Materials for your course

What materials will I have to buy? Where can I get them? How much will they cost? These are common questions asked by students and in this post I will provide you with some tips to stop you from spending more than you need to.


Remember your student discount

Wherever you buy materials, you should always ask if they have a student discount. Don't have an American Academy of Fashion Design student card yet? Just email us a recent headshot (and include your student number in the Subject line) to [email protected] and we will post one out to you.


Basic list of materials needed to start your course (all students)

The list below is a breakdown of what you will need when starting the course and what you can expect to pay (note, prices may vary*). This equipment can be found in most office supply outlets and fabric shops, so please shop around.

$5.00      Sketch book  

$2.99      Scissors for paper

$9.99      Scissors for fabric

$5.59      Graphite drawing 2H & 2B pencils (or a clutch pencil)

$9.99      Black pens with a variety of nib sizes (e.g. Fine line 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7)

$4.95      Coloring pencils

$1.59      Eraser

As you progress through the course you may be required to pick up a few bits and pieces such as mounting boards and foam boards for presentations. Fabric swatches for experimenting and fabrics for garment construction will also be needed but these will all depend on the nature of the design project that you work on. You will build on all these materials throughout your career. 


Additional materials for Advanced Certificate and PG Certificate students

For students on the Advanced Certificate and Postgraduate Certificate courses, the items listed below are required. Note: Students on the Certificate course do not require any of the items listed below for their course.

Keep in mind most of the items mentioned in the post are one-off investments. For example, one of our tutors recently told me that she still uses all of the original materials that she bought in 1996 when she started studying fashion design. The prices listed below should be treated as a guide only so please shop around for the best deals.

Your biggest investment is a sewing machine and a mannequin. These are items that you will have for many years and you will use them a lot during the course and in your fashion design career. Michael's sell sewing machines from $200 and Roxy Display sell mannequins for approximately $125.

$200.00    Sewing machine

$125.00    Mannequin

$29.95      Student starter kit - Sewing Tool Set including: set square, long ruler, measuring tape, notcher, tracing wheel, dawl tool.

$4.79        Craft Paper to use pattern drafting

$1.99        Thread (Coats and Clark)

$3.69        Dressmaker pins

$2.99        Sewing needles

$5.00        Heavy cotton/calico

$32.00      Pattern Master


For those studying the Postgraduate Certificate, you will learn how to use Adobe Illustrator in our computer-aided design (CAD) unit. Note: Adobe Illustrator is not required until unit six of your course. Your tutor will discuss this with you in more detail before you start this unit.

*These prices are from Michael'sThe Fabric Store and Roxy Display  (prices correct as of 22th October 2018).

The links included here are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only. We bear no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of any external site or for any content on subsequent websites, nor does the inclusion of these links constitute our endorsement or an approval of any products, services or opinions stated.

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Written by: Siobhan O'Brien-Selway

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