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  • Mikelle Drew

Which fashion tech pack software should You Use?

Which fashion tech pack software should you use?
Which fashion tech pack software should you use?

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We all know how important a tech pack is to producing garments for a fashion brand. (And in the words of the Notorious BIG, “If you don’t know, now you know.”)

Quiet as it’s kept, tech packs are a major part of a designer’s job, so it’s to our advantage to find ways to make the process as efficient as possible. Enter tech pack software! But, there’s quite a few options: Illustrator, PLM, Techpacker. So, which one is going to be the best choice for you?

And though you might think, “Eh, I’ll just use Excel”, I want to invite you to really think about and make a decision based on what’s going to work best for your brand.

Each option has pros and cons, and each option may or may not work best for you or for the stage at which your brand is. You may find that you start with one thing, but eventually evolve to something else as your brand gets bigger and your needs become more complex.

Adobe Illustrator

The route most designers initially take when creating a tech pack is Adobe Illustrator. Since you’re already in the program creating your flat sketch and you’re familiar with the program, many people like this as an easy option and a no brainer.

And this is how I created all of my tech packs initially for that very reason. I didn’t see any reason to switch to another program when the majority of the work (which at the time was the flat sketch) was being done in Illustrator.

African American women looking at a tech pack done in Adobe Illustrator.
Creating a fashion tech pack in Illustrator.

I’ve since moved on to other options because once you get to the BOM’s and some of the other charts in a tech pack, it can become a little cumbersome in Illustrator. It’s a lot easier to create charts in a spreadsheet or database application than one meant for drawing. And although it’s possible, it’s not what’s most efficient.

Excel or Google Sheets

The next option designers tend to gravitate toward is Excel. The great thing about Excel is that it’s universal and easily accessible. And if you need to substitute Google Sheets, it works as well as Excel, and of course, it’s a free application.

If you’re a smaller brand and just starting out, this is what I would suggest to start with. A great flat sketch, a good tech pack template, and some time spent on adding complete information will give you great results. And if you need a tech pack template to use, you can download this one for free!

The nice thing about using software like Illustrator and/or Excel and Google sheets is that they ARE more universal and easily accessible programs, so if you eventually decide to hire someone to help you, you’ll probably find a larger pool of people who know how to use these programs, something you don’t always think about.

Smaller Brand-friendly Tech Pack Software

There are a few programs out there that specifically focus on creating fashion tech packs, and they make it very easy for you to create one. Probably the one I’ve heard the most about is Tech