There are so many educational resources available to apparel design and development professionals. Thanks to content marketing many organizations now include a wealth of information on their websites and other social media such as YouTube. Below are a few of my favorites. This list will be helpful to those with years of knowledge who need a reference or refresher. For instance, if your supplier is describing a printing process and you want to know how it works, check out Cotton Inc's website for a video tutorial. Students studying design or technical design can also benefit.
The wealth of information on this website is remarkable. Cotton Inc supports the US cotton production industry and retailers who sell finished cotton goods. The educational portion of the website includes an encyclopedia of textile terms (many with videos) as well as full length courses on topics such as knitting, weaving, or denim manufacturing. As a technical designer I attended several of the importer support workshops hosted at Cotton Inc headquarters and other locations. The seminars were full of knowledge and we left with information that we could then relay to others in our office.
American & Efird
A&E offers numerous resources for learning about threads, stitches, and seams. Check out the technical tools section of the website. These are useful for manufacturers as well as those writing specifications. A&E also offers on-site educational workshops for companies using or specifying their threads.
The website has a good page dedicated to the structure of a zipper. If you need a refresher on the parts of a zipper or the various types of zippers, this is a good resource. There is a similar page for snaps.
Heidi provides numerous tips and tricks for using Adobe Illustrator for fashion design. There are also video tutorials. She covers both garment sketching and creating textile patterns.
[TC]2 offers workshops geared toward those doing hands-on product development such as technical designers and pattern-makers. They are also a leading resource on body scanning and size demographics in the USA for member companies.
Juki Industrial’s Youtube Channel
Juki is a leading manufacturer of industrial sewing equipment. The videos on their YouTube channel show various machines doing specialized operations. If you haven’t been able to spend a lot of time at factories, watching a few of the videos can be a good opportunity. Remember, these are shown in an isolated setting, not a factory floor. Also not every factory will have access to the latest specialized equipment.
YouTube in general is a great resource. You can find videos of manufacturing processes and lessons in apparel production or pattern-making. Try searching the brand names of equipment and software providers or trim suppliers. Be sure you are viewing the videos for industrial applications and avoid those targeted to the home sewing consumer. If you have other suggestions of great resources for apparel design and development professionals, please pass them along in the comments.