Resources for Textile Professionals

I wanted to let you know about some powerful and free time-saving business tools that are very useful for my clients (and me) in the clothing or fabric product industry. These are public domain programs, and are not associated with for profit business.

Every penny matters, and I wanted to share some absolutely free open source ware office and graphics utilities. I have used these for years, and have saved well over $1000 in software expenses.

Keep in mind, these are public domain, and are used by hundreds of millions of users around the world. Totally free with no ads.

FREE Fashion design software

Considered on of the best patternmaker programs out there!


Alternative to Ms Office

In case you don’t have MS Office, or can’t afford this very expensive software package, go ahead and download OpenOffice:

This is an amazing alternative to MS Office, and it has full compatibility to the various file formats. This is completely free, and I have been an extremely pleased user.

This is what the website has to say:

“Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word-processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.”

Being in the fabric product design industry, you will need to have access to powerful graphics editing programs. You will definitely need them if you are to have full artistic control of your fabric label art.

I use these freeware packages extensively—they are outstanding.

Alternative to Photoshop

This is a very expensive software package, around $450. A wonderful alternative is GIMP, a free, open source extensive graphics editor. This is basically as functional and powerful as the commercial Photoshop. I use this software all of the time, and have so for 4 years. It is fabulous.

Here is what the website says about it:

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.”

Alternative to Corel Draw or Adobe Illustrator

If you need to do drawing and vector art, Inkscape is the ideal substitute for CorelDraw. It is basically a sister site to GIMP, and they interface beautifully together. Once again, totally, 100% free.

Here is what the website says about it:

“Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. What sets Inkscape apart is its use of Scalable Vector Graphics(SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.”

I have a digital treasure chest of more really useful open source freeware. I will compile some other lists and send them at a later date.

Let me know how you like this list, and if you have other awesome freeware or near freeware links, please share them.

Yours truly,

Mary Wingo

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