Thought to Floor: Know the recipe


Fashion design is a vast subject that requires a lot of knowledge. There is a recipe that goes into every piece that provide flavor and taste.

One thing I find so many clients do is refer to styles with their own terms. This is great when you want to apply those titles at home, but in the manufacturing world of fashion, it isn’t. Using definitions help define what you really want. Think of this like grammar class for fashion. Several formally trained designers can help you learn this process.  I was privilege to learn from masters like Nancy Riegalman. But you can learn with her book. The 9 HEADS is a industry standard, used to train designers on drawing and design terms.

Here are examples of skirt designs with technical names. Books like 9 heads will help you visualize and communicate better with the contractors that try to help you.


The next part is understanding fabric. Textile make up 70% of your recipe. Think of it like baking a cake. You do your research to find the best recipe possible for the occasion. The same philosophy should apply to your business. Doing the research and knowing what to call it, will save time and money. Otherwise it can feel like a overwhelming and costly.

Here are some basic principles of textiles you should know.


Woven: Textiles created with a warp and weft.  Below are some examples of weaving drafts.

Twill with same weave plan but changes to threads

Twill with same weave plan but changes to threads

 Knits are generally more stretchy. T-shirts, sweaters, and sweat pants are generally made of knit materials.

Interlock Knit

Interlock Knit

Rib knits

Rib knits

Choice in fabric with designate how the design is best made. Knits are more body conscious. Knits require less seaming, and a different pattern development is used to create the design. Woven can be highly tailored and used for suits, blouses, jeans, and more.

If you are designing a line, get to know your recipe! Fabric also designates your care labels, prints, dye/color type, target market, and level of design your doing.

Fortunately the language is easy to learn and will help you communicate better. The apparel industry is filled with straight shooters that will call you out on what you don’t know. I find many clients can develop a level of high level of frustration and hurt ego. Save yourself the pain.

Happy learning!!!


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