, by Nicolas Paulhac

Ready-to-texture: 2020 Fashion and Apparel Parametric Collection

  • Fashion
  • Workflow

Designing remotely is a necessity today, raising the need for realistic digital content. Sure, there is the staunch technique of the digitization of the existing, where designers take samples, scan, and process them. But the diversity of methods will help leverage a full toolbox and visualize a designer’s intention in a photorealistic way. 

This is why we came up with the 20/21 collection, dedicated to fashion design, now available on Substance Source.

These 100+ new assets complement the palette of 400 digital fabrics already available in the online library. Made up of more than 90 procedural fabrics and 20 print-execution decals, this selection multiplies the creative possibilities tenfold.
– Design your textiles from the main structures used in the industry.
– Detail garments in 3D by locally applying prints, seams, zippers, and embroideries.

Ready-to-use and ready to texture, the assets are pre-configured for you. All you have to do is choose the colors, drag and drop the image of your choice into the input of the Substance material to get a high-quality preview of what the outfit will look like on the runway.

Use the collection in VStitcher, or Clo, to generate incredible variety with the Substance Source materials for fashion and apparel.

Let’s start with textiles

Our first goal is to increase the visualization quality of fabrics in 3D. Beyond the shape of the item itself, how we tend to perceive the style, comfort or simply the overall quality of the garment comes from the material.

Our expert technical artists created a collection of ready-to-use relevant materials.

Not only does the level of detail compete with photography, but the entire collection is procedural. This means that each textile behaves like a specialized loom, capable of generating an infinite number of variations of a given type of fabric. You can adjust the weft and create your yarn structure – creative possibilities you don’t have with a scan. 

Besides, procedural materials also cut down the time spent waiting for samples to be scanned. 

We have curated and created over 90 different yarn structures, organized in three different categories. Every procedural fabric is designed with the ambition to create a digital twin that integrates the same constraints and attributes as its physical equivalent. It also gives the same opportunities: designers can play with the same parameters they would in the workshop and therefore predict new combinations. All in all, these assets should cover most of a textile designer’s use cases.

Woven Textiles

For woven structures, we have reproduced the same layouts used by weaving looms in factories.

Each asset mimics a specific woven structure, like twill, oxford, tweed, and so on. You also have access to parameters that allow you to independently determine the color, brightness, metallic appearance, and size of the warp and weft wires.

Knitted Textiles

Much like the woven textiles, our knitted fabrics reproduce the assembly process of jerseys and other knitwear. All the assets are ready-to-use and compatible with specific textile design solutions.

Even better, the procedural knits match your visualization tools. Populate image collections for e-commerce, make it possible to create an infinite number of additional variations in no time! Imagine being able to generate not just one but all of the color variations in your collection in just one click.

You could even go further in terms of visualization: here are a couple of examples with the addition of grazing and fuzzing (made with Blender).

Printed Textiles

In addition to the yarn assemblies, we knew prints would be essential, and bring you a selection of basic patterns.

In addition to the structural attributes of the fabric, there are specific parameters for the print technique, that will allow you to control the thickness, proportions, and distribution of the motives as well as the printed color associations

And if you want to go one step further, customize the materials: input a custom image and make your own design tools.

Although this will never replace the use of physical samples, photorealistic digital twins offer time-saving possibilities and increased creativity. A photorealistic image, in addition to a drawing or diagram, will have a massive impact to help with understanding and decision making.

No need to scan every single color of your samples! No need to race to scan the thousands of new products every year fast enough…

Download the parametric assets on Substance Source and develop an entire color scheme range from a single material.

Today, exchanging samples is more complex, and traveling to the factory floor can be impossible. Using digital fabrics as a principal reference to be matched not only unlocks production but also allows for more efficient collaborations and huge productivity gains.

After the fabrics… The clothes

You have created a 3D model of your piece and selected the fabric it will be made from, but what about the details? That’s the most important part of realism! They are key differentiating elements that give style and soul to the outfit or the brand signature.

All it takes is a stitch, a print, or an embroidery to mark a design. The time and the technicality necessary to model it in 3D often discourages artists, especially when we are talking about dozens of pieces per collection.

But you could embed these elements into the texture instead.

We have designed decals that reproduce the main types of textile details. These materials act magic-like but are parametric stamps. Drag and drop a decal on your model in Substance Painter, scale, rotate, and place a pattern — or simply paint a line of dots or a zipper.

And soon, you have the full power of Substance directly inside your fashion design app, like VStitcher and Clo.

Here are the different categories you will find in this starter kit dedicated to fashion designers:

Print executions

Whether it is a logo, an image, or text, printing processes are part of the basic tools for personalization.

Our collection includes the main printing techniques: silk print, rubber print, plastic injection, flocking, embossing, and for the most fabulous stylists, glitters!

Each print is designed to give you control over color, gloss, material layer thickness, and metallic appearance.

In your material parameters deck, there’s a space dedicated to importing an image. Add the pattern of your choice, and see the ink layer thickness, the embossing, and the shadows, the color gradient, and all these myriads tiny little effects that, put together, create a photorealistic effect. The true magic of this is that it all happens instantly for an optimal time-saving!


Extrusion and shading effects are no longer enough! Drag and drop your artwork into the embroidery offset to see it turn into a patch that visually simulates the orientation of the threads and contour stitching.

Simple, brocade, looped embroideries, and even sequins will give a good idea of the final result even before starting your multi-headed embroidery machine.

Just like every procedural decal, each Substance file acts as a conversion filter, which turns your image input into a blazon with the desired effect. All you have to do is position it and tweak the colors. It works on a wide scale range, for tiny embroidered names on a golf shirt, to bold military-like badges, or even topstitched patterns covering entire pieces of fabric.

These materials are the perfect opportunity to create your digital IP. You can build up on these base weaves, to generate thousands of possible designs, and your own private library of recipes. Use the existing .SBS files — you can even extract parts of them — as building blocks for new weaves, new styles, or even impossible fabrics of the future!

Artwork and visuals by the Substance Source team: Pauline Boiteux, Maximilien Vert, Eric Lautard, Damien Bousseau.

The Substance team will be live next week to chat about the release, and give you a look at the construction of procedural materials in Substance Designer, and the use of materials and decals to create your own clothes.

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