What is the difference between technical sketches and fashion illustration?



A garment starts as an idea in your mind. Unfortunately, the factory staff can’t read your mind. The best thing you can do is describe the garment using pictures and numbers. (We will talk about numbers in the measurements chapter.)

Not just any picture will do. The pictures must be technical sketches because garments have three dimensional patterns and constructions. Technical sketches illustrate details like fit, drape and styling. They bridge the gap between a creative designer and a garment technician.

Tech Pack Technical Sketch

What makes a sketch technical? The technical sketch does not include a model. It’s just the garment. It is done in black and white. There is usually a front and back view. If there are complicated features then include additional sketches to highlight the details.

Callouts should not be added to the technical drawing.

The Cutting Class website has an in-depth article that gives seven tips for making a great technical sketch. Check it out!

Know the difference between a fashion illustration and technical sketch. They are very different. A fashion illustration includes the model and colors. It is inspiring, emotional and artistic. A fashion illustration does not highlight technical details.

Tech Pack fashion Illustration
Diep is a technical fashion designer in Vietnam and she likens technical sketches to architectural blue prints. She says, "without technical sketches, the factory will not be able to understand your design. I have seen designs where technical sketches were not done, they were carried over from previous season or developed from another production order with minor changes. The brand uses marked up photos to indicate changes. They expect a factory to make counter samples from the photos. These styles can skip prototyping and fit sampling. They go straight to production with just one pre-production check. The changes must be very simple and easy for the factory to understand."



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