Fashion illustration is a segment of fashion design which includes presenting the idea of the garment tangibly. Features like color, fabric, embroidery, prints and folds are specified through sketching. Let us now understand what folds mean to an illustrator. Folds are an integral part of garments. They occur naturally in diverse ways according to different fabric. Folds give any garment an extraordinary effect which enhances its beauty and appeal. This is why it is important for every fashion illustrator to understand folds and know exactly how to illustrate it. Fashion illustration education includes training of folds and even if one learns online, they must be particular about how detailed their learning is regarding folds and the presentation of folds. An illustration of a garment cannot be complete unless every aspect of the garment is depicted accurately and in a detailed manner. The lines and curves mean a lot while creating a garment on paper.

The 6 types of folds used for clothing designs are:

Pipe – Pipe folds are the folds that naturally occur on dresses and curtains. These folds are formed when one end of the material is compressed or bunched together while the other end is hanging free. Thus, creating a sequence of semi-tubular folds to form as the material falls free at the opposite end. The bottom part that is free often has a wavy pattern to its appearance. The final look is somewhat like a skater skirt with pleats just like them.

Zig-Zag- Zig-Zag folds are the ones that tend to occur where cloth in pants bunch up at the bottom of the legs or behind the knees due to compression of the material. They look cylindrical or spiral. They’re essentially folds that tend to form an alternate sequence with one another in a zig-zagged fashion with areas that fold inward on it. It is crucial that when you draw this type of fold you try to start with a zig-zag guideline that feels organic and not too uniform. This will provide you with a more natural resultant look.

Spiral – Spiral folds mostly used on sleeves that are rolled or bunched up. Such folds are only created on certain material which can be wrapped around repeatedly, bunched up in tubular forms such as an arm or a leg. They are slightly different from Zig-Zag folds.

Half-Lock folds occur where there is a sudden change in the direction of the fabric. If you have seen a golfer who is bending his body down in preparation to swing his club you’ll sometimes see these types of folds which occur naturally in the upper part of the pants where the body is bending forward. Slacks tend to show this kind of fold well. Another example of such a fold is when a person is squatting or seated you’ll see this type of fold in the area that will be on the sides of the knees, causing an abrupt change in the direction of the material which causes it to pop out on the sides.

Diaper folds: These are the result of sagging in a material between two points of support. We might have seen or tried fall neck dresses, tops then we can understand what diaper folds are. The slack amount of material depends on how much fabric there is As well as distance between support points. We can often see these types of folds are formed on scarves as well as handkerchiefs also.

Drop folds commonly occur where a material simply drops off of a form to fall freely. Overall look of drop fold is dictated by form in which material is hanging off of and its gravity. It is highly uncontrolled and organic. Remember the image of a towel hanging on a hook.

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