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List of Equipment You Need to Start a Clothing Line [Cost Included]

Starting a clothing line can mean different things to different folks; however, it still has to do with making clothing designs.

It more or less includes the cutting of patterns on fabrics, sewing, manufacturing, and processes of crafting. Howbeit, regardless of how you see it, you still need the appropriate fashion-designing tools to make clothes. Individuals who attain success in this line of business tend to possess all the tools required to make beautiful clothing items.

With the right tools and equipment, it is possible to reduce the time it takes to create new cloth designs. Aside from that, the appropriate tools as well minimize mistakes and help make perfect clothes designs.

List of Equipment You Need to Start a Clothing Line

  1. A tape measure

This is one tool you will need at all times if you really want to start a clothing line. When working, it’s easy to lose track of time and get your space a bit messy. As such, it’s necessary to have at least three tape measures. Ensure you have one tape measure in the toolbox, one around your neck, and the last one in the fabric you intend to sew.


Used to create picture-perfect clothes that fit the clients properly. Rather than this tool, you will find that some designers use a grading ruler and a set square to achieve the same outcomes.

Cost : $4.38 to $70
  1. Scissors

You will also need various types of scissors for a wide range of purposes. Scissors are one of the most necessary tools when starting a clothing line. Nevertheless, you have to understand that not all scissors are meant for all kinds of work. Making use of the wrong scissors for a tailoring job will most definitely make the work harder and even damage the scissors.


The three most important scissors you need to purchase include:

  • Shear scissors – heavier than card scissors, shear scissors are used to cut all kinds of fabrics.
  • Card scissors – used to cut cardboard designs or patterns to ease the sewing phase.
  • Lightweight scissors – the scissors support cutting of light cloth materials such as lining, silk, etc.
Cost: $15 to $60
  1. A sewing machine

This is another very vital piece of equipment you need in this line of business. Keep in mind that without it, no sewing can take place. It completes your list of fashion design tools. There are different types of sewing machines and they are all designed to meet unique design needs out there.


As much as there are different sewing machines, also note that their uses vary. For instance, a zigzag machine is meant to create beautiful patterns on fabric rather than over-lock sewing machines.

Cost: $100 to above $1,000, depending on the brand you choose and the capabilities you want.
  1. Hand and machine sewing needles

Although a good number of people sew using sewing machines, there are still people who sew entirely by hand. Aside from that, at some point in the sewing project, you might have to use hand sewing. Owing to that, you require hand-sewing needles.

You will need short beading needles and pins to do delicate design jobs. Depending on the fabric you’re working on, you’ll need different types of needles.

  • To make a hole in the fabric or material
  • To move the needle thread through the material or fabric
  • To aid in forming a needle thread loop which can be picked up by the hook or looper.
Cost: $2 to $13
  1. Tailor’s chalk

It is nearly impossible to run a clothing line business without a tailor’s chalk. Aside from their importance in the everyday activities of these businesses, they are easy to misplace.

As such, it is recommended you purchase plenty and ensure they are always within reach. Your tape measure and tailor’s chalk go hand in hand; you can’t use one without the other. After taking measurements, utilize the chalk to mark lines on the fabric to start snipping right away.


Used to make dimensions on fabrics.

Cost: $5 to $22
  1. Pearl headpins

Pre-sewing prior to the main sewing makes it possible to have a glimpse of the design and how the dress will look when done. Keep in mind that this is where the pearl head pins come in. Note that they are simple to sink into the dummy when trying to fit the cloth into a perfect size. Aside from that, the pins are easy to grab and use.


Used for general sewing, crafts, and decorative projects.

Cost: $10 to $24
  1. A dressmaker dummy

The importance of this equipment cannot be undermined especially in this line of business; as such, it is recommended you go for adjustable ones to ensure that you can work on different dress sizes. This will also help reduce the amount of dummies taking up space in your shop.

Note that it will give you a valid insight into how the dress you’re making will look on the real person upon wearing it. Aside from time, it makes it easy to work on body parts that don’t fit, thereby saving you time.


Used as a model for crafting clothing.

Cost: $200 to upwards of $1000, depending on the material used to make them as well as the realism of their construction.
  1. Weaving Machine

This is another very important piece of equipment for clothing businesses these days. Although all textile machines are vital, the weaving machine is one of the most important especially owing to its capability to interlace two sets of yarn together.

A good number of weaving machines can also thread at right angles, making them very vital for correct measurements. Even for smaller, less industrial clothing manufacturers, a weaving machine guarantees efficiency and speed.


Primarily used to weave yarn into fabric.

Cost: $2000 to $38000
  1. Garment Printer

When looking to start a clothing line, you need to get yourself a direct-to-garment printer. This is one equipment you will be happy and satisfied that you got, as it makes it possible to easily print multiple different designs. Aside from that, you can use this machine for a single clothing item or a batch of 20, 30, 100, or even more.

It is also very environmentally friendly and will only use the required amount of ink, thus limiting wastage. It also requires very little in terms of the overall setup.


Used to make high-quality printed garments at production-level speeds.

Cost: Between $10,000 and $30,000
  1. Fabric

To start a clothing line, you need to understand the sort of fabrics you want to create your clothes from. This industry is indeed beyond just visuals; the feel and texture of the clothes are very important, as well. Ensure that you can easily afford the kind of fabrics you desire to get your clothing line started.


Used to make items such as clothing, shoes, bags, and homewares like bedsheets, cushions, and towels.

Cost: $1500 – $20000+, depending on quantity