Monday 29 December 2014

Garment Sizing System Notes-3

1. Percentage returns in the catalogue retailing for casual apparels are 12-18%, More fitted fashion are 20-28% and for high fashion apparels are 35%.

2. The thumb rule to distribute an increament say 4 cm across the parts of the bodice: 62.5% to be done at the front.

3. Generic Size codes ( S, M, L, XL) are popular for sportswear and garments that fit loosely.

4. Mens clothing is generally communicated in terms of body measurement eg. 38.

5. In a study, it was found that the customer estimation of their body sizes were not accurate. People overestimated their stature and underestimated their hips. But was measured accurately.

6. Apparel sizing is often cited as the social benchmarking tool for women's bodies.

7. Bougourd explained that a size designation is most useful when tied to bodies' measurement.

8. Taylor and Shoben noted that the problem of grading sizing increase as the garment fit becomes closer to actual body shape conversely they decrease as the the garment category becomes looser.

9. Two inches girth grade was used as it was an easy division to a half inch measure when working on a folded front or back pattern piece.

10. In US, a grading of 1" done for smaller sizes, 1.5" for middle size and 2" for higher size. British and Australians work on flat 2" grading. 

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Friday 26 December 2014

Garment Sizing System Notes-2

A. There can be three approaches towards development of sizing systems:

1. Indirect Approach: This approach measures dimensions such as weight and height and derive measurement based on these.

Shortcomings of indirect approach such as height relate to their variability. E.g. stature is composed of two components: trunk length and leg length. These two dimensions vary independent of each other they cannot be controlled by controlling their sums.

2. Direct:  This approach measures directly the dimensions to be measured such as chest girth.

3. Direct/Indirect:The third approach uses both the approaches.

As per ACK chan, in ready to wear garments, the exactness of fit is not too important at more than two dimensions of the body.

B. The design of the sizing system is a man-made convenience- based on factors of economy, fit and practicability.

C. It is a standard practice to use an odd number of sizes that will stand out for grading.

D. A size designation should have two things- length and girth.

E. As per ME Faust in "Apparel Designation and Sizing": Size designation should bear a definitive relationship to a garment's key measurements and convey adequate information to consumers of any target market.

F. The size interval ( Incremental difference) should incorporate the following:

a. A margin that is bigger than the measuring error.
b. Variation inherent in the manufacturing, allowing for stretch or shrinkage of the fabric during and after the process of manufacture.
c. Variations within the sizing of the body that the consumers are likely to accept.

As per ACK Khan regarding measuring error"... The intervals must be larger than the measuring error...", he further explains:

"...if a man of 88cm chest girth is being measured, it is possible for the measurements to appear as anywhere between 87 and 89 cm, due to different ways in which a person holds the tape measure during measurement taking. If a size interval of only 1 cm was chosen, this would mean a man may be assigned to different size depending on the way his body measurements had been taken. Also in a system, where small interval is used eg. 3cm, the argument in its favour is that it would lead to closer fitting garments. However acc to "Kunick" it is found that a garment that fits within the tolerance of +- 3 cm is quite acceptable, meaning that a size interval could be as wide as 6cm and still give a satisfactory fitting capacity. It can be further said that a garment can be of correct size but a bad fit, and in that case any variation in this size interval is unlikely to give any improvement. "

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Sunday 21 December 2014

Difference Among Pure Silk, Blended Silk and Part Silk Fabrics

As per BIS (Bureau of Indian Standard) the following definitions will apply. Please note that composition of only ground fabric or base fabric will be considered.

1. Pure Silk

If the content of silk in the fabric is more than or equal to 95% then it is termed as pure silk.

2. Blended Silk

If the content of silk in the fabric is more than or equal to 50% then it is termed as blended silk. A tolerance of +-3% is allowed on the declared content.

3. Part Silk

If the content of silk in the fabric is more than or equal to 20% then it is termed as part silk. A tolerance of +- 3% is permitted.

As per BIS, a silk fabric to be marked with the following information among others:

a. Name of the fabric eg. chiffon, crepe etc.
b. Blend composition e.g. pure silk, blended silk or part silk
c. variety of silk eg. mulberry, eri, muga or tussar

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Garment Sizing Systems Notes-1

1. As per S. Ashdown, devising a sizing system should seek to answer the following questions:

a. How many and which body dimensions must be used with reference to the garment in consideration. These dimensions are called control dimensions. These are also called primary dimensions. These are those that affect the goodness of fit in a garment and are the dimensions that are measured on a customer to match them with the right sized garment.

b.  What portion of the range to be covered. This is called size range. 

c. How the grouping of these sizing should be done. This is called Size, Inter size interval or size steps. 

d. How many sizes must be produced and how many garments must be produced of each size. This is called size roll. 

e. Which other dimensions are important for garment constructions. These are called secondary dimensions. These are dimensions are dimensions which are used together with primary dimensions to define the body size of one person as a whole.

f. How the garment must be labelled. The aim is of unmistakable identification, this is called size designation. As per the author "...often it is not clear whether the size codes printed on the label refer to the garment or body measurements or to which area of the garments and body in particular.

2. It is also important to know what portion of the population is provided for by the sizing system. This is called accommodation rate. This is between 65% to 85%

3. Choice of Intersize Interval can be understood with the following observations by Koblyakova:

a. One needs to find out the interval of indifference. It is defined as that interval between sizes along some dimensions that doesn't make a difference to the wearer.

b. The interval of indifference is considered to be twice the average tolerance level, which is defined as the largest increment along a dimension that will not be recognized by the wearer. The value of the level of indifference depends upon various factors:

i. Body dimensions with larger absolute values ( such as stature or hip girth) will have larger intervals of indifference than dimensions with smaller absolute values ( such as arm length or neck girth)

ii. Another factor affecting the interval of indifference is the property of the fabric used for garment. Greater flexibility and stretch of the fabric would increase the level of tolerance, therefore increasing the interval of indifference and hence the secondary intersize interval.

iii. As per Koblyakova, the following size step guidelines can be used for topwear:

6cm for Outerwear
10 cm for mens shirt
12 cm for knitwear.

iv. As per ISO, the following size step guidelines can be used- for topwear:

Womens, all size steps without knits- 8cm
Knits- 6cm

4. Secondary Dimensions describe a body in the details necessary to construct a garment that fits a body. 

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Thursday 18 December 2014

What is Unique about Ponduru Khadi

This Khadi is produced from Ponduru, a village in Srikakulum district in North Andhra Pradesh.

The uniqueness about this fabric is the fiber. It is produced from a special variety of cotton called Punas cotton, hill white cotton and red cotton. The cotton is of very short staple length produced in Srikakulum area.

The second uniqueness about this fabric is the method of spinning.

The raw seeded cotton is ginned with the help of Valuga fish jawbone. This fish is only found in that area. Then it is fluffed and smoothed with the help of fine sticks which also remove the waste.

Slivering is done with a bow and carding is done with the help of a wooden machine. The slivers are handmade and kept in a dried banana stem.

This is one of the only places where still single spindle charkha is used for spinning. Yarn upto 120s count can be spun in white cotton while upto 60s can be spun with red cotton.

Reference: 1

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Sunday 14 December 2014

Indian Saris - New Book by Priyank Goyal


This book has come out after a constant search for details related to Indian traditional saris and with the experience of the author dealing with these saris as a category manager, buyer and merchandiser. This is the first volume of the series. In this volume a total of sixteen saris from different parts of India are presented. The brief is kept to the point and as simple as possible. Each chapter starts with one sari and a picture of that sari. The book is kept free from the clutter of the myths and stories associated with the saris. Technical parameters such as count, construction and weaving techniques are given for each of the saris. 

This is helpful for someone who wants to get the knowledge of all different types of Indian saris at one place. This is going to help immensely the students of Indian Traditional Textiles, researchers, merchandisers of saris and general textile enthusiast.


Wednesday 10 December 2014

What is Laser Cut Fabric

As the technology is evolving, newer uses of the industrial application are finding their ways into art and design. One such way is creating designs by way of laser cutting of fabrics.

Laser cutting is a misnomer, as the laser never "cuts" the material rather it sears, burns or evaporates the material. In the process, it also seals the edges of the material, stopping it from fraying on the process.


It is a trendy fashion cut that enhances the charm of the fabric. Traditionally it was done on a limited scale, but with the advent of laser cutting, is done on a grand scale.

Laser cutting can also be used to create multiple layer effect applique by placing multiple pieces of fabric together, then cutting each by laser as necessary.
Jeans Engraving

It is a type of laser cutting, in which the top surface of the jeans is vapourised and by making the changes in the laser beam according to the requirement, an image can be generated.

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Monday 8 December 2014

What is Scroop Finish

Scroop is a term used commonly as a finish with synthetic fibers and silk. 

In case of silk scroop is the crunchy feel as well as rustly sound that is produced in the fiber on use. Scroop is like the feeling of squeezing a big bag of corn starch or stepping down into a very powdery snow. 

Scroop is not an inherent property of silk. 

Scroop can be induced in silk in two ways:

One way is to leave the gum of the silk (sericin) behind and not remove it. Sericin has a high coefficient of friction and hence resists the easy sliding of fibers one over the other. Vibrations created by friction produce the sound. 

The other way is by treating silk with organic acid such as formic, lactic, citric or acetic acid in a concentration of 2-4 ml/l and drying without washing. 

In case of synthetic fibers, cohesive agents are used to increase the fiber-to-fiber friction. However, it will increase a property called scroop. The attribute is so named, because of the sound that the staple bundle makes when it is squeezed. It is caused by resistance to the fiber movement that results from the increase in friction between the fibers. If a fabric is made from a yarn having high scroop level- a harsh handle is produced. 

Reference: This is an amazing reading on silk by MIT

* By the way - Unrelated to the post- Cashmilon is made of acrylic and not nylon. 

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Saturday 6 December 2014

Kolhapuri Chappals

Kolhapuri Chappals

Kolhapur, Maharashtra

These chappals make peculiar sound- kar..kar..kar- while walking to attract others. This sound repels animals while walking in forests. This is done by placing a particular type of seed in the two layers of the sole to make sound. The seed is obtained from the “Vinchu” tree.

There are broadly three types of the chappals on the basis of the weight

These have regular weight

Paper Kapsi
These are feather light chappals

These are thicker version of the chappals.

Technique and Limitations
1. Natural Tan is used.
2. The entire process takes about 45 days.
3. The sides are cut when the leather is still semi wet. Once the sides dry out, they shrink resulting in smaller sizes and fits.
4. The layers of the leather in the sole are attached using a unique mud from nearby river. Due to these layers sometimes separate causing discomfort.
5.  the Stiff base sometimes turns soggy in water.
6. The two sides of the toe are stitched one above the other and then pushed between the sole. Sometimes they produce discomfort.
7. Sizing is an issue, as the artisans use fingers for sizing.
8. The top and bottom sole patterns are stitched around the edges of the heel. Once the edges get frayed, the heels begin to fall off. 

Wearing-in of the Kolhapuri Chappals is always an issue. Here are some of the guidelines. These also include the care and preservation of these articles.  (Adapted from this source)

1. If the kolhapuri chapal is too tight, dip the chappal in a tap water for two seconds and remove it. This will make the leather soft and the chappal takes the shape of your foot.
2. If the chappal is stiff, apply oil with the help of cotton to soften it. 
3. It is best to use in winter and summer seasons. (Do not use in water or rainy season).
Note: This is my first post on footwear. I could not resist as these are so much tied with the overall looks of the Indian ethnic wear. I intend to write more in the future.

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Thursday 4 December 2014

How to Preserve and Store your Precious Saris and Ethnic Dress Material-2

Storage of Textile Material

1. Avoid wood, cardboard, plastic and metal or use a heavy duty aluminium foil in between.

2. Cotton sheets can be used. But they need to washed periodically.

3. Do not use garment plastic bag, as there is no air circulation, no protection from light and plstic is non recommended.

There are two types of storage- Vertical and Horizontal

Vertical Storage

Use only that garment for vertical storage, if it is sturdy at the shoulder area.

The following are the steps depicting the storage: Source

Horizontal or Boxed Storage

Horizontal or boxed storage provides support for whole of the textile.

1. Line the box or shelf with unbleached muslin
2. Do not fold the textile. If not avoidable, pad the creases with muslin.
3. Do not stack several textiles one over the other.
4. If they are to be stacked, used acid free paper between them.
5. Store in a dark place, where there is stable heat, humidity and good air circulation.
6. Do not use Moth balls, when storing, while they discourage larvae, they are not repellent and are a suspected carcinogen.

Mending and Repairing 

The rule is always use like with like. So silk should be repaired with silk thread and cotton should be with cotton thread. One can use an inert thread such as polyester. 


How to Preserve and Store your Precious Saris and Ethnic Dress Material-1

The following material is summarized from a brilliant Phd thesis submitted by Kirti Manek. 

Humidity and temperature affect textiles the most. A high relative humidity leads to the fibers absorbing water and become swollen and low relative humidity causes the fibers to give off the moisture. This leads to abrasion and in presence of dust particles it becomes even more detrimental. It can also initiate dye yellowing, bleeding and natural browning of the fiber. High humidity will lead to moth and mildew activity.

Silica gel placed inside the cupboard can normalize the relative humidity. Quick lime lumps can also be used for dehumidification. One can also use sufficient quantity of cotton hidden inside concealed cases; cotton being hydroscopic, will absorb the moisture. All the measures as given above can reduce humidity. 

Light affects both dyes and fibers. It fades the dyes and degrades the fibers. Prevent the textiles from getting exposed to light until absolutely needed. 

Silver fish, cloth moth, cockroaches, termites are some of the insects that can damage the textile fibers. Silver fish feeds of starch present in the fibers- left over of sizing and starching. Damage by cloth moths is done by their caterpillars after coming out of eggs. Carpet beetles feed on wool and silk, they leave neat holes in the cloth with powder of the same color.Cockroaches stain the textile material with their excreta. Termites feed on anything made of cellulose. Even microbes such as fungi, algae and bacteria can discolor the textiles and reduce its performance properties. 

Use napthalene balls. One can use dhoop ( Guggal) or Ashwagandha to prevent from insects. One can use liquid insecticides and all storage drawers can be treated with those. Vacuuming the textiles and dry cleaning it will keep it free from microorganisms. 

Will continue in the next Post

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Technical Specifications of Some Popular Synthetic Fabrics-2

Dechine Dress

Warp of dechine dress is 50/36 bright sized polyester while weft is 75/36/3150 semi dull crimp polyester. Total Ends are 6000. Reed x Pick is 80 x 3 x 80. The weight is 75 Grams per linear meter.

Fuji Chiffon

Warp of Fuji chiffon is 30/12/1000 Bright flat polyester while weft is 50/36/2800 semi dull flat polyester. Total Ends are 6100. Reed x Pick is 100x2x84. The weight is 52 Grams per linear meter.

Silver Matt

Warp of Silver Matt is 84 x 34 x 400 semi dull crimp polyester while weft is 84/34/'0' twist Semi dull crimp polyester. Total Ends are 4080. Reed x Pick is 80 x 2 x 80. The weight is 79 Grams per linear meter.

Bolting Cloth

Warp of Bolting cloth is 30/1 semi dull mono polyester while weft is same as warp. Total Ends are 7360. Reed x Pick is 280x1x140. The weight is 51 Grams per linear meter. 

Metal Chiffon

Warp of metal chiffon is 30/12/1000 Bright flat polyester while weft is 50/54/2800 cationic polyester. Total Ends are 6080. Reed x Pick is 100 x 2 x 88. The weight is 55 Grams per linear meter.

Nara Chiffon

Warp of Nara Chiffon  is 30/12/1000 Bright flat polyester while weft is 30/12/1000 Bright flat polyester. Total Ends are 6736. Reed x Pick is 104 x 2 x 92. The weight is 46 Grams per linear meter. 

Technical Specifications of a Pure Crepe Silk Saree

The following is the technical specification sheet of a pure crepe silk saree as mentioned in one of the tenders invited by Air India.

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