Best Fashion Design Books

If you or someone you know is looking to get into fashion design, an instructive book on the subject is a perfect place to start. Designing and creating clothing is hardly simple, and there are countless terms and techniques you should know. With this in mind, we did some research and rounded up some of the best fashion design books on the market. We included an option all about pattern making, one detailing fabrics and sewing techniques and a comprehensive fashion dictionary with visuals. Each has something different to offer but will make you more knowledgeable about how to design fashionable shoes and apparel.

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1. Patternmaking for Fashion Design 5th Edition

This book offers detailed, yet easy-to-understand explanations of how patternmaking works. It provides complete coverage of the three steps of designing patterns: dart manipulation, added fullness and contouring.

Pros: It includes plenty of illustrations, diagrams and chapter projects to help you learn. Certain diagrams and instructions are highlighted in different colors to make following along easier for the reader. It’s offered as a hardcover or paperback book and as an e-book.

Cons: Some of the illustrations may be a bit dated in terms of style.

Patternmaking for Fashion Design
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

2. Fashionpedia: The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

The Fashionpedia is a visual fashion dictionary that covers all the technical terms from style to material to production with illustrations and infographics.

Pros: It contains comprehensive information but is easy to read. It has a sleek design.

Cons: Some may find it overly simplified.

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon

3. Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book, Second Edition

This book provides 125 swatches of the most recognized and widely used types of fabric. You’ll find natural fabrics like cottons, silks, wools and linens as well as synthetic fabrics such as nylons, polyesters and microfibers.

Pros: Fabrics made from alternative plant fibers like bamboo and hemp are also included. Their properties are explained alongside the swatches with diagrams and photographs of fashion garments illustrating their behavior. It also features a section on techniques like felting, weaving and knitting as well as practical information on sourcing fabrics, costing and testing them and fabric terminology.

Cons: It doesn’t have a glossary or index to help you find certain fabrics.

Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book, Second Edition
CREDIT: Courtesy of Amazon
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