With the development of computer graphics technologies, modeling and simulation of cloth animation becomes a common subject in 3D game and animated film related field, and presents the booming trend. The main objective of cloth animation is to obtain rich details of cloth movement and realistic animation. It can be widely used in games, animation and virtual reality, and many other fields. For its complicated nonlinear, anisotropic elastic behavior of the cloth, natural and realistic clothing wrinkles and shapes are difficult to create. The researches on cloth animation based on physical simulation are reviewed and the basic theory, method and framework are summarized. For the widely used methods in cloth animation, the essential process such as modeling, solving dynamics equations, collision detection and response are introduced. With analyzing the related literatures, the advantages, disadvantages and interrelationship of the existing modeling and simulation methods are summarized. Finally, from the demand of realistic performance and real-time interaction, future directions in modeling and simulation of cloth animation are discussed.