How to Make Clothes in IMVU

Who I am
Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
@matthewwilhelmkapell
Author and references

IMVU, an avatar-focused virtual social networking site, is the largest of its kind in the world. Users create 3D representations of themselves or characters and use the platform for many different reasons, from games to developing romantic relationships. One thing all users are likely to agree on is that they want their avatar to look their best.

If you want to add your clothing designs to the IMVU catalog and start making money as a VIP designer, you've come to the right place. Read on to learn how to create stylish clothing for yourself and the community.



As of this writing, crafting clothes is only possible using the desktop app. We'll walk you through how to customize a t-shirt using Photoshop and GIMP from your PC. With this knowledge, you will be able to customize any existing IMVU product.

How to Make IMVU Clothing on PC

For this demonstration, we will be using the “Bella Crop Top”. It includes three textures (surfaces) for the front, back and sleeves.

First, download and save the three textured Bella Crop Tops to your computer. To customize textures using Photoshop:

  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Open the front texture file.
  3. At the very bottom right, click on the "Create a new layer" icon. It looks like a sheet of paper with the bottom left corner folded over.

After creating a new layer, you need to make sure that you will see everything accurately. To do this, you need to activate the “RGB Mode”. To check if it is enabled:


  1. Click on “Picture”.
  2. Go to “Mode” and “RGB Color”.
  3. The "RGB Color" option should have a checkmark to its left.

Once you've verified that you'll see everything accurately, you can continue choosing a color for your new texture layer.


  1. At the bottom of the vertical toolbar, find the icon with the two overlapping layers, then click on the bottom layer. The "Color Picker" appears.
  2. Here you can choose a color for the front of your t-shirt and customize the shade. Once you are satisfied, select “OK”.
  3. If you want the whole t-shirt to be the same color, note the number in the hash field near the bottom of the "Color Picker" window. Or click "Add to Swatches" to add to your "Color Library".
  4. Click the "Paint Bucket Tool" icon in the left toolbar to fill the layer with your color.
  5. Click on your t-shirt. You will see that the transparent color has now changed to the color you have chosen.
  6. To see the changes to your texture, navigate to the drop-down arrow under the 'Layers' option in the bottom right and select 'Color'.
  7. Now go to "File" then "Save As" to save the changes.
  8. In the window that opens, select “JPEG” then “Save”.
  9. In Photoshop's "JPEG Options" window, click "OK."

You can now use this process to customize and sell clothes once they are set as "derivable".


How to Make Clothes for IMVU Using Gimp

In this example we will be using the “Bella Crop Top”. It includes three textures/surfaces for the front, back and sleeves. Download and save the three textured Bella Crop Top to your desktop, then customize it with the steps below.


  1. Open Gimp.
  2. To get started with the front texture, locate and open the file by selecting "File" then "Open".
  3. To change the color, you must first create a new layer. Click on the first toolbar button in the lower right corner.
  4. Click "OK" on the "New Layer" pop-up window.

Before going any further, you need to make sure you can see everything accurately, check that "RGB Mode" is enabled:

  1. Select "Picture" and "Mode".
  2. Go to “RGB”.
  3. The "RGB" option should have a checkmark to its left.

Once you've checked RGB, it's time to change the background color.

  1. Find the background icon shown as two overlapping layers, then click the color below to change the "Background Color". This feature is located in the Tools menu on the right.
  2. In the "Change background color" pop-up window, select the exact color you want.
  3. If you want to reuse this color, click the button next to "Current", then note the number displayed in the "HTML Notation" field.
  4. Once you are happy with the color, click “OK”.

Filling in the layer for the texture is the last step.



  1. Select "Bucket Fill Tool" from the left toolbar to fill the layer with your color.
  2. Click on your t-shirt and you will see that the transparent color has now changed to the color you have chosen.
  3. To see the changes in your texture, click on "Mode" then "HSL Color" under the "Layers" tab on the right.
  4. To save the changes, click on “File” then “Export as…”
  5. Choose the folder to save the texture, give it a name, then click "Select file type (by extension)".
  6. Choose the “JPEG Image” option.
  7. Select "Export".
  8. In the "Export Image to JPEG" window, select "Export".

You can now use this process to customize and sell clothes once they are set as "derivable".

How to Upload Clothes to IMVU

Once you are satisfied with the clothes you have made, you should upload them to the IMVU catalog. Any item you upload officially becomes a product with a Product ID and is made visible in the store for people to purchase.

Before uploading your creations, keep in mind that you will need credits to upload products and understand the Good Virtual Policy.

Here's how to upload your clothes:

  1. Launch the IMVU desktop app and log in.
  2. Click on the “Create” button.
  3. Select the "Open Local Project" button to open your "IMVU Projects" folder.
  4. Click on your saved creation. It will be “a .CHKN file”.
  5. In the “Editor” screen, a default avatar will be displayed. Select "Outfits" from the bottom toolbar to change your avatar and choose the avatar of your choice.
  6. At the top right, click "Download". A copy of your “.CHKN” file is made and converted into a “.CFL” file. Only these types can be submitted.
  7. Complete your product information on the “Product Submission” card.
  8. Once you're done, click the "Submit to Store" button.

Once your download is complete, a browser window will open and display your product page.

Can you make clothes for IMVU without VIP?

It is not possible to make clothes without joining the Creator Program.

If you signed up for the Creator Program before May 10, 2012, 10:00 am PST, you will be grandfathered indefinitely. This means that you will not need to become a VIP member. You can enjoy VIP benefits, including clothing creation, through early registration.

However, if you join after this date, you will need to join the program to create clothes.

Putting your fashion design gifts to good use

IMVU's avatar-based social networking platform is a virtually enhanced physical reality; designed to make online experiences as real as possible. Users can dress up and accessorize their avatars to show off their personality.

Creators and developers can earn money every time one of their products is purchased from the store. Creating clothes is quick and easy using photo editing software like Photoshop and Gimp. When an item of clothing has been set to "derivable", you can customize it, then upload it to the store and sell it as your own. Or you can create designs from scratch.

Are you an IMVU platform user? What do you think of the products available in the store? What made you decide to become a designer yourself? Let us know in the comments section below.

Audio Video How to Make Clothes in IMVU
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