3D Fashion Design & TEXTILE PRINT SCALING

Textile prints are an essential element in apparel design. Companies use textile prints to create unique items that match up to basics. Textile prints are usually more expensive to produce and require a good eye for scale. 3D ideation with textile print and scale with the design concept is a technique I use more often than any other technique. It reduces the “would have, could have, should have” variables.


Designers can consider a few things when dealing with this scale of print aspect.

  • Can we find a scale that applies to the full range of sizes without causing a decrease in esthetic values to the consumer?

  • Can we find a print that will not make shapes of bodies look poorly proportioned?

  • Can we use one print and one scale of textiles across all sizes to ensure a low waste production phase?

  • Is the print timeless? This will also make the item more viable when it hits a vintage/ resale market. Reduces landfill waste.


The pant silhouette for the plus-size range (image 1.1) is a bit more flattering in a skinny/straight leg trouser. However, the print is now the problem that needs to be addressed. In the (1.1 image) some key aspects of the design may be addressed.

  • Does the print draw attention to areas of the body that the consumer is uncomfortable with?

  • Maybe the colors of the print can be changed to make the item look more slimming?

  • Maybe the team keeps the bottom basic with accents using the textile. Then develop a top or blazer that can bring the two items together?

  • By the item time item is produced and ready for sale in the print or scale still relevant?

3D design ideation challenges the brands to think of designs as an end product, rather than a range of separate parts. Many of the smaller companies I work with saved time, money, and increase sales as a result of the 3D idea process. Other

improvement clients have experienced from the 3d process, include:

  • Improved understanding of art theory and special relationships

  • Understanding of what is naturally proportionate on different shapes

  • Better decision making in expenditures.


1.1 print scale test

Image of textile repeats

We can see the approach to textile prints is one that is truly benefited in the 3D ideation process. It is also worth the money required in the design process. For example, a Designer fee for these projects maybe $50.00 an hour.

The 3D design process may save money due to clear concepts and testing. Fashion flat sketches can only solve some of the problems. No physical sample fees or pattern drafting fees are initiated as a result of clear concepts. The other cost that may be saved is purchasing the pattern license from an artist. The example below is how this process has been actualized using the practice.


1.1 Scale of textile.

1.2 Little Miss Tennis Hula in Hawaii

The next image (1.3) shows how prints can be used on items that might be able to scale in body size. For example, the blazer can be worn from a 2-32. While the pant silhouette may change from one size range to another. Or multiple pant fits will be offered. The sweater can also be shared across all sizes.


Scale and Style Options Some items designers pick as basics can usually scale through size ranges. Often times in solid textiles and fabrics that can work with shapes a bit better. For example, the 8 Gore dress (1.4) is a great example of a stable item that fits many shapes & sizes. The style and cut of patterns allow for the item to drape in a comfortable and unified manner for the user experience. It is an item that can be worn across the decades, so it’s a sustainable approach to design. This can be cost-effective for both the customer and the company as a result of a long-lasting, successful garment that can fit a range of customer needs and shapes.



1.4 8-gore dress on different shapes

Merchandising & Product Knowledge

The process of sharing images like the pant or the 8-gore dress (1.4) can be a form of sales/ Merchandise planning. These same images can be used within fit blogs and educational videos; either internally or externally used. It's important to note that as stated above, many other industries benefit by sharing more information. Some of the following areas use images like this to educate consumers.

  • Cosmetics- Youtube leads the way in cosmetic hacks and how to’s

  • Culinary- several blogs and videos are shared with consumers. Recipes and directions are also shared on labeling to ensure consumer use is beneficial.

  • Automotive: Elon Musk used open lines of communication to educate consumers on the problems TESLA wants to solve.

  • Interior Design: Companies and TV stations fully dedicated to teaching homeowners and others about decorating, and upkeep in living spaces.

So the big question is why have apparel brands not adopted the same level of information about body shapes, fit, styling, and process that is required in the industry? Has this lack of approach also cheapened the STEAM work that is required to design apparel? This lack of merchandise planning via 3d could also be causing companies to the increased dead product, increasing the need to lower prices as a result of ineffective merchandising.



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