Learning Paths

Using Illustrator in the Fashion and Textile industry

Bespoke Illustrator Training in the Fashion industry

I recently ran a bespoke course for university graduates looking to upskill their textile design portfolio  The job market in the fashion industry and for recent graduates has become increasingly competitive.

I enjoyed teaching this course, as it was a very interactive course between the delegates and myself, in terms of questions being asked and problem solving required, so keeping me on my toes. I often find the bespoke course more rewarding, as you are solving unique and more real-world problems that will help delegates produce work and save time.

The delegates were also very engaged as they were learning new skills, but more importantly learning solutions for problems they had, and were very happy with the solutions given.

Although I have worked as an Illustrator for many years, I’m not a fashion or textile illustrator. I created the course myself as I found that many delegates attending the Illustrator 101/201 course were from that industry. Due to the nature of the Illustrator 101/201 courses there is no time to focus on textile or fashion illustration in detail, as the courses are more generic. Teaching delegates who had trained in this industry confirmed that I have acquired a great amount of knowledge about his industry, and was able to train it confidently, which is also reassuring.

Although the delegates were university trained, through interesting discussions they informed me that they were taught traditional skills and not digital skills, hence the reason they were on the course. Unfortunately for many students it seems that universities aren’t giving them the necessary skills for employment. Which of course is bad for them, but good for Academy Class.

The course centered on mainly making patterns, using the new pattern tool in Illustrator CS6. Delegates enjoyed the ease of use of the pattern tool with the advantage of the Appearance panel to layer up patterns and transform different fills. Many questions were focused on how multiple fill patterns could be used to stimulate fabric textures (see image). One of the delegates did not have CS6 so we created pattern tool functionality using CS5 as well – delighting the delegate.

Tweed pattern with fabric texture effect

Brushes also was another main are of focus, used to simulate stitching patterns on fabrics, for example cross stitching, zips (see image) etc. Once again the delegates were excited about the potential of this feature.

Zipper brush pattern






Many resources were shared with the delegates, such as websites about fashion design and Adobe Illustrator such as designersnexus.com