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So you have an idea for a design, what next?

You don’t need to be a designer or fashion school graduate to have your own range.  You do need to have a clear idea of the design and how you want the finished garment / item to look.   

The next step is to turn your ideas into a finished design and patterns that can be manufactured into finished garments. If you have design flair there are courses you can study to learn about fashion design and technology, but the quickest and best option is to hire a freelance designer.  There is a list of designers in our directory that we work with on a regular basis.

If you have an idea that you think is unique then you might want to consider registering your intellectual property rights on the design. This takes time and can cost a lot of money so needs careful consideration. 

The designer will need to understand what it is you want them to create and what fabrics you want to use. You can draw your ideas on a scrap of paper, do CAD images on a computer, find pictures of similar designs on the internet (but don’t copy them) and give them to the designer. In discussion with you they will then turn them into finished designs with pattern templates and a detailed spec sheet.

This process can take some time as most designers have regular clients and are often busy working towards seasonal deadlines, so you may have to be patient. Most designers charge an hourly rate for their services.

While the design process is underway it can be a great opportunity to start looking for your fabrics and trimmings.