Journal of Fashion Technology & Textile EngineeringISSN: 2329-9568

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Editorial, J Fashion Technol Textile Eng Vol: 3 Issue: 2

Fashion Design, Fitting and Dummy Development

Chan Chee Kooi*
Institute of Textiles and Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Corresponding author : Dr. Chan Chee Kooi
Institute of Textiles & Clothing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Received March 13, 2015 Accepted March 14, 2015 Published March 16, 2015
Citation: Kooi CC (2015) Fashion Design, Fitting And Dummy Development. J Fashion Technol Textile Eng 3:2. doi:10.4172/2329-9568.1000e102


Fashion Design, Fitting and Dummy Development

Fashion and people goes hand in hand. Fashion changes with time and so does people. As generation after generation progresses, basic clothing has become more sophisticated and fashion takes over. Fashion as a word is almost magical and has magnetic effects and many people are part of this hush, hush world of Fashion, be it designing, producing, selling or even wearing of the garment piece.

Keywords: Fashion design; Garment fitting; Robotic mannequin

Fashion and people goes hand in hand. Fashion changes with time and so does people. As generation after generation progresses, basic clothing has become more sophisticated and fashion takes over. Fashion as a word is almost magical and has magnetic effects and many people are part of this hush, hush world of Fashion, be it designing, producing, selling or even wearing of the garment piece.
The birth of a garment starts off with the designer. S/he is mindful of what are in fashion, meaning what s/he perceives the forthcoming trend will be and how s/he wants his/her customers to wear. The next thing the designer needs to know are the sizes s/he is going to make the garments into. Today’s fashion industry can be divided into bespoke tailoring and mass manufacture or ready-to-wear. The former requires the customer to have his body measurements taken in order to have his clothes fitted to him, while in ready-to-wear a pre-set range of sizes is available to make the clothes. In the industry, this range of sizes is derived from anthropometric surveys done by government agencies or educational institutions. Such surveys are taken on a comparatively large scale requiring a good number of sample sizes over differing stratification such as race, age, sex, location, or even down to details like religion, occupation, etc. As such surveys take time, by the time they are available they may become “historical” data. One must remember a population’s anthropometric profile is a dynamic one which is constantly changing due to advancing age, people relocation and racial mix to name a few. Due to the large amount of resources employed to conduct such surveys, the size data will cost the user, should such request be made. Moreover, the data provided will come in various statistical values such as range, mean, percentile values, etc. and it is up to the user to interpret such values into meaningful figures for them to construct their sizes of their customers. Hence, their customers are put into “sizes” each having a smaller range within itself and this becomes a tolerance within the size.
The size charts derived from the anthropometric data can be interpreted differently by different brands, as each brand has different experience and dedication to their customers. In order to provide better physical profiles of these sizes, the brand will procure dummies which are supposed to mimic the physical sizes of their customers. Take for example, the brand has identified 5 sizes to cover their customers’ range, simply called; XS, S, M, L, XL. One will have to make five different dummies to reflect these different sizes. However, in the industry, this may not always be the case due to cost and space of having them. Also, one has to ensure all those who work with the designer along the supply chain must also have these sets of dummies, which adds up the cost of holding a large inventory of dummies. Many a times, the brand only has one dummy in a middle size and rely on size grading to obtain the other smaller and larger sizes. Such practice is very common and prevalent.
So the dummy is an essential tool in the fashion industry. It has been used for fitting since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. The make of it has varied and evolved from solid wood to rattan to molded ones. Today most of the conventional dummies are made in the following processes; sculpture the body form, make a mold of it for the front and back body respectively, using the molds line the inner surface with fiber glass and cement it with resin, dry it to obtain the front and back shells. The shells are combined and a layer of spongy foam is pasted on the surface of the shell. Next a layer of ribbed knitted fabric is mounted on the foam and finally a pre-sewn canvas is mounted on it and hand stitched at the sides to complete the process. Finally, the appropriate size is silk-screened printed on the dummy before it goes for final curing. Even though the shape of the dummies may be the same as they come from the same mold, the needle work done on the canvas at the last process is questionable as many pattern makers and garment fitters utilized these stitch-lines for guidance of seams and measurements.
With time, this dummy will become outdated as the anthropometric profile of the population or the customers would have changed and this will make it necessary to update the dummy to present population profiles. However, current anthropometric data may not have caught up meaning there can be a discrepancy between the two. Body scanning has helped to narrow the difference, but it still requires the accumulation of many subjects performed strategically and ethically. One can witness the array of dummies when we walk into a design house/buying office or a garment factory (Figure 1 and 2)
Figure 1: Design house/buying office.
Figure 2: Dummies use in a typical garment factory.
So in summarizing the above, we need lots of dummies to represent the many sizes of people. Over time they become outdated and obsolete. And this leads us to an idea if we can have a dummy that can truly change its various profiles morphologically, dimensionally and proportionally then we will not have to carry so many fixed-size dummies and worry about its up-datedness.
Today, this idea has been realized in a robotic mannequin called “i.DummyTM” which can change its shape, dimension and proportion in a three-dimension manner. The girths, widths and lengths can be changed via a user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI) almost instantaneously. Fitting various sizes of garments will be breezier than before without using many different fixed-size dummies. As for bespoke tailoring, it is ideal to keep each and every client’s physical profile in file for easy recall and fitting, any changes can be updated as required. Another use is found in the internet shopping as fit is a major concern for internet shoppers. Figure 3 shows “i.DummyTM” fitting four different sizes of a dress design as an example.
Figure 3: Dummies use in a typical garment factory.
Nowadays with global sustainability in mind, this new invention will do away much resources and waste. The “i.DummyTM” as an intelligent and integrative dummy will always accompany fashion as a companion to provide fitting that is as accurate and current as possible as the fashion brand or company strives to clothes her customers in the most fitting manner.
Author’s Note: The “i.DummyTM” has further developed from the original female body torso to cover the lower torso and legs, and a full body torso. “i.DummyTM” has won the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Prize as well as a Gold Medal with Jury Congratulations in the Geneva Inventions 2015.
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