Paper 15.243

B. P. Makhanya et al., "Use of 3D Scanning Technologies to Extract Body Measurements for Customised Size Charts for Predominant African and Caucasian Body Shapes in South Africa", in Proc. of 6th Int. Conf. on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Lugano, Switzerland, 2015, pp. 243-250,


Use of 3D Scanning Technologies to Extract Body Measurements for Customised Size Charts for Predominant African and Caucasian Body Shapes in South Africa


Bukisile P. MAKHANYA 1, Helena M. DE KLERK 1, Amukelani MUTHAMBI 1, Karien ADAMSKI 2

1 Department Consumer Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa;
2 Department Statistics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


The South African sizing system was adapted from an out-dated British sizing system. This contributes to the fit problems currently experienced by female apparel consumers in South Africa. To improve ready-to-wear apparel fit, body measurements and body shapes prevalent within a target population need to be identified and subsequently form a basis for a sizing system. The South African apparel industry bases apparel design and manufacturing on standard figures yet research shows that female consumer populations consist of women of different body shapes and body proportions. Diverse ethnic groups within populations further aggravate the variations. Differently shaped consumers experience different fit problems from standard apparel and size charts and therefore require differently shaped apparel. In an attempt to address ready-to-wear apparel fit problems among the ethnically diverse South African female population, this paper sought to compile customised size charts of body shape classes predominant among African and Caucasian women. This paper utilised scan data of 233 African (n1 = 109) and Caucasian (n2 = 125) women aged 18-25 years that were selected using the purposive and snow-balling techniques. Body shape descriptors from literature guided body shape classification formulae that were computed from circumferential drop values of the samples and mean +- standard deviation. These were used to classify participants' bodies into different body shape categories. A print-out of virtual body images showing participants' front and side view images were subjected to visual analysis by a panel of experts to confirm body shapes assigned from measurements. The body shape defining parameters adopted in this study were. triangle: Mean to Maximum (in cm) i.e. 12.6 <= hip - bust <= 29.8, hourglass: Mean <= bust - waist <= Maximum i.e. 18 <= bust - waist <= 26.6 and rectangle: Mean (18 cm) - 3 x SD (12.3 cm) < bust - waist < mean i.e. 5.6 < bust - waist < 18. Findings show that there were 64 African triangle, 42 Caucasian triangle, 30 African hourglass, 51 Caucasian hourglass, 14 African rectangle and 32 Caucasian rectangle. The significant differences between the Caucasian hourglass figure assumed to be similar to the Western hourglass used as a standard figure by ready-to-wear apparel manufacturing, confirmed need for customised size charts for the predominant body shapes among South African women.
This paper resulted in the computation of customised size charts for the different predominant African and Caucasian body shapes. While there are a number of Western studies that classify body shape using drop values, there has not been such study in South Africa.


Full paper: 15.243.pdf
Proceedings: 3DBST 2015, 27-28 Oct. 2015, Lugano, Switzerland
Pages: 243-250
DOI: 10.15221/15.243

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