What's your size? NIFT will tell you

clothing apparel representational image Representational image | Reuters

How many times have you been able to find a perfectly fitting readymade dress? Well, the chances are slim in most cases. To find a solution to this problem, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is conducting a national sizing survey called 'India Size', under ministry of textiles. The survey will help develop a comprehensive size chart for ready-to-wear industry, based on the body measurements of Indian population.

It is a scientific exercise where anthropometric data will be collected from a sample population in the age group 15 to 65 years to create a database of measurements that will result in a standardised size chart, which is representative of the Indian population, and can be adopted by the apparel industry.

One of the reasons why it is difficult to find well fitting-clothes is the difference in anthropometric built of people in different geographical regions across the country.

Till date, 14 countries have successfully completed national sizing surveys, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Korea, China and Australia. The surveys entail measuring statistically relevant sample size pan country, using human safe technology of 3D whole body scanner, a non-contact method of taking body measurements and analysing the collected data to create size charts.

Indian apparel industry uses size charts which are tweaked versions of size charts of other

countries. So, returns of the garments are in the range of 20 per cent to 40 per cent and is increasing with the growth of e-commerce, and the main reason for returns are poor garment fit.

Providing well-fitting garments, in the absence of standardised size chart, is proving to be a big

challenge for the domestic textile and apparel industry, which is projected to reach USD 123

billion by 2021 and holds fifth position in apparel imports.

The findings of the study will impact various other sectors like automotive, aerospace, fitness and sport, art and computer gaming where insights from this data can produce ergonomically

designed products which are suited for the Indian population.

The project will entail measuring of 25,000 male and female Indians in six cities in six regions of the country: Kolkata (East), Mumbai (West), New Delhi (North), Hyderabad (Central India), Bengaluru South) and Shillong (North-East). Using 3D whole body scanners, computers will extract hundreds of measurements from a scan. The data created as part of this project will be confidential and secure.