designs, and more.
Presentation boards have great layouts for design meetings, buyer presentations, and catalogues. With callouts for construction and styling details, it becomes easy for other team members and manufacturers to follow.
Adobe Illustrator Features
- Add fashion illustrations
- Move, rotate, scale Pattern fills
- Zig-zag brush
- Clipping masks for graphic placement
- Textile Design
- Flat Factory
- Customizable pattern size, colours, and direction
- Colourways and Line Sheets
- Graphic/ artistic design
Free Trial: Clothing design app free subscription is available for 7 days.
Compatible Platforms: Adobe Illustrator works on macOS, iOS for iPad and Windows
Price to Upgrade: Adobe Illustrator pricing starts at INR 1675.60 per month.
SnapFashun is an easy-to-use clothing design software that offers free templates and sketches to create custom designs easily. Designers can view, create, modify, and snap designs with the software.
Those designs can be used with trend boards, portfolios, pattern cards, line sheets, and concept boards. This fashion designing software is a great tool for educators in both physical and remote classrooms. It is also used by fashion designers, merchandisers, stylists, home sewers, and more.
- Preview larger thumbnail images
- Interactive preset Snap Libraries
- Multiple fashion categories
- Easy to store and retrieve sketches
- Drag and drop facility
- Easy to search and sort sketches
- Simple dashboard
- Facility to add new Snap Libraries
- Free templates and sketchbooks
- Syncs with Adobe Illustrator CC
Free Trial: Available
Compatible Platforms: SnapFashun works with Windows & Android operating systems.
Price to Upgrade: SnapFashun pricing starts at INR 8920.26 per year.
Edraw Max is user-friendly diagramming software that enables designers to create a wide range of sample and design patterns and different types of styles and sketches.
Both professional designers and amateurs can sketch fashions upon existing models and customize the output according to their needs with different colours, designs, and more. It supports various languages like English, Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, and so on.
Edraw Max Features
- High-quality outputs
- Sample cloth clipart
- Excellent file compatibility
- Pre-drawn models
- Drag and drop feature
- Vector-based designs
- Predefined themes and colours
- Huge collection of templates and styles
Free Trial: Edraw fashion design tool’s trial is available for 15 days.
Compatible Platforms: Edraw supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and Web platforms.
Price to Upgrade: Subscription pricing starts at INR 7362.28 per year. The lifetime plan starts at INR 18219.79.
Cameo v5 Apparel Software
Cameo v5 apparel software is preferred for drafting and editing grade patterns and custom sizes. The free fashion design software offers technical drawings tools and lay markers for making standardized and customized dresses. The software is also trusted for making fashion brochures and portfolios.
Features of Cameo v5 Apparel Software:
- Technical drawings and specification sheets
- PDF, RTF and standard HTML reporting
- Market layout for calculating yardage
Subscription Model: Cameo v5 version is a free apparel software.
Cameo Compatible Platforms: Cameo v5 fashion design software runs on Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10
Price to Upgrade: Cameo v6 version’s price is available on request.
Designer Pro Apparel Edition
Designer Pro Apparel Edition is ideal for drafting 3D design models. The software supports plotters and SVG file export functionality. Designer Pro Apparel Edition also provides dimensional viewing for design previews. The fashion design software supports 3D patterns and demos for fulfilling the portfolio requirements.
Features of Designer Pro Apparel Edition:
- Suites for making patterns
- 3D product designing
- Easy navigation and interface
- Categories for different dress lines and multiple wardrobes
Subscription Model: Paid with free technical support
Designer Pro Apparel Edition Compatible Platforms: Mac
Price to Upgrade: You can download Designer Pro Apparel Edition for a free trial. The upgraded price of the software is ₹5180.
Digital Fashion Pro 9
Digital Fashion Pro 9 offers a complete fashion designing start-up kit for your clothing line. The software provides tools to create fashion sketches as professionals. Digital Fashion Pro 9 also offers customizable clothing templates for designing all kinds of dresses.
Students and fashion designing institute widely use it. This free clothing design software is easy to use and does not require any prior sketching knowledge.
Features of Digital Fashion Pro 9:
- Photorealistic DFP sketches
- Option to incorporate logos, labels and artwork into your designs
- Simulation of screen printing, ripping and abrasions
- Customizable model poses for doing styling
Subscription Model: Free trial & paid
Digital Fashion Pro 9/Compatible Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Chromebook
Price to Upgrade: The Business plan is available at ₹ 22159, and you can get details regarding other paid plans by connecting with the vendor.
Virtual Fashion Basic 1.0
Virtual Fashion Basic 1.0 lets you visualize different styles and looks. The software provides modules for experimenting with colours and creating three-dimensional garments on different textures, fabrics, and true to life models.
VF Basic 1.0 also supports draping simulation to ensure that the garment always hangs in the desired ways.
Features of Virtual Fashion Basic 1.0:
- Reset simulation and progress bar
- Cloud collaboration
- 3D virtual simulations
- Patternmaker and brand manager
Subscription Model: Free to download
Virtual Fashion Basic 1.0/Compatible Platforms: Windows, Windows 2000/XP
Price to Upgrade: It’s a free fashion design software
Free Fashion Design Software for Art Inspiration
To create new product designs, designers need to have inspiration. Inspiration sources can include another piece of clothing, a movie, a pinboard, a piece of art, and more.
WGSN is a global fashion forecasting platform for consumer and design trends. It constantly monitors how consumers think, feel, and behave. As a result, designers can enhance their planning with colour and trend forecasts in 15 major product categories like footwear and accessories.
It also helps in validating product direction, saving time, and improving collaboration via data sharing.
- Royalty-free prints, graphics and CAD designs
- 250+ new reports and strategy guides
- Buyer’s guides
- City guides
- The feed for trends
- Early concepts for colour, material and style
- Commercial collections for retail drops
- Build colour palettes
- Image library
Price to Upgrade: You can opt for the WSGN demo. Subscription pricing is available on request.
Vogue Runway is an application that helps designers get inspiration from the latest collections from different designers. Users get unlimited access to the shows with clips capturing the catwalk, close-ups of collections and their details, front row sightings, backstage happenings, and more.
The archive also has more than a million runway images from over 12,000 fashion shows during the past decades.
Vogue Runway Features
- Archive of fashion shows and catwalk photos
- Save looks and collections to mood boards
- Livestreams for front row experience
- Thousands of street style photos
- Enable runway alerts
- Share looks and collections via email, SMS, social media platforms
- Reviews by internationally recognized writers
Price to Upgrade: Vogue Runway fashion design app is available for free download on Google Play or Apple store. For both print and digital Vogue Runway platforms, the subscription starts at INR 891.60 per year.
- What are the best free fashion design software for marketing?
Browzwear is a great 3D fashion design tool for marketing. It is easy for designers to work with the marketing team and other people in the chain, resulting in faster time to market.
- What are the best free fashion design software for manufacturing?
Blender is one of the best free fashion design software for manufacturing. It prevents material wastage and reduces production time.
Fashion design tools like CLO 3D and EdrawMax offer a free trial and are great for ensuring a smooth manufacturing process.
- What is the best program to design clothing for free?
Valentina is one of the best free clothing design software. Clothing designers use it to create unique patterns for the garments.
- What is the best app for designing clothes?
Adobe Illustrator is a great app for designing clothes. Designers can work on sketching, patternmaking, and creating their fashion illustrations with this vector graphics editor. Digital Fashion Pro is another popular clothing design app for designers.