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Starting Private Label Clothing: How to Design Your Own Clothes

A wiki guide on how to design your own clothes and a quick overview of the tech pack and its components.


Learn how to design your own clothes is important to build you private label clothing brand

Having your own private label clothing line used to be a business venture limited only for those who have a hefty budget. However, times have changed wherein garment manufacturing is now possible for small scale business owners without the need to worry about massive production complexity as long as you know how to design your own clothes. Some people even see that small startup brands benefit most from current fashion trends. There are already a lot of small batch clothing brands out there who have thrived and took their respective businesses a notch higher. How to design your own clothes has never interested more people. Here is your guide on how to start a private label clothing with clothes based on your own designs.

Things you have to Learn

1. Learn how to draw.

Clothing designs start off as ideas but no one would really understand them until there are visual manifestations of these ideas. This is where your illustration skills play their part on how to design your own clothes. You do not really have to be a drawing virtuoso but at least you can be good enough to draw out your designs as a basis for a tech pack which you can use for potential private label clothing manufacturers.

2. Get acquainted with sewing.

Sewing is the medium of your clothing designs. Even if your interest does not really lean towards this craft and is more biased towards design, you need to understand this is a prerequisite in starting a private label clothing line. You really do not have to know how to sew but at least be knowledgeable of sewing types, patterns and categories.

3. Understand design theory.

Simple and basic designs do attract customers but as a clothing line owner, you would usually not want to settle in simply creating basic designs for all your operations. You would want to innovate, and the key to design innovation is to understand the principles of design theory which allows you to look at things in a different perspective and reach out to your inner creativity.

4. Get into fashion.

There are no written rules on how to design your own clothes. However, you have to keep in mind you are selling products here and you are not only doing this business to feed your artistry. This is why the need to be in touch with fashion and knowing what is trendy is important to apply to your clothing designs. Look what other clothing product design firms are doing.

5. Be resourceful.

There are tons of things to learn and you might feel there is too much work involved in starting a clothing line. The key in here is to be resourceful and take advantage of whatever tools and resources you have to fulfil your goal. It would be even better if you are able to hit two birds with one stone through tutorials which cover multiple topics/skills.

How to design your own clothes: take advantage of color palettes

Design Innovation in Apparel

You may think it is already impossible to come up with innovative designs for garments and apparel because all of those ideas might have already been thought of. However, there should always be something available out there which is still modern and new to the eyes of consumers. Ideas would never run out and there is an infinite possibilities of designs in the world of garments. Here are a few tips on how to ready yourself for design conception.

1. Stick with what you are passionate about.

Your passion is what drives you to create designs. It provides unmatched inspiration which excites you to do work and think of something you really love. Ideas out of inspirations could come in different forms such as an abstract design, a combination of colors to create the perfect shade, a different take on a trend, etc. Whatever the idea may be, you are rest assured you are sticking to what you are passionate about and what you really love to do. Instagram can be a great source and it’s even changing fashion fundamentally.

However, even though you are sticking with what you love for inspiration, you must not be selfish enough and forget to consider potential consumers who will purchase your possible product in the market. Your customers should always be on top of the priority levels.

2. Consider your fabric material.

Some designs are not suitable for any type of material or fabric. There has to be a specific fabric/material which could match the design you have created. You should consider the fabric/material you will use upon design conception. It does not have to be the initial framework of design conception and it could simply be an afterthought but most importantly, it is put into consideration.

3. Experiment with colors and patterns.

The main concept of design innovation is definitely not sticking to what is traditional and common. It is about taking design conception to a new level which could involve experimentation. The best aspect which you could try experimentation is in the colors and pattern section. Be brave enough to try out color combinations and even try go out of your comfort zone with color preferences. Ideally you can create different samples and prototypes with product development companies or just at home.

How to design your own clothes: sketch or draw your designs

Design Presentation to Potential Manufacturers

If you are still new to the world of manufacturing, then the term “tech pack” might sound obscure to you. Factories and garment manufacturers will not understand your design unless it comes as a tech pack. A tech pack (a.k.a technical packet) is a set of documents presented by the product designer to the manufacturer relaying all of the specifications and info on the product to make it easier to manufacture. Any garment factory in the world can work with these files if prepared correctly.

How to create a professional tech pack?

The illustration of your design must include different views such as front side, back side or even different angles if necessary. Other components included in the tech pack is material and fabric to be used on the garment. You should also include measurement and size specifications and might as well add up the accessories and extras needed for the product. With all these specifications, it will make it easier for the manufacturer to give suggestions and finalize sampling.


There are other things to consider when you start a private label clothing but the important matters when it comes to design conception have already been discussed above. Take note of these tips and know how to design your own clothes in no time. Also don’t forget to check out our many other articles on clothing manufacturing.

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