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Industry fit practices and the issues that impact on good garment fit

Wren, PM and Gill, S (2010) Industry fit practices and the issues that impact on good garment fit. In: Textile Institute Centenary Conference: Textiles: a Global Vision, 03 November 2010 - 04 November 2010, Manchester.

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Abstract

1.1 Purpose This research establishes the skills sets and processes of current industry practitioners and the effect this has on the achievement of good garment fit. This is contrasted with established definitions of good garment fit, outlined in current literature, and provides evidence of areas which should be addressed through training. 1.2 Methodology A methodological strategy was developed to collect and analyse data from clothing professionals currently working within the clothing industry. A convenience sample of individuals working within various garment development roles for a variety of market levels were selected. Semi structured interviews were employed to gather data on industry processes and protocols. A fit evaluation tool was developed synthesising Fastfit, a tool that allows practitioners to view moving 360° pictures of garments, and literature definitions of good garment fit. This tool enabled the collection of observational data on practitioners’ skill sets. Both methods were used in the same instance. 1.3 Findings The paper established that although subjects worked at different market levels, their processes were similar and often individual practices within or perceptions of the process impacted directly on the garment fit. Skill set levels also varied within the sample set even between individuals who performed similar roles, which resulted in a variation of knowledge regarding suitable fit. Results indicated that problems with garment fit are cumulative, with issues involving practitioner skills levels and bad practice impacting on garment fit. It was identified that current academic research, centred on utilising technology for the improvement of garment fit, proffered solutions which were unfamiliar to practitioners, in terms of their skill sets and geared towards technologies not available within their workplaces. This study found that there has been little research focused on the practitioners themselves, their practices, the skills sets they are equipped with and the structures in which they operate. 1.4 Originality and recommendations This paper identifies current industry practices and skills sets to inform academic researchers and educational professionals who utilise technology for the improvement of garment fit. This paper further recommends that the skill set of practitioners be considered when providing academically derived solutions to facilitate ready implementation by the industry. This would also allow the development of a curriculum compatible with the needs of industry but which is able to integrate new ideas, practices and technologies in harmony with existing human resources and practices.

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