• The survey aims to create a database of measurements that will help to develop a standardised size chart which is representative of the Indian population and can be adopted by the apparel industry.
  • Approved by the Government of India, the survey will be conducted by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT).
  • It will collect data from some 25,000 individuals.

A national sizing survey using 3D body scanners is to be conducted in India in a bid to develop a comprehensive size chart for the country's ready-to-wear industry.

Approved by the Government of India, the survey will be conducted by the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) under the Ministry of Textiles and will collect data from some 25,000 individuals – male and female – aged between 15 and 65 in six regions over the course of two years.

It aims to create a database of measurements that will help to develop a standardised size chart that is representative of the Indian population and can be adopted by the apparel industry.

A large percentage of shoppers face difficulty in finding clothes that fit perfectly according to their body measurements. NIFT says the reason is differences in the build of individuals in different geographical regions across the country.

To date, 14 countries have successfully completed national sizing surveys: USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Korea, China and Australia. The surveys entail measuring statistically relevant sample size pan country using 3D whole body scanners; a non-contact method of taking body measurements and analysing the collected data to create size charts.

Currently, the Indian apparel industry uses size charts, which are tweaked versions of those used by other countries. As a result, NFIT says the rate of returns in the country is in the range of 20% to 40% - a number that is only increasing with the growth of e-commerce, and the main reason for which is that many garments are a poor fit. 

The findings of the study could impact other sectors like automotive, aerospace, fitness and sport, art and computer gaming where insights from the data can produce ergonomically designed products that are suited for the Indian population.