In recent decades, with the advancement of digital software, its usage has been vastly recognized and valorized also in the fashion and textile industry. I accepted the challenge to get involved in a training programme for 3D Pattern Modelling and get prepared for the emerging digital transformation of the textile industry in our country. Future Skills Centre (FSC) in Tetovo gave me the opportunity to participate in such training which advanced my skills and understanding about digital technology in textile processing, and catalyzed my creativity. With this course in FSC, that was run by certified 3D Textile Modelling instructor, I was trained to develop more quality fashion products in and efficient manner. Before we go in-depth about the importance of 3D pattern modelling, let’s see what is pattern modelling.
Traditional Pattern Modelling
Pattern modelling is the blueprint and basis of every garment. Patterns are what bones are to the human body. Based on standard size charts, these measures are converted into 2D technical drawings known as patterns. These drawings are laid over on the fabric, to cut it and sew the garment.
Generally, there are two types of traditional ways of pattern making: Flat Pattern Making and Draping. Flat pattern making is the most industrially used way, where the pattern is drawn on paper based on standard size measurements. This method is widely used in the ready-to-wear
market because it is fast and accurate. Draping is made possible by using a cotton cloth known as muslin where you first drape the fabric to the desired shape on a mannequin and later from the draped pieces you create the patterns. This method is a lot more expensive and mostly used in High Fashion because it takes more time and materials.
3D Pattern Modelling
In the past few years, the fashion industry has started the use of 3D software to speed up the process of production. 3D pattern modelling in the fashion industry is the process of developing a 3D prototype out of a 2D digital pattern. With the help of 3D software, designers build a 3D garment directly on a digital avatar (model) of their desired size.
Many big fashion names like Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Superdry, and even smaller brands are incorporating 3D software in their design processes.
The benefits of using 3D softwares in the fashion industry are the following:
1. Speeds up production
3D pattern software increases production speed and productivity, shortening the process by weeks, even months. To get to a final prototype, every time you want to change something, you just change the pattern on the software, and automatically the change is shown on the avatar too. This saves a lot of time in comparison with the traditional way, where you would have to sew a new garment with every change.
2. Lowers prototypes costs
If the production is faster, the costs are automatically lower because it requires less time and labor in creating that prototype.
3. Reduces waste
The fashion and textile industry is the second largest polluter in the world, and using 3D software is environmentally important. Every time a change has to be made in the prototype; new fabric has to be used for that prototype to be sewn. Because of that, 3D modelling software reduces the usage of fabric and paper.
4. Better fit & understanding of the garment
With 3D software, designers can input information about the fabric which allows them to see how that fabric will react to a certain body and designed fit. With the help of stress maps, the problem areas can easily be adjusted.
5. Creating clothes using a 3D printer
3D printers can produce clothing made on 3D pattern software.
How the industry is reacting
The fashion and textile industries might be slower in adapting to the change in the digital age compared to the other industries. However, there is a big step towards implementing 3D technology. This movement started before the pandemic, but it was the lockdown that sped up the whole process. In comparison, the automotive industry has adopted using 3D versions of their cars for years now, and because of that 3D now is valuable for their sales and marketing.
I had the great pleasure and chance to participate in the 3D Pattern Modelling workshop organized by the Skills 4 Future Centre, where I was taught how to use the software VStitcher by Browzwear. Participating in this workshop has taught me how much more productive, time-saving, and sustainable can be pattern modelling using 3D software. Because of that, I implemented this way of working in my design processes for my brand. I would recommend using 3D software for everyone in the fashion industry, starting from fashion students to already-established professionals. Digital is the only way to go.
Skills in the EU
Unlike the World Economic Forum, which began to focus on “The Skills Revolution” as early as 2019 and especially in 2020, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, indicated a few days ago in her speech in the European Parliament that the next year 2023 will be the “Year of Skills” in the EU. It is good news in the direction of world needs and trends, but if one analyses her speech on this topic more deeply, three key moments will be noted:
Fashion has always been the moving force for innovation and trends. And this was and always is achieved because of the radical approach to things. There is no revolutionary design without experimentation. And that same spirit can be found in the usage of 3D patterns.
3D patterns are important to brands because they replace physical samples, and with that they reduce costs. And luckily, there are on the market several quality software products, such as VStitcher by Browzwear, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Young fashion professionals and students have the possibility, but also the responsibility to make fashion digital. It is our duty to digitally transform fashion.
- https://www.archeorg/blog/pattern-making-in-fashion-design/ #:~:text=Pattern%20Making%20is%20a%20blueprint,garments%20are%20made%20from%20th em
- https://wfibre2fashion.com/industry-article/5658/basics-of-pattern- making#:~:text=It%20is%20the%20art%20of,the%20garment%20components%20(Cooklin)
- https://techpacker.com/blog/design/what-is-3d-fashion-design/ #:~:text=3D%20in%20fashion%20design%20is,quickly%20and%20with%20less%20waste
- https://www.forbes.com/sites/cathyhackl/2021/10/17/fashion-in-3d-an-opportunity-for- greater-innovation/?sh=7d3ec4dd7a5a