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Applying and evaluating 3D bodyscanning technology and landmarking within the clothing product development process to improve garment fit for mature women aged 55+

Wren, Paula (2017) Applying and evaluating 3D bodyscanning technology and landmarking within the clothing product development process to improve garment fit for mature women aged 55+. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

Women aged 55+ are recognised to have non-standard body morphologies and may present with further functional considerations. Existing practice bases clothing development on younger bodies, exasperating misfit issues that exist already. This research therefore focuses on the assessment and provision of garment fit for mature women aged 55+. It applies and critically analyses the application of 3D bodyscanning technology and landmarking practice for the clothing product development process for mature women. Compared to traditional methods in anthropometric body measurement, 3D bodyscanning procedures have perceived benefits in speed, privacy and accuracy. It is therefore ideal in capturing the measurement of mature women aged 55+. However, bodyscanning may deal less well with non-standard bodies, which may complicate further pattern creation. Whilst bodyscanning has recognisable benefits (speed, convenience, consistency), the technology is not readily accessible to practitioners and necessitates its study and testing. A pragmatic, mixed method approach was developed to gather and analyse qualitative and quantitative data related to body scanning and pattern applications. A theoretical framework was established from the knowledge base informing six propositions, a null and alternative of hypothesis. This research applied a mixed methods approach, allowing the exploration of the technology, the application of the data in pattern practice and the testing of its success with a suitable 55+ population. The research developed novel approaches to understand the data and ensure its validity. Processes found that landmarking errors were not confined to 55+ demographic. Landmark errors concerning armscye, bust and crotch points were common; but the t-test revealed that older age was the variable most likely to impact on landmarking accuracy concerning bust and crotch points. Scan analysis added time to the scanning process which made the technology less time conserving as widely perceived. The study discovered that non-contact landmarking methods allowed errors that were not easily detectable without a reliable system in place; hence established a system for validation. Body measurements from the pattern guidance and body scan data measurements did not have comparable landmark definitions; therefore scanner landmark definitions needed to be modified for pattern construction, adding time to the process. Comparison of patterns constructed from unmodified and modified scan data revealed that landmark error had a substantial impact on key areas of pattern geometry. Changes in pattern shape translated into poor fit of the bodice, where armholes were either too tight/loose and the shoulder seam too short for the body. The bodice fit trials confirmed that participants favoured the fit of the bodice that had undergone landmark modification and had used their self-selected waist position. Methods are necessary to ensure scan data is suitable for the application of pattern construction, this study provides clear approaches that allow this.

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