India's National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is launching a size survey across different regions of the country in an attempt to develop standard size charts that will help apparel firms make better-fitting clothes.

The size survey is due to launch early next year, and over 25,000 people in Delhi, Mumbai , Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata are due to be measured using 3-D body scanners. The data collected will be used to prepare basic size charts of people from different regions, age groups, ethnicity and gender.

NIFT director-general Gauri Kumar said the survey will benefit a "culturally diverse country like India," where people find it difficult to track down well-fitting garments.

"Through this initiative, we intend to develop basic size charts and generate a database of specific body measurements," she said. "This will not only help consumers get better-fitting garments but also the retailers in understanding their target buyers." 

The Indian apparel industry is still dictated by American and British body size measurements, but as a large country with diverse ethnic groups and different body shapes this often translates into badly-fitting clothes.

The development of basic size charts specific to India's population profile should also increase the appeal of fashion garments amongst the country's increasingly affluent consumers.