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In this article, Yilu Li will discuss fabric essentials in CLO 3D.
© Yilu Li

Add in new Fabric
Go to the Fabric sector in the Library. > Hover your cursor among the thumbnails to get further information on Fabrics.

The Fabric Sector in the Library
To add the Fabric in:
1. Double click, and it will appear in the Object Browser.
2. Right-click, select Add to Workspace, and it will appear in the Object Browser.
3. Click and drag the Fabric to 3D garments, 2D patterns or the Object Browser.

Object Browser
In the Object Browser, you can find all items in the current project. There are Scene, Fabric, Graphic, Button, Buttonhole, Topstitch, Puckering, Grading and POM. Selecting the tab will direct you to the corresponding items. Each fabric will have a file with a thumbnail.

The Fabric tab in the object browser
1. Add will create a new default fabric file. The copy will copy the selected fabric file. Assign will create a new default fabric file and assign the selected patterns to the new fabric.
2. Select a pattern in the 3D or 2D window, you will see 3 or 4 buttons next to the thumbnail.
Repeat Texture allows you to choose texture mode from either Repeat Texture or Unified Map.
Add Print will add a print to the selected fabric.
The trash bin button will delete the selected fabric. If there are patterns assigned to the selected fabric, you can not delete it.
Assign to Selected Pattern will apply the fabric to the selected patterns.

Property Editor-Information & Material
Select a Fabric file in the Object Browser, and its’ properties will appear in the Property Editor.
The information sector
The information contains all information about the selected fabric.

The material sector
Under Material, you can edit the properties on the front, back, and side of the fabric. If you are on the Texture Surface mode, you will view the fabric front side in white and the back side in grey. You can select material types from the pre-set types or customize your material.
The front and back side of a pattern.

The texture is an image, usually in the form of a JPG or PNG, on the surface of the fabric that matches the surface of the model to its concept art or real-world equivalent. This image is projected onto the three-dimensional space of your 3D model. Most of the fabrics in the library contain a texture. Click the 4-square icon to locate them.
The difference between the fabric applied texture and the fabric not applied texture.

Normal Map is an implementation of bump mapping. It is used to add details without using more geometries. Expand Normal Map to modify its’ Intensity. The higher the Value, the more it protrudes from the fabric surface and vice versa. Most of the fabrics in the library contain a Normal map. Click the 4-square icon to locate them.
The difference between various normal map values

Displacement mapping is a texturing method that creates a depth and relief effect on the textured surface. Please refer to the graphic step for further demonstration.
Click the colour swatch to access the Colour Window.
The Colour window

Opacity controls the degree of transparency of the fabric. The higher the value, the more transparent the fabric will be.
The difference between various opacities

Opacity Map specifies the degree of transparency of different areas on the fabric. The opacity map is a greyscale image. The dark area will be more transparent than the light areas. You can use Photoshop to make an Opacity map and add it to the project by clicking the 4-square icon beside the Opacity map. If it is a JPG, select Mode RBG. If it is a PNG, select Mode ALPHA.
An example of opacity map

The degree of grey colour on the opacity map defines the degree of transparency. Black is 100% set transparency, 50% grey is 50% set transparency, and white is 0% set transparency.
The difference between various opacities with opacity map
1. Under each map, you can expand Transformation to modify its’ Angle, Size and Position.
The transformation under opacity map
2. Normal map, Displacement map, and Opacity map are not necessarily identical to Texture and each other. Each of them has a unique function to express different types of surface details.

Reflection controls how much light your material absorbs or reflects, in other words, how shiny or matte you want your fabric to be. Under Intensity Mode of Reflection, the larger the value, the less reflective the fabric will be. And the rougher a surface is, the more light it absorbs, and the less shiny it appears and vice versa.
The difference between various roughness values

The intensity controls its brightness. Metalness controls the metallic level. A higher value makes the surface more metallic.
The difference between various combinations of Roughness, Intensity and Metalness

You can apply the Roughness map by selecting Map mode and clicking the 4-square icon to import one. The Roughness map is also a greyscale image and works in the same way as the Opacity map. Invert will invert the black and white areas on the Roughness map.
The Roughness map sector

You can also import a Metalness map. The Metalness map is also a greyscale image and works in the same way as the Opacity map.
The metalness map sector

Property Editor-Physical Property

The physical property sector

The last section in the fabric property editor is Physical Property. You can select one from pre-set types or customize your own fabric’s physical properties. Expand the Detail to access all the editable settings.

Strech and Shear

Stretch and Shear define the degree to which a fabric is stretched. The smaller the number, the more elastic it is.


Bending controls the fabric stiffness on the warp, weft, or diagonal lines. The higher the value, the stiffer it becomes.

The Difference between various bending values

Buckling is used to express the shape of a fabric’s creases. Higher the value, easier it will bend.
The Buckling
The difference between various Buckling values

Internal damping controls the bounciness of fabric during simulation and animation. Lowering the value will cause it to bounce faster and vice versa.
The Internal damping

Density is the weight of fabric in grams per square millimetres. The higher the value, the heavier it will be.
The Density
The difference between various densities

Friction means the friction between fabrics. If you increase the value, more friction will be applied.
The Friction

© Yilu Li
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Fashion Technology: A Beginner’s Guide to CLO 3D

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