Valentina is a software package for creating clothing patterns, which is distributed according to the open source software model. The main idea of this concept is to combine modern technologies with traditional methods of designing patterns. The main feature of Valentina, which qualitatively distinguishes it from other solutions for the fashion industry, is the work with parametric patterns.
A bit of history. The Valentina project was created in 2013. The purpose for its appearance was the desire to create a large, interesting project that could be worked on for a long time. Later, this desire was transformed into the idea of creating a new software product for the fashion industry. This idea was given to the founder by his mother, a cutter by profession. The program and the entire project were named after her.
Now a little about what an open source project is, what it gives to developers and ordinary users, and what it requires in return. As you probably know, the main model of software products today is proprietary (i.e. paid) software. In other words, developers create a program, and users pay money for it. At the same time, such a program remains the property of the authors, it cannot be freely distributed and changed. If you look at the current state of the market for solutions for the fashion industry, you can draw disappointing conclusions. For the most part, proprietary software predominates here, these products are paid and expensive, which means they are not available to the general public. And not even every enterprise can afford them. There is very little information on them, the focus on large enterprises leaves little chance of the existence of widely available resources with feedback and help on using the program. There is no platform choice - most of the known solutions only support Windows. A classic solution for fashion industry is a computer-aided design (CAD) system, but it does not fully cover the needs of creating patterns, because for the most part it does not allow designing parametric patterns. In this regard, over the past 10 years the situation has changed little. In our opinion, the level of computerization of the fashion industry is still unsatisfactory. Many still refuse to use software and make patterns the old fashioned way. Others use graphic editors or CAD systems, and these products are not adapted for the needs of the fashion industry. And only the lucky few who can afford it use industrial solutions that cover the needs of pattern design. Along with proprietary software, there is a model of open source (free) software. It was created in opposition to and as an alternative to paid software. Free software users have the right to install, freely use, distribute and modify it. This means that the authors of such a product do not charge a fee for using and distributing their program, and also provide free access to its source code. And this, on the one hand, excludes the developers’ income directly from the creation of the program, but, on the other hand, it allows you to endlessly extend and improve the software product, provides ample opportunities for experimentation. The development of the program here takes place by creating a community of like-minded people, volunteers who are interested in improving it. Without paying directly with money for the program, they invest in it with their time and labor, making a feasible contribution to the project and improving the program. At the same time, free software developers make money on activities around the program itself: on training to work with the program, on the commercial development of some individual additional functions, on the sale of patterns created in their program, as well as on voluntary donations from users.
For the creation and distribution of Valentina, an open source model was chosen, which made it possible to widely adapt the program for many modern platforms; it became available not only for Windows, but also for Mac OS X and Linux. Valentina cannot be called a traditional software solution for the clothing industry, as it implements the idea of working with parametric patterns. This means that such a pattern can be rearranged according to certain rules. A parametric pattern allows, by changing the input data - measurements and increments, as well as by specifying formulas and rules for constructing geometric objects, to automatically change the shape of the pattern without the need for manual restructuring. In other words, once having built a pattern in the “Valentina” program, it can be automatically rearranged to other sizes or measurements. Also, “Valentina” allows you to program some processes in the patterns, which leads to additional automation when rebuilding patterns. Classic CAD systems do not allow you to do anything like that. They implement an approach taken from mechanical or architectural systems - a virtual pencil and paper. This may be enough for the needs of mechanical engineering or architecture, but not enough for the design of clothing. At present, a community of like-minded people has formed around Valentina, united by one problem - the unsatisfactory state of existing solutions in the fashion industry. The expert opinion and experience of many people allows you to more accurately identify problems and needs in the design of clothing and develop the necessary solutions. Join us, together we will be able to change the existing situation! How exactly can you help the Valentina project? In many ways. You don’t have to be a programmer for that. Testing new versions of the program, reporting errors in it, proposals for introducing new functions into the program, mentioning the program in their social networks, providing the project with the created patterns, creating training materials and courses on the program, translating training books into other languages, or the program interface into your local language, purchasing paid project materials and simply donating - all this promotes the project and contributes to the development of Valentina. And, of course, if you are a programmer, you can make an invaluable contribution to the project by writing code directly. And this all brings us closer to the common main goal - to create a full-fledged multifunctional program for building and modeling your clothing patterns. And in a global sense - to improve the situation with the design of clothing patterns in the entire fashion industry.