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Brandi (Coatesville, PA)
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LEARNING THE LINGO: FASHION TERMS
FASHION TERMS TO KNOW
Fashion Design Tutorials
How to Become a Fashion Designer ( Part 4 )
When it’s time for that big job interview, don’t get thrown off-guard when an
interviewer uses fashion terms you don’t know. Make sure you’re familiar with
the common fashion terminology listed below. You might even try using some
yourself to really impress!
(click highlighted terms for examples)
Fashion Illustrations: Used most often in fashion design portfolios, these
stylized fashion figure drawings are what most people think of when talking
about “fashion design”. While fashion schools focus heavily on fashion
illustrations, they are rarely used by designers in the apparel industry. Despite
this, fashion illustrations are still used in fashion design portfolios, because
they demonstrate a fashion designer’s sketching skills and individuality, adding
a “wow” factor to their presentation.
Mood Board: Used often in fashion portfolio layouts, a fashion mood board
is placed at the beginning of each design group and contains images, fabric
swatches, trims, and other findings, which express the mood, inspiration and
color story for the collection of apparel designs that follow.
2015 Ram 1500 Sport
Stock #: 150254
Cochrane Dodge Chrysler
Flats: Flat sketches, better known in the fashion industry as “flats”, are black
and white fashion technical drawings that show a garment as if it were laid
“flat” to display all seams, hardware, and any other design details. While they
can be drawn by hand, nowadays fashion flats are usually sketched using
computer software such as Adobe Illustrator. Always included in design
packages and tech packs, they serve as an important reference for
patternmakers, merchandisers, as well as production and sales teams, and
manufacturers. Flats are an absolute must in every apparel design room.
Line Sheet: A fashion line sheet is a reference guide used by salespeople and
buyers when discussing and presenting am apparel collection to buyers.
Typically, several garment styles are listed on one page and the following
information is included for each style: a black and white flat sketch, style
number, season, price, delivery date / order cut-off date, color, and fabric
information. Fashion line sheets usually contain actual fabric swatches as well.
CADs: Fashion CADs, (Computer Aided Designs) are computerized, color
rendered, flat sketches that simulate the appearance of an actual garment. As
a basic rule of thumb, the more realistic the CAD sketch is – the better. CAD
sketches are often used as visual aids during sales presentations, and can
serve as a sample substitute when an actual sample is not yet available. They
are often sent to buyers for visual references.
Presentation Boards: Most fashion presentation boards are simply CADs,
except they are presented in a nicer layout. Usually including fabric swatches
or artwork, they are preferred by most sales people for presentations. Even
when real samples are available, they add variety to an already existing style.
Specs: Sample specifications or “specs” are garment measurements and
details that are included in design packages and tech packs. Many apparel
specs are shown along with fashion flat sketches, and are important to sample
Tech Pack: Also known as design packages, tech packs are vital to the
garment production process. Usually they contain fully detailed fashion flats
and specs, topstitching and hardware details, any necessary artwork layouts,
and basically any other information required to produce a sample garment.
Tech packs are sent to factories to make apparel samples for approval.
Fits: Fits, or garment fittings, is the process of making sure a sample garment
meets all necessary measurement and detail specifications to achieve the
desired fit. Conducted by technical designers, the apparel fitting process
involves measuring a sample garment, checking all hardware, topstitching and
details, and communicating any necessary comments or revisions with
Grades / Grading: When the fit of a sample garment is approved, a size
grade will be sent to the factories to begin production. A size grade is a chart
containing measurements for the ordered size range of an approved style.
Color Card: The specific color themes used in each season’s fashion line are
chosen from color forecasting services. Color cards are then assembled for
fashion presentations, combining forecasted colors with standard popular
Yarn Dyed: Fabric that is woven with yarns that were dyed before weaving.
Most good quality fabrics are yarn dyed.
Piece Dyed: Fabric that is dyed in a vat by the bolt (full piece) after it is
Lab-dips: Lab dips are conducted by factories to provide a visual aid of how a
color will look when it is dyed. Since the lab dip is produced in a beaker and is
not an actual production run, the actual production sample will vary from the
lab dip that is provided. When the goods are dyed in a real production run, the
conditions are dramatically different from the laboratory. Production does not
begin on fabric unless a lab dip is approved or the customer waives the lab dip
Textile Design: Quite often in the apparel industry, fashion designers are
involved in the process of creating textile designes, which is artwork for prints,
plaids, or stripes to be used in fabric development and production.
Strike-off: A test sample of printed fabric made to show and verify color and
pattern before entering into production on larger quantities.
Pitch Sheet: A pitch sheet shows a full repeat of a textile design and contains
samples of the individual colors included in that print. Pitch sheets are used by
factories to produce strike-offs for approval.