Indians May Soon Have Their Own Dress Size Chart

Ministry of Textiles and National Institute of Fashion Technology will scan and measure 25,000 men and women across six major cities to map a size chart for Indian body structure.


India may soon stop borrowing dress size maps from the United States or European countries. A project under of Ministry of Textiles, which will be implemented by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, is planning to scan and measure 25,000 men and women from age group 15-65 years across six major cities to map a size chart that reflects Indian body structure, the Times of India reported.

Titled Size India, the project with funding of Rs 30 crore, is expected to be completed by 2021. The project will make use of whole body scanners which would capture 3D body maps, building a database of measurements. The scan will tap and use over 120 measurements to form size chart that accurately represents Indian body sizes.

“The idea is to bring some discipline to the sizing chart, which at present is very fluid,” Sunil Sethi, a member of the NIFT board of governors, told TOI.

“The methodology will ensure that ISO standards are used for this scientific study so that the data is acceptable internationally,” Noopur Anand, a professor at NIFT Delhi and one of the members of the team spearheading the project, told the publication.

The size chart will also be beneficial to the apparel industry, especially e-commerce sites. Return of garments is at 20-40 percent in the national capital region, with poor fit being attributed as a reason. “A standardized size chart for Indian apparel will be of tremendous value, as it will lead to a reduction of returns,” said Rajesh Shah, the chairman of the NIFT board.

The entire scanning process will take around 15 minutes per scan. NIFT will set up full body scanners in Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Shillong. “We will try to tap the maximum diversity of ethnicity so that the data is truly representative. The six cities have been chosen based on location,” said Sarada Muraleedharan, the director general of NIFT.

The survey for mapping will collate basic data like gender, locality and age. The first phase of the survey will look into a size chart for 15-65 years of age, while the second phase will map sizes for children, as well as for footwear, etc.

NIFT is planning to rope in industry players such as e-commerce giants and others for the survey. “It could be in the form of funding for the project, mobilization of people, making venues available or simply perhaps offering gift coupons to encourage people to participate in the survey,” Muraleedharan was quoted as saying.

The data will be treated as property of Ministry of Textiles. “It will need to be updated after 10 years, though the next survey can be done at a much smaller level” Anand added, according to the report.

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