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Australia’s Women’s Clothing Size Standards – When a size 10 can be the same as a 14.

fit
Ever tried on a pair of pants in your favourite store, and then tried the same size on in another store where they barely do up? Yes, it happens to the best of us and it is the most infuriating experience when ‘your size’ doesn’t fit. But don’t panic – it is nothing to do with you, really.

In 2008, the Australian national sizing standard for women’s clothing was withdrawn after the fashion industry, federal government and consumer groups found it was dated and irrelevant, according to Standards Australia. Established in 1959, the standard was based on data from a 1926 study – almost 40 years later, it’s not surprising to learn those measurements are no longer considered relevant. With huge changes in lifestyles over the years, our bodies, communities and sizes have changed with it.

Since then, designers and retailers have been forced to set their own sizing standards and unfortunately, these are become increasingly different. So how can retailers regain control of sizing and ensure that sizing is accurate and actually fits the modern day woman?

After hearing how the 3D body scanner and technology at The Textile and Fashion Hub in Melbourne were looking to take on this challenge, we had to make a visit.

Who are The Textile and Fashion Hub?

The Textile and Fashion Hub is a state of the art sampling, short run manufacturing and industry training facility.  It is a partnership between the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA) and Kangan Institute.

The Textile and Fashion Hub works with small to large fashion and textiles businesses helping them overcome production challenges and improve bottom line.  Running tailored training for companies, the Textile and Fashion Hub upskills teams of designers and product managers to improve communication with their suppliers, resulting in better production outcomes plus time and cost savings.

Technology at the Textile and Fashion Hub includes a 3D body scanner, digital fabric printer, digital garment printer, two twelve gauge knitting machines and a whole garment knitting machine.

What is the 3D Body Scanner?

The Textile and Fashion Hub’s Body Scanner uses 12 cameras to produce an accurate digital reconstruction of the body. Retailers and design houses use the scanner to conduct sizing studies of their clientele to ensure the company’s standard sizing and fit reflects the shape of their customers. Designers bring in individual clients to extract exact measurements for made-to-measure garments and individuals have their own scan done to obtain exact measurements for better online shopping or tailoring.

The team at the AGHA tested out the 3D body scanner and despite the experience being somewhat confronting at first, the results were astounding. Not only did the final report include a 3D ‘avatar’ body image, the report detailed every single measurement we could only dream of knowing. Such information would be so valuable to a designer wanting to create designs fit for the modern day woman and since lower scale body scanners are popping up in shopping centres all over Australia, consumers and shoppers are going to become increasingly more interested in what size they really are.

The Textile and Fashion Hub runs regular weekly tours at 4pm on a Thursday.  No bookings required unless a large group is attending. For further information please contact hub@kangan.edu.au, www.kangan.edu.au/hub or 03 9525 5673.

IMG_1308Further Information 

The Textile and Fashion Hub offers sampling & short run manufacturing, industry relevant training courses for designers, students and small businesses as well as customised industry training and a series of workshops and events.

Located in the heart of Richmond, with state of the art facilities and the latest in industry technology, the Textile and Fashion Hub is the missing link between the birth of a creative concept, and its emergence as a finished product.

Industry experts are available to assist designers and businesses with their garment development and manufacturing requirements, with a series of fee for service options for knitting and printing.

The Textile and Fashion Hub is the go-to for sampling, product development, industry training & short-run manufacturing.

A series of courses and workshops are run throughout the year, including:

  • Adobe CS6 for Fashion and Textiles – Intro to Advanced
  • Digital Print Get Started – a 3 hour crash course in digital printing
  • StyleCAD
  • Commercial Knitwear – Intro to Advanced
  • Fashion Futures – Sustainability
  • Concept to Creation – a day-long course where you take your design from artwork to finished product, both printed and knitted.

Facilities include:

  • Large format digital print
  • Digital garment printer
  • Body scanner
  • And much more

Visited the Melbourne 2015 Home & Giving + Fashion Fair? The team from The Textile and Fashion Hub were there in full force, sharing their knowledge and wisdom. For more information regarding the The Textile and Fashion Hub and their services, visit www.kangan.edu.au/hub.

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