Computer software programmes are now available to allow designers to play around with ideas without having to manufacture anything. These programmes can be used to draw out designs, create textures, adjust sizes, make patterns and sample fabric colours.
An example of this I found was during a documentary on Ozwald Boateng. He used special design programmes to mix his jewel colours for a range of shirts, this is also a lot less time consuming then going round dozens of fabric shops searching for colour swatches.The only downside I see to this, is even with the most amazing software available, you cant get the exact sense of how a fabric will work through a computer screen, nor can you feel the
textures which are both huge factors when sampling with fabrics for garments.
Pattern cutting pieces are very often now measured, drawn and cut using special computer software. This means the pattern can be produced in larger scales as well as saved and is easy to come back too. Also Digital Techniques can be used to make spec drawings, this results is high quality and being very clear and easy for a seamstress to follow.The con however is that these garments are then mass produced, so if there is the smallest fault made in the early stages, ( which would be easily done considering the complexity of these programmes) the entire batch of that garment would be faulty and go to waste.