The Best 8 Free and Open Source Fashion Design Software

Updated on :January 05, 2022
By :Sophia Jayden

Fashion is a trend that prevails with a particular time and context. It is an art, an expression. A justifiable fashion designing lets you create clothing wearable and fashionable. Only by anticipating the customers’ requirements, and by adapting to the new markets, new trends, and new technologies, one can fulfill the needs of fashion designing. Creative designing is absolutely the culture of the fashion industry. Potential turns always prompt concern! Traditional systems and operating models will no longer work if you are in this business today and looking for sustainable growth. Investing in a suitable online fashion design software solution can be a best practice to allow a more competitive edge and increase the odds of success. Free and open source fashion desgin software solutions are ideal for individuals,  startups and small scale fashion set-ups.

“Only brands that self-disrupt will emerge as the winners”

After all, it is all about results, reputation, sustainability, short-term profitability, and customer experience. 

The following sections of this article will walk you through how to use fashion design software, grow your customers, monetize, and everything you need to know about fashion designing. You just have to follow the guidelines, check out the features, and study the details of each software solution if you get stuck.

Fashion Designing then and now

Charles Frederick Worth took the first initiative back in 1826 to be known as the first fashion designer of the world. His fashion house, “House of Worth” in Paris was big talk of the town. Precisely, this was the reason for Paris to become the very first fashion capital. Initially, it was more of “Haute Couture,” where garments were designed exclusively for the Princess and other wealthy individuals. Later, fashion designers started practicing mass production of garments. Brand names, labels took its position. Fashion designing has evolved with time. Today, it is not just designing clothes, but it is all about style and comfort, in addition to other elements too. Technology is expanding the horizon and is contributing to the betterment of this industry.

From the stiff Victorian-era style, the progress is more towards the freedom to experiment with different styles and patterns with the help of fashion designing tools and systems.

Valentino Garavani, Giorgio Armani, Coco Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Kate Spade, Betsey Johnson, Marc Jacobs are some of the top fashion designers. 

How Does A Fashion Designer Design A Garment?

how fashion designer design

Critical Challenges Faced by the Fashion Industry Today

The fashion design industry in this era is facing several challenges. Let us see them in detail in the below picture;

critical challenges in fashion designing

Benefits of Fashion Design Software

Fashion design software comes with several benefits. Users can effortlessly coordinate and control several workflows in real-time due to digitalization, along with the growth of online tools and software solutions.  Almost, all online fashion design software solutions come with ready-to-use templates making it easier for even a beginner to test and use the software effortlessly. A designer can work with multiple designs and view his creations before even he starts cutting the clothes. Secure collaboration makes smoother workflows. There is a considerable cost cut, and this contributes to more productivity. Have a look at the image below;

Benefits of fashion design software

Key Features of Fashion Design Software

Some of the top fashion design software solutions come with exceptional features that give complete freedom to the designers to expand his/her creativity and work smoothly. Right from pattern grading, till material development, there are systems to help a designer follow a rhythm.

key features of fashion design software

What are the best software solutions for designing clothes?

Leaning on several years of experience; understanding, developing, and creating hundreds of studies on some of the best software solutions, we at GoodFirms have deconstructed a list of eight free, open source and popular fashion design software down to their core ingredients.

Browse the sections below and expect to come away with:

  • A new perspective on some of the most-utilized fashion designing software across the fashion industry
  • Examples of top free and open source fashion design software to inspire you
  • Pro tips for kicking your fashion designing business up a notch. 

The list outlined here covers a few top rated free and open source fashion design software.  These software solutions have good reviews on GoodFirms platform and the satisfaction score keeps increasing whenever the software solutions are ranked by users.

top fashion design software

List of the Best 8 Free and Open Source Fashion Design Software

fashion design software

#1 Valentina

Valentina is a free and open source pattern drafting software solution. The software is widely used by small designers, individuals, small and medium-sized textile creators, and many in the garment industry. With its easy-to-use features and powerful automated workflows, Valentina is re-shaping the designing and manufacturing of garments. The software allows its users to understand colours, styles, patterns, and aesthetic features to deliver the end-product that aligns with the customers. Every product designed with Valentina turns out to be a stylish and fast fashion design. The software, as indicated, is popular among the contemporary pattern makers. Valentina was first initiated by Roman Telezhinsky back in 2013. Valentina and Seamly2D currently share the project.


(Image source: Valentina)

  Key Features:

  • Over fifty pattern making systems
  • Unique patterns
  • Patterns based on mathematical formula
  • Instruction-based drawing tools
  • Compatible with multiple systems
  • Easy-to-create smart design templates 
  • Forum for support
  • Easy synchronization
  • Easy-to-download, test and create patterns

With Valentina, you can create viable and affordable clothes quickly and easily. 

# 2 Blender

Blender is a free and open source fashion design software solution packed with 3D creation suite.  The software is suitable for both individuals and fashion design studios.  It runs on Linux, Windows, and Mac computers.

Blender fashion design software

(Image Source: Blender)

Key Features:

This free fashion design software supports the complete requirements of a fashion designer including;

  • Modelling
  • Rigging
  • Animation
  • Simulation
  • Rendering
  • Compositing
  • Motion tracking
  • Video editing
  • 2D animation

The cycles for rendering covers geometry, shading, lighting, subdivision & displacement, interactivity, layers & passes, camera & effects, motion blur, volumes, and textures. Moreover, the newly added Freestyle cycle extends the facility to draw lines under both Python scripting, and Parameter Editor. Under this facility, it gets easier for the users to draw various line styles to make shapes. Also, one can pre-visualize with great accuracy both offline and in real-time.

Conformal & Angle-based unwrapping right inside the Blender.

Integration with multiple pipeline tools is yet another key feature of this software.

Creating, sculpting and editing models are much easier with Blender free and open source fashion design software.

# 3 Tailornova

Create unlimited designs easily and quickly with Tailornova fashion design software. With 3D simulation facility, fit customization and intermixable templates, the software makes even a non-creative person to be more creative. The software is completely web-based and is easy to use. Users are sure to have fun by just pointing and clicking the patterns and sketches that fit them and make their own design in just a few minutes.


(Image source: Tailornova)

Key features:

  • Intermixable templates
  • Templates come in 10 different lengths
  • Vector 2D flat sketches
  • Custom-fit pattern
  • 3D FitModel
  • Automated pattern measurements
  • Pre-determined ease settings
  • Ease adjustment
  • Sewing instructions
  • Option to PDF patterns and print out
  • Ecommerce Integration
  • Garment simulation

# 4 Pattern Design Software

Pattern Design Software is a product of EFI Optitex. The software is an end-to-end fashion design software solution that allows its users to design, develop, and produce fashionable garments in a very cost-effective way. The software is aimed at offering an eco-friendly design workflow with a holistic approach. Users have a major benefit of saving time and cost. With complete automation, fashion designing is made simple and efficient with this software.

EFI Optitex claims to help you save approximately 60 percent of your production time. It also supports true-to-life virtual samples, enabling a better outcome, and minimal wastage. Users can quickly visualize fabric, colors, and patterns before the end outcome, and have the freedom to modify print patterns by easily adjusting the graphic placements. It all sums up to the faster-to-market facility.


(Image source:EFI Optitex)

Key Features:

  • 3D Design illustrator
  • 2D pattern samples
  • Virtual images
  • Facility to showcase virtual samples in 3D environment
  • Collaborates with cutting layout tool - Marker
  • Facility to reduce fabric roll inventory
  • Automated order management tool
  • Orchestration tool
  • Customizable fabric and textures
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • SaaS showroom for digital display
  • Facility to share digital workspace
  • Real-time validation

# 5 Browzwear

Browzwear is one of the top-rated fashion design software tools that come with a comprehensive set of functions, and features to empower 3D fashion designing. The software is ideal for designers, creative developers, marketers, and production teams. Its true-to-life 3D designs allow users to be more creative and get their finished goods to market quickly. Retailers and brands can have minimal iterations and samples, cut down waste, cut cost much before the launch of their products. It extends the feasibility to manufacture design as per the specifications. Browzwear currently comes with 5 editions, each catering to specific requirements of the designers.


(Image Source: Browzwear)

Key Features:

  • Trailblazing technology
  • True-to-life 3D images
  • Flexible and powerful dashboard
  • Advanced consulting & Integrated service with open platform
  • Create designs with Vstitcher
  • Create new styles and a variety of designs with Lotta
  • Collaborate and merchandize with Stylezone
  • Facility to design for manufacturing with Smart Design
  • Automatically analyze the fabric with Fabric Analyzer
  • Realistic 3 D simulation
  • Improved accuracy

# 6 SnapFashun

Termed as the most convenient, affordable, and easy-to-use software, SanpFashun is one of the most popular fashion design software developed keeping fashion designing students and experts in mind. The software offers thousands of free templates and sketches to facilitate fashion designers to create custom designs easily.  Free trials and free version of this software enables one to test and try before investing in the software.


(Image Source: SnapFashun)

Key Features

  • Simple Intuitive dashboard
  • Interactive preset SnapLibraries
  • Multiple Categories
  • Free templates and sketchbooks
  • Syncs well with Adobe Illustrator CC
  • Compatible with Windows and OS X
  • Easy to store and retrieve sketches
  • Drag and drop facility
  • Facility to add new SnapLibraries
  • Work on multiple windows
  • Preview of the sketch in a larger image
  • Easy to search and sort sketches

The software comes with 6 SnapLibraries – Women’s collection, Men’s collection, Costume, In-store, Kids, Handbag collections. Each SnapLibrary contains hundreds of sketches and details which can be snapped and swapped to make a customized pattern and design. SnapFashun is ideal for students, fashion designing teachers, stylists, fashion merchandisers, fashion designers, individuals, and DIY communities.

# 7 Edraw Max

Edraw Max is a simple, flexible, and powerful fashion design software solution that comes with a wide collection of samples and clothing patterns in addition to a variety of styles and sketches. Fashion designing any garment is easier with this vector-based free fashion design software. Users can customize, and add any colour, and any design to the vector images, and create a new look with Edraw Max. The software also has special features that allow users to prepare charts, presentation using the sketches that they have already picked. 

Edraw Max

(Image Source: Edraw Max)

Key Features:

  • Huge collections of templates and styles
  • Excellent file compatibility
  • User-friendly interface
  • Drag and drop facility
  • Vector-based designs
  • High-quality outputs
  • Sample cloth clipart
  • Predefined themes and colors

#8 Clo

Creating a simple, t-shirt in just 2 minutes is absolutely possible with Clo, the most popular fashion design software available today. The software comes with an internal renderer that allows users to create realistic, high-quality images. With Clo, one can create 3D garments with a variety of images and sketches available within the software.  The software is available in multiple languages.

Clo fashion design software is available for individuals, small business, and entrepreneurs.


(Image Source: Clo)

Key Features:

  • Modular design
  • Internal renderer
  • 3D simulator
  • Fabric kit
  • Segment sewing
  • Auto grading
  • Facility to merge patterns
  • Facility to add the hardware items like buttons, zipper, etc         
  • Fabric fine-tuner
  • View, measure, arrange and edit Avatar style
  • Create unlimited graphic placements
  • Unlimited colourways
  • Engineered print layouts
  • Turntable images & videos
  • Easy collaboration via closet
  • Compatible with multiple external applications
  • Personalized user training & support

Start Clo with a 30 days free trial!

CorelDraw, C-Design, Wild Ginger are other options that we can suggest to you.


The Fashion design industry is growing at a high pace. Robots are sewing and cutting clothes; AI technologies are put to action to predict trends; Virtual realities are creating virtual models. Workflows are automated and personalized to speed up every element of fashion designing today.

Just wanted to give one more nudge about this!

Recognizing, understanding, and managing the nitty-gritty’s of fashion designing is critical to leading the business effectively.

The above sections are sure to offer a proven research study showing how each fashion design software solution can create an impact on your fashion business. Besides, you can also gain practical advice on how to use each of the software solutions mentioned above.

Oh, and you may even check our exclusive list of best fashion design software. The list is a complete package, and there is nothing better out there for beginning fashion business users.

Also, do not miss out the other categories listings too.

And, remember to leave your feedback. Cheers!

Sophia Jayden
Sophia Jayden

Sophia Jayden is a senior writer and content marketing specialist. She has 10+ years’ experience in content writing and marketing. Currently, she is a staff writer at GoodFirms, a pioneering B2B research, review and rating platform. For more information about her work, you can reach out and start a conversation with her at [email protected].