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Analysing and eliminating fitting problems

10.12.2014 - (idw) Hohenstein Institute

Digital catalogue helps manufacturers with quality control A good fit is the second most important criterion after value for
money when buying clothes - that's what 63.6% of those questioned in the "Outfit
6"* market survey reported. In the light of this, experts at the Hohenstein Institute in
Bönnigheim are currently developing a digital, 3D-based process for analysing the fit of
ladies' outerwear, as part of an AiF research project (AiF No. 17763N). This is intended
to give clothing manufacturers an overview of typical fitting problems that occur with
ladies' outerwear and shows them how these problems can be eliminated by adjusting
the cut or by using alternative materials.

After all, it is in fact the fit of clothes, so highly rated by customers, that is causing
importers and manufacturers more and more problems. Now with this digital fitting
catalogue, the Hohenstein experts are providing companies with a resource to help
them analyse these typical fitting problems. Together with the suggestions that are also
given in the digital catalogue for adjusting the cut and/or altering the materials, it will
help them to eliminate many faults at an early stage of product development, resulting
in significant savings.

However, for project manager Simone Morlock, standardised fit analysis is only one
step along the way to the perfect fit: "The digital catalogue includes the most commonly
occurring problems with fitting, and suggested solutions for them. This helps to ensure
that minimum standards for the quality of fit are met. However, to achieve a really good
fit, it is essential to have professional help with adjusting the cut and sizing, and to
carry out individual fit testing for the different garment sizes, using volunteers. All this
requires a lot of experience and expertise, because analysing the fit is an extremely
complex process in which the model, material, purpose and target users all have to
be taken into account." Increasingly, companies from all over the world are coming to
the Hohenstein Institute for this fitting expertise, in order to resolve any problems that
they are having with guaranteeing a good fit. Simone Morlock believes that there are
many different reasons for these: "In many of the companies in the clothing industry
here in Germany, which are often small or medium-sized enterprises, we are seeing
one generation being replaced by another. Manufacturers are finding it hard to replace
their experienced cutting directors and specialist clothing technicians who have been
working on quality control. The reason for this is that certain areas of work have
increasingly been outsourced in recent years and the training of a new generation
of skilled experts in pattern cutting and fitting has been neglected. The content of
training courses at specialist colleges has also changed: there is less teaching about
pattern cutting and more about management and business skills." Furthermore, there
is very little relevant literature, and not many processes use modern 3D technologies .
And Simone Morlock sees far more serious problems in relation to non-European
production sites: "Often the standard of training of the employees is relatively poor so
problems with fit are virtually inevitable."

With their current research work on standardised fit analysis and quality-controlled
product development in the clothing industry (AiF-No. 17154 N), the experts at the
Hohenstein Institute are equipping manufacturers and retailers with an important
framework to assist them with their own fit and quality control processes. In response
to the growing demand for cutting expertise from the industry, the Hohenstein experts
also offer a number of other services relating to fit and design. More information about
this can be found at
*Statista GmbH, "Most important criteria when buying clothes. Survey by Marplan,
Ipsos GmbH, Sinus Sociovision GmbH, ISBA Informatik Service-GmbH. Title of survey:
Outfit 6. Period of survey: October 2006 to January 2007",
accessed on 16.11.2011.

The "Diagnosing fit" research project at a glance
The researchers first produced an assessment matrix which can be used to give an
objective indication of the effect of different parameters on the quality of fit. It covers
aspects ranging from the body dimensions and body shape of the wearer to the
characteristics of the materials used.

Then they developed an innovative procedure for analysing fit by using 3D scanning.
They carried out a project study on 3D fit evaluation. Female volunteers were scanned,
with and without outer clothing in different garment sizes and of different types such
as trousers, skirts and blouses. From the visual impression shown on the 3D scan,
the experts at the Hohenstein Institute were able to evaluate the fit of the clothing
and identify typical fitting faults in ladies' outerwear. At the same time, the fit of the
garments was assessed by experienced clothing technicians both on the volunteers
and on tailor's dummies. They also used a standardised questionnaire to record the
personal assessments of the volunteers regarding fit and comfort. By comparing
the actual and virtual fitting trials, together with the subjective impressions of the
volunteers, the team led by Simone Morlock was able to develop a reproducible, 3Dbased
method for diagnosing fit quality. The main benefit of 3D technology is that the fit
can be analysed accurately. Details such as how the fabric falls are shown in detail on
the scan and differences in fit can be more closely analysed in relation to specific sizes
or target groups.

The new process is equally useful for judging the fit of a close-fitting woollen sheath
dress or a knitted polo shirt for outdoor leisure wear.
Thanks to this process and their many years of industry experience, the specialists
have been able to develop possible design solutions for effectively eliminating fitting
problems. These are represented in the form of diagrams in the catalogue so that
the modifications that need to be made in the cut of garments can be more easily

Last but not least, Simone Morlock's research team matched their design solutions to
the fitting problems that they had identified examples of which are shown in the form
of 3D scans and so have been able to present their diagnostic process in the form of
a digital fitting catalogue. The result is a catalogue that distinguishes between different
products, models and groups of materials, target groups and applications.

The digital fitting catalogue offers a wide range of practical and useful solutions

for analysing fit and eliminating fitting problems, and so helps companies by
equipping them with basic knowledge about pattern cutting and fit and quality control.
Manufacturers can compare their own fitting problems with the examples in the
catalogue and eliminate the faults with the help of these suggestions.
For more information please contact:

Simone Morlock Weitere Informationen:
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