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UAL Research Online

Custom Fit, is it Fit for the Customer?

Watkins, Penelope (2006) Custom Fit, is it Fit for the Customer? In: Fashion in the Digital Age, 8th Annual IFFTI Conference, by International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes, 20 June 2006, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. (Unpublished)

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Watkins, Penelope

A global organisation of fashion schools hold this annual conference dedicated to the advancement of education, research and development in fashion design, technology, business and related industries.

My research is in producing robust 2-D pattern profiles that can be passed onto the 3-D virtual environment. My new approach to custom fit uses different pattern drafting coordinates cooperating with fabric stretch characteristics, conforming to the shape of a person, using a personally extended set of traditional measurements.

The research hypothesis argued that adapting traditional garment pattern coordinates for stretch fabric is not an appropriate starting point for developing a custom-fit stretch pattern. I posit that when a traditional pattern is adapted the profile becomes increasingly distorted as the fabric is incrementally stretched around the body contours. It is the inconsistent garment-to-body fit, relationship within the conventional pattern profile geometry, combined with arbitrary fabric stretch factors, that ultimately undermines the fit potential of custom-fit stretch garments.

To contextualise and develop the theory. First garment fit was defined using the anatomical terms 'distal' and 'proximal', which I have adopted to describe the proximity of the garment to the body. The aetiology of traditional methods of pattern design was outlined then how patterns are adapted for stretch fabric. It was highlighted how little objective information on stretch fabrics parameters for pattern construction is available, and how current garment-sizing systems do not accommodate variations in bodyshapes. The development of virtual technology to date, and whether the garment offering was a true custom fit or just a coincidental fit, was questioned.

I then illustrated my research method to objectively analyse and evaluate the stretch garment-to-body fit relationship by applying a 25mm grid on a bodysuit. A video clip of a dancer demonstrated the bodysuit fit and how the stretch fabric did not become displaced during movement.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Penelope Watkins
Research Interests

3D pattern design; Fit and comfort; New technology CAD PDS; Pressure garment; Stretch fabric analysis; Mass customisation.
Current Research

My background is 3D design and technical fashion. My enduring passion is in merging technical and aesthetic considerations providing comfort - physiological and psychological - and ease of movement, through appropriate garment fit. I am interested in integrating craft based techniques and emerging new technologies from body scanning to virtual CAD.
My current research is developing new approaches to pattern design based on bodyshape and proportions. For clarity I have introduced 2 new terms to describe the proximity of the garment fit to the body- Distal and Proximal Fit. Distal fit is situated away from the body contour and has ease allowance to accommodate voluntary and involuntary movements like breathing. Proximal Form Fit is where the body contour becomes the zero proximal reference point. The proximal fit ranges from the reference point through an increasingly compressive stretch fit towards the body's epicenter. To achieve this the degree of fabric stretch is quantified and applied in a pattern reduction process. The derived pattern profile uses direct body measurements to replicate the body shape and proportions. This approach can be applied to a variety of clothing types. Bodyshape measurement is key in developing garment pattern profiles not only for mass personalisation but also for new shape/sizing systems.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 2006
Event Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 09:28
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2011 11:29
Item ID: 1032
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1032

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