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Flats VS Sketches

There always appears to be an uphill battle between technical sketches or flats and creative drawings or fashion sketches. Both of them play important roles at different stages of fashion production and development yet they are vastly different and are often compared and get confused one for another.

It is essential for any fashion designer to understand the difference between the two and how they are used in the fashion industry. Let’s begin with the technical sketches. You will come across them pretty much on every page of a tech pack. They are purposefully simple and lacking any splendour and vitality. Flats are 2D drawings of the garment.

This is what will be sent to your garment manufacturer when requesting a quotation. Garment factories do not like to see fashion sketches in the tech packs. Creative fashion drawings as much as they are beautiful to observe, are very distractive. They do not deliver important information to the garment technician and they lack the appropriate details such as stitching lines, internal finishes of the garment and other vital information concerning the garment construction. 

Technical Flat is 2D impression of a garment.


A well-drawn flat will give you an impression of a garment laying flat on the table with every seam and stitching line clearly visible.

There will be a front and back view of the garment and, additionally, it may contain size views and x-rays of certain areas of the garment as an optional extra.

The main purpose of a technical drawing is to assist fashion designers to clearly communicate the construction of the design with the garment factory team.

Comprehensive drawings with minimal or no text are useful, particularly if there is a language barrier with the factory technical team.

Flats can be hand-drawn or created with vector drawing software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.

Fashion Sketches Convey Mood

We would always encourage designers to use the help of a skilled garment technician to create flats and to double-check them on another platform if you do not have the necessary knowledge to do it independently. 

Ultimately, the success of your fashion production is on the line. These technical and unimaginative drawings play significant roles in the garment development and production stages.

Fashion sketches, on the other hand, are full of colours and vibrancy. Sketches are fashion illustrations of the garments. They convey moods, communicate ideas, inspire and sell garments.

Body shapes could be deliberately skewed out of proportion and balance to make an accent on certain elements of the style. For a fashion designer, learning how to express your ideas through fashion sketches is one of the most important things in the creative journey.

Clothing Sketch

In contrast to flat drawings, creative illustrations are difficult to outsource. This is one method of bringing your ideas to life!

Sketches can either be done freehand, using a template croquis, or done digitally. The internet is filled with resources on how to start drawing sketches using croquis. We came across several that we liked and decided to share with you:

Wikihow (https://www.wikihow.com/Draw-Fashion-Sketches)is a popular destination for simple how-to ideas. They have also delivered a quick and comprehensive 6-part lesson on fashion sketches. There is a useful Q&A community section where you can pose questions and receive answers on various topics such as what pencil to use for fashion sketches and the possibility of entering the fashion design industry despite limited drawing skills, etc.

‘A Complete Guide to Fashion Sketchbooks' from seamworks.net is a page worth visiting if you would like to explore fashion drawings in further detail.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to learn more about tech packs, fashion production or need help with managing your team. 

Here at Fashion production Academy, we have a wealth of manufacturing and mentoring experience and will be happy to assist with your endeavours.


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